Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials wrote a scathing press release, contending that the Associated Press’s (AP) Michael Biesecker wrote an incredibly misleading story regarding the EPA’s cleanup efforts during Hurricane Harvey.
The Associated Press wrote an article suggesting that the EPA did not take adequate steps to safeguard Superfund sites, or areas that have become polluted by hazardous materials and will have been listed by the EPA to be cleaned up.
The EPA countered the AP’s report in a press release. The EPA said, “Despite reporting from the comfort of Washington, Biesecker had the audacity to imply that agencies aren’t being responsive to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. Not only is this inaccurate, but it creates panic and politicizes the hard work of first responders who are actually in the affected area.”
The EPA contends that of the 41 Superfund in Hurricane Harvey effected areas, 28 show no damage, and only 13 experienced flooding.
Further, Biesecker ignored that the EPA and state officials worked with responsible parties to secure contaminated areas before the hurricane hit. The EPA suggested, “Leaving out this critical information is misleading.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has already visited Southeast Texas, the area most effected by Hurricane Harvey. The EPA also has a team embedded with local, state, and federal authorities on the ground.
The Associated Press’s Michael Biesecker has repeatedly wrote misleading stories about the EPA and Administrator Pruitt. This summer, Biesecker invented an imaginary meeting between Administrator Pruitt and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris and alleged some impropriety from this fake meeting.
A Breitbart News investigation led to the AP’s retraction of Biesecker’s previous article after it became apparent that the author did not take adequate steps to verify his reporting.
“Administrator Scott Pruitt did not meet privately with Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow,” Liz Bowman, the EPA’s spokeswoman, told Breitbart News. “The AP article is inaccurate and misleading. Despite multiple attempts to provide the Associated Press with the facts, this article has not been corrected.”
EPA Associate Administrator Liz Bowman said in a statement, “Once again, in an attempt to mislead Americans, the Associated Press is cherry-picking facts, as EPA is monitoring Superfund sites around Houston and we have a team of experts on the ground working with our state and local counterparts responding to Hurricane Harvey. Anything to the contrary is yellow journalism.”