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LaFourche, Terrebonne Parishes Hurricane Hazardous Waste Collection Completed

Release Date: 12/20/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Approximately 100 tons of damaged hazardous materials sent for proper disposal
For more information, contact Mick Hans at 504-731-8627
     The Unified Command of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has wrapped-up post-hurricane emergency household hazardous waste collection activities in LaFourche and Terrebonne Parishes.  Between October 1 and December 9, EPA-supervised crews collected approximately 100 tons of hazardous material for recycling or proper disposal.

     The 100-ton collection in LaFourche and Terrebonne Parishes was comprised of drums, propane tanks, cylinders, large containers and common household hazardous waste.  Proper disposal prevented further leaks of chemicals into the air, water and soil.   FEMA and Louisiana tasked the EPA to implement the post-hurricane collection programs to divert hazardous chemicals out of the regular municipal landfills to ensure the integrity of the landfills and avoid future environmental problems.  More than 1.27 million containers of hazardous materials have been collected statewide.

    "The collection effort in LaFourche and Terrebonne was very successful.  Everyone was very friendly and has such a positive attitude for all they have been through," said Jhana Enders, the EPA's group supervisor for the Terrebonne-LaFourche waste collection and disposal operation.  

    All told, 5,710 storm-damaged white goods were collected in LaFourche and Terrebonne Parishes.  A total of 3,294 refrigerators and air conditioners had freon extracted by the EPA before disposal. White goods include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners, stoves, ovens and dishwashers.  By mid-December, more than 225,000 white goods were collected in impacted parishes statewide.  

    In addition, 108 damaged electronic goods (televisions and computers) were collected in LaFourche and Terrebonne Parishes - while nearly 40,000 were collected from all hurricane-impacted parishes and sent for recycling.

    The last day for citizens to drop off household hazardous waste at the LaFourche-Terrebonne collection center in Raceland was December 9.  For citizen inquiries during 2006, the contact phone number in LaFourche Parish is 1-800-794-3160 and in Terrebonne Parish call 985-873-6739.

    The EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality worked with the parishes and local agencies to establish household hazardous waste collection centers.  By mid-December, nearly 5 million pounds of household hazardous waste was collected from all hurricane-impacted parishes.  Household hazardous waste includes products like cleaners, pesticides, paints and batteries.  

    The EPA, LDEQ and U.S. Coast Guard continue to respond to immediate chemical threats and potential hazards to the environment resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  For hazardous materials emergencies, the EPA regional hotline can be reached at 1-800-424-8802.  You can also call the Louisiana State Police at 225-925-6595 or the LDEQ hotline at 225-342-1234.  

    Improper handling or storage of hazardous materials increases the risk of environmental contamination or accidental poisoning.  Materials placed in drains flow directly to septic tanks or sewage treatment plants which cannot properly treat most of these substances.  The result is discharges of pollutants or improperly treated sewage into waterways.  Unlabeled drums, tanks and other large chemical containers as well as refrigerators and freezers may contain chemicals that either are leaking or have the potential to leak into the air, water and soil.