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Hurricane Katrina: EPA Response

Release Date: 9/3/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Search and rescue remains a high priority.  EPA has 47 boats providing support to local response efforts by moving supplies and conducting search and rescue missions. Yesterday, our search and rescue missions resulted in more than 50 citizens assisted.

     Overnight EPA's Incident Management Team moved to Baton Rouge joining the state of Louisiana's Emergency Response Center.  Last night the ASPECT aircraft returned to Kansas City for replacement of on-board chemical sensors and has returned to Louisiana to continue over-flights.  

     For the next two days, the rapid needs assessment will focus on identifying damage within New Orleans. EPA and state officials are compiling a comprehensive database of potential pollution sources in preparation of additional helicopter over-flights and on-the-ground inspections during the upcoming weeks.  

     Two EPA water system experts are on-hand working with Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to restore off-line drinking water systems. EPA is deploying field teams to begin investigating the estimated 400 drinking water systems that are not operational and complete a ground assessment to help restore these systems.

     Two EPA mobile laboratories will be staged in Louisiana to provide analytical services for testing drinking water as services are restored in communities.  

     The Debris Taskforce is continuing to review existing landfill conditions throughout Louisiana in preparation for debris removal.