New Orleans, La. – The administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is investigating if non-profit organizations can be part of the process. The move stems from a summit in New Orleans where Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu asked claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg if non-profits who responded quickly to the disaster could be reimbursed.
"There's obviously a need. It's the just and right thing to do. So, Ken, if you'll take another look at it, and I'll get my staff to work with the non-profits here, and their many wonderful representatives here and see what we can do in the next month or so."
Feinberg says he needs verification that he's legally able to help.
"My understanding was that the non-profits really fell outside of the jurisdiction that I had to process individual or private business claims. Now it may be that the non-profits, we should take another look. I certainly have the money. The question is whether or not under the structure that created the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, we really do have the authority."
Landrieu also says complaints about health problems being reported after the spill should be the subject of Congressional hearings.
"Some of the doctors might say, "Senator, honestly I've never seen this until the spill.' Or the nurses would say "Some of these symptoms we've never seen in our clinics until the spill.' Because, believe me, the country doesn't have, in my view, the kind of research and medical research necessary to help you as well as we should."
Landrieu says it took 10 years to establish a medical trust for Nine-Eleven first responders, and those affected by the BP spill should not wait that long for help.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming