FEMA acquired travel trailer, mobile homes and park models from a variety of retail and commercial sources in good faith and fully expected all units to comply with all relevant industry standards, best practices and regulations.
FEMA neither knowingly, nor willingly, purchased manufactured units from dealerships and manufacturers that contained levels of formaldehyde above existing construction standards, nor did FEMA's specifications encourage non-compliance with such standards. We have been fully transparent in our actions on this issue.
On July 21, 2007, FEMA set up call centers for applicants living on group, commercial and private sites who have concerns, questions or request information about formaldehyde. In July, FEMA distributed 70,000 formaldehyde and housing fact sheets to the occupants of every FEMA temporary housing unit across the Gulf Coast. FEMA ceased the sale and deployment of travel trailers for use in housing operations. On August 22, 2007, FEMA authorized hotel/motel assistance for occupants of FEMA provided travel trailers and mobile homes who ask to be moved because of health concerns associated with their units.
Everyone who has called FEMA's formaldehyde call centers with concerns has been offered an immediate move to a hotel or motel until alternate housing is located.
Following the CDC's findings, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs developed procedures to ensure the consistent and reliable testing of temporary housing units in FEMA's existing inventory. The same protocol is used for all air quality testing, no matter where it takes place, whether at storage sites, staging areas, forward staging areas or on private property. Additionally, FEMA has contracted with a center within CDC to study mitigation strategies on our behalf.
Since 2007, FEMA has been working with the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs (DHS/OHA) to develop a new set of procurement specifications for manufactured housing. This year, FEMA announced that all future temporary housing units purchased by FEMA must meet strict new procurement specifications for indoor air quality, including a requirement that formaldehyde emission levels must be significantly reduced inside the units. Each unit must test below .016 parts per million (ppm).
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Source: FEMA - FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.