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U.S. EPA Seeking Public’s Assistance to Report Containers and Drums Left Behind from Hurricane Ike

Release Date: 10/13/2008
Contact Information: Beth Totman, (646) 369-0064, Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200, or

(PASADENA, Texas-October 13, 2008) - The Unified Command, comprised of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Coast Guard, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas General Land Office, is requesting the help of citizens in the recovery of containers and drums misplaced after the storm.

As residents return home, they may find misplaced containers in their yards. These containers may be orphan drums and propane tanks that could potentially contain hazardous substances. Orphan drums contain chemicals that are normally used in beneficial ways in industry. However, they can contain unknown chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health and may leak into the environment.

According to Incident Commander Greg Fife, “Our job is to keep the community members safe by removing the containers off their properties, roadways and fields. The containers may be leaking an unknown, dangerous substance. We are asking the public to call us immediately and leave the containers untouched.”

Residents should call 1-800-671-6022 to report the location. EPA will retrieve the container, assess it and transfer it to another container if leaking. The container can be sent to a variety of facilities for recycling, energy conversion or disposal.

For more information on the Hurricane Orphan Drum Program, please read our fact sheet at

EPA information on hurricane response, visit

For information on local environmental regulations go to

More information about the Texas Hurricane Ike disaster is available at

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