December 10, 2007
Oral arguments began Monday in a federal lawsuit about whether the EPA knowingly failed to protect the public's health from toxins released by the World Trade Center collapse.
A government lawyer told a U.S. District Court judge that former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman can't be held liable for statements she made about the air quality after the attacks.
Residents and workers in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn are suing Whitman, saying she lied when she said the air around the Trade Center site was safe to breathe.
Whitman's lawyer says holding her liable will have a chilling effect on future government officials.
The judge declined to immediately rule in the case.
Meanwhile, Senator Hillary Clinton and area lawmakers say they added $109 million in care for the workers as part of a massive spending bill.
But the White House has already threatened to veto the bill because of some other provisions in it.