Federal judge denies order to stop EPA trials in Chapel Hill - WNCT

Federal judge denies order to stop EPA trials in Chapel Hill

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By Charlotte Huffman

A federal judge has denied a request to stop EPA studies that critics call “illegal human experimentation.”

“This is wrong. This is crazy,” said Steve Milloy, public health advocate for The American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center.

Milloy filed a temporary restraining order to have the on-going trials at UNC stopped and has called for an investigation into the EPA.

Tuesday, in federal court in the eastern district of Virginia, Judge Anthony Trenga denied the request, saying he lacked the jurisdiction needed to make a decision.

Milloy has also filed a lawsuit against the EPA and says the EPA exposed at least 300 patients to lethal toxins without their knowledge in experiments that began roughly six years ago.

“They led me to believe that it was harmless and that they were looking out for my health,” Landon Huffman, who participated in the trials, previously told NBC-17.

The lawsuit alleges the EPA piped concentrated high levels of substances like fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and diesel exhaust into the lungs of unhealthy people to see what would happen.

The EPA has repeatedly said that the toxins used can cause cancer and lead to death.

“EPA has got to be stopped from doing this. We can't have a federal agency testing these really toxic substances on sick people. That's just unheard of,” Milloy said.

The EPA maintains all studies are evaluated for safety. Milloy isn't convinced and says he will continue to press on.

“If we can't stop the EPA, then who can? Can the agency just ... expose people to this toxic substance and lie to them about it and nobody can do anything? Does it take an act of congress to stop the EPA? What are the courts for?”

While it is apparent that no one can enforce the EPA’s obligation to follow the human testing rules, Milloy says individual plaintiffs may sue in order to recover damages.

The problem, Milloy says, is the patients do not know they are currently or have previously been involved in harmful experiments. And due to confidentiality agreements, the patient’s names cannot be released.

The EPA advertises the trials in question under the name “Captain.”

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Medical Board denied NBC-17’s requests for an on-camera interview on the basis that NCMB complaints and investigations are confidential.

NBC-17 obtained letters written by NCMB Executive Director David Henderson showing the NCMB has opened an investigation into Dr. Andrew Ghio and Dr. Wayne Cascio.

Ghio and Cascio are licensed by the NCMB and are involved in the EPA trials.

Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Sen. James Inhoffe (R-Wis.) has sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, Democratic chairman of the Committee, requesting an immediate hearing to look into the EPA.

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