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Hurricane Katrina: EPA Response

Release Date: 9/5/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Search and rescue remains a high priority.  EPA has 65 boats providing support to local response efforts by moving supplies and conducting search and rescue missions. Yesterday, our search and rescue missions resulted about 120 citizens assisted with evacuation.  

     EPA's Incident Management Team has joined the state of Louisiana's Emergency Response Center in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. The ASPECT aircraft continues to conduct over-flights to idenfity spills and collect data from fires burning in the hurricane-impacted area.  

     Yesterday's over-flight identified a large inland oil spill that resulted from a failed storage tank at the Murphy Oil company in Chalmette, Louisiana.  The company and its contractors are working with EPA and Coast Guard officials to repair the storage tank, contain the oil and begin clean-up.  

     EPA and state officials continue to collect information from daily aerial helicopter inspections of facilities in the area.  On-the-ground inspections of these facilities will provide additional information during the upcoming weeks.  

     EPA and Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services are working to restore off-line drinking water systems.  Over 30 EPA personnel are assisting the state of Louisiana in inspecting local drinking water systems.  Reports indicated about 100 systems have restored their operations.  

     EPA is sampling flood water for chemical and biological testing at EPA's Houston laboratory.  EPA completed sampling at six locations in and around the Greater New Orleans area. Additional flood water sampling is scheduled for today.