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Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Louisiana - Texas - EPA Response Update

Release Date: 10/2/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Unified Command in Baton Rouge continues to grow and is expected to reach about 950 people in the upcoming days.  Operations will move from Baton Rouge to New Orleans later this week.  The Joint Field Operations center will not be relocated from Baton Rouge.  However, a 'Forward' Joint Field Operations center has been established in New Orleans.  EPA will continue to staff each of these units under the area command structure.  

     EPA continues to inspect NPL sites to determine possible impacts from heavy rains, floodwater, and strong winds resulting from the recent hurricanes.  Teams are conducting on-the-ground visual inspections of the sites to determine current conditions at the sites.  

     EPA and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals are inspecting water trucks at four locations in the Greater New Orleans area.  Inspectors conduct tank, hatch gasket, and other screen reviews of trucks used to transport potable water to local hotels and businesses.  The Algiers water station is operating 24 hours a day.

     Teams continue to test private drinking water wells for bacteria contamination in Livingston and Kinder, Louisiana.  Flood water was sampled in the lower 9th Ward in Orleans Parish and Orleans Parish canals as part of our on-going water quality assessment program.  

     Household hazardous waste collection efforts continue in three parishes (St. Tammany, Jefferson, Lafourche Parishes).  In St. Tammany Parish, the household collection program is now accepting 'white good' including refrigerators and other appliances that contain substances such as Freon at its drop-off facility in Slidell, Louisiana.  Paper flyers highlighting curbside collection were distributed in the East Bank of Jefferson Parish.  Lafourche drop-off location is in Galliano and operates from 8 am to 4:30 pm.