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Hurricane Katrina: Louisiana - EPA Response Update

Release Date: 9/13/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Water sampling is a high priority in EPA's response to Hurricane Katrina.  EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality ( have posted the results of the first rounds of biological and chemical sampling.  The data has been reviewed and validated through a quality assurance process to ensure scientific accuracy.  

     To view the test results, visit  EPA and LDEQ continue to conduct flood water sampling for chemical and biological testing in Lake Pontchartrain and the greater New Orleans area.

     EPA and CDC are working together to identify potential hazards that workers may be exposed to in the flood area.

     EPA and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals ( continue to assess drinking water systems.  More than 400 drinking water systems are now operational.  More than 36 drinking water systems are operational with boil water advisories.  

     Responders are assessing the area's wastewater facilities.  More than 82 percent of major municipal wastewater facilities are operational.  More than 21 percent of major industrial wastewater facilities are operational.  

     It is estimated that there are 160,000 residences, 360,000 cars, and tens of thousands of boats to be considered for removal and disposition.

     EPA and contractors are collecting household hazardous waste and orphan containers in Mandeville and Slidell.  Teams are contacting residences in St. Tammany Parish to inform them about household hazardous waste collection and what to expect when crews come to remove the waste.

     Teams collected sediment samples at 21 locations in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish.

     EPA sampling teams collected environmental samples in the Murphy Oil spill area.  Sediment samples were collected and will be analyzed for the standard suite of analysis per EPA Sampling QAPP.  

     LDEQ is monitoring ambient air quality using summa canisters.  An EPA Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA) unit conducted air quality monitoring in St. Bernard Parish and at Murphy Oil.

     EPA's joint field operations with state officials are ongoing.  The EPA and State of Louisiana Joint Incident Management Team is operating 24 hours a day at the emergency center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.