Mississippi Lawmaker Asks Holder to Block FEMA Trailer Sales on Antitrust Grounds

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson from Mississippi asked Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to stop the government from selling thousands of FEMA trailers that were intended to house refugees from the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and argued the sale raised antitrust concerns.

Some of the units posed health risks because they were contaminated with formaldehyde, and were never distributed, Thompson said. The industry expects that it will sell 203,500 trailers this year, he said, and the government has around 103,000 to get rid of. “We find it difficult to believe that dumping over 100,000 used [units]…will not create a substantial and negative effect on the price and supply of trailers,” he said.

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller told the Associated Press that Holder’s office would respond to Thompson’s letter.

Main Justice
3/21/10