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Hurricane Katrina: Louisiana - EPA Response Update

Release Date: 9/8/2005
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 Centers for Disease Control released preliminary water sampling results yesterday ( and continue to conduct flood water sampling for chemical and biological testing in and around the New Orleans area.

     EPA and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals ( are working to assess 684 drinking water systems.  About 127 systems are producing drinking water and are no longer on boil water notices. EPA deployed more than 30 drinking water specialists from Dallas to Louisiana on Wednesday morning to assist in restoring safe drinking water to the affected communities.

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

     EPA is coordinating with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality ( to prepare a sediment sampling plan that will include characterization for disposal and worker exposure.

     Eight teams of responders from state and federal agencies are coordinating disposal of household hazardous waste for the southern Louisiana parishes.

     The ASPECT aircraft continues to conduct over-flights of several large industrial facilities in the area and inspect for oil and chemical spills.  The ASPECT aircraft identified one fire over a railyard, which detected combustion products but did not detect elevated airborne concentration of hazardous pollutants.