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EPA and LDEQ use helicopter to detect chemical spills in Katrina's aftermath

Release Date: 9/16/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, is using a helicopter equipped with a high-tech camera to detect chemical spills and leaks from a variety of sources in the continuing efforts to assess the environmental damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

     The helicopter is equipped with a specialized infrared gas-imaging camera, HAWK, which can detect potentially hazardous chemical releases from tanks, barges, pipelines, rail cars, industrial facilities and other operations.  The HAWK helicopter flies at low levels and at low speeds; the public should not be alarmed if they see the low-flying, green and white helicopter with PATROL written in black letters across the bottom.

     EPA and LDEQ staff will be on the ground and in boats to conduct follow-up investigations if releases are detected.  The HAWK camera is another tool in EPA's ongoing efforts to identify and address potential environmental threats in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.