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NYC pols: Feds have not funded Ground Zero studies

The Obama administration has not yet provided funding for two health-related studies on Ground Zero workers, according to two members of New York's congressional delegation.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) have been trying to persuade President Barack Obama's Office of Management and Budget to continue to fund the portion of the World Trade Center Health Registry that tracks medical issues of people around the country who responded to the scene and were exposed to toxins after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The lawmakers, who expressed their concerns in two letters last week to Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, were dismayed to learn that federal officials declined to fund another study that would monitor the development of cancer in responders.

In a May 14 letter, though, they praised the fact that OMB had extended pending contracts for the six clinical centers and two data centers that make up WTC Responder Program, though Maloney and Nadler said they learned of the developments in news reports, not in response to their correspondence.

They said were also pleased to learn that the office had released some funds for the health registry, although it did not fund the "third wave survey that would allow us to know how this population across the country is faring."

Lastly, the lawmakers asked OMB officials why the agency has not yet approved a $3.5 million contract for New York City's 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Use Benefit program to provide mental health coverage for people affected by the attacks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had written a letter to Orszag in April, pleading for the funding.

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