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News Brief: EPA Releases Longer Term Analyses of Sediment Data from Hurricane Katrina

Release Date: 12/16/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 /

     As part of EPA's ongoing Hurricane Response efforts in Louisiana, EPA posted data reflecting longer term human health concerns for sediment samples taken in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes beginning October 29 through November.  EPA's data postings before Oct. 29 focused on immediate exposure concerns.  To determine long-term exposure concerns, EPA is comparing sediment sample results to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's (LDEQ) Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program (RECAP) Soil Standards.  These standards are intended to be protective of long-term (i.e., 30-year) exposures to children and adults in a residential setting.

     Chemical concentrations in most samples taken Oct. 29 through Nov. 27 were below acceptable RECAP values.  However in a limited number of sample results, concentrations of arsenic, diesel range organic hydrocarbons, oil range organic hydrocarbons, chlordane, dieldrin, aldrin, lead, and Indeno[1,2,3-cd] pyrene were detected above RECAP values.  In cases where chemical concentrations exceed RECAP standards, EPA and LDEQ are working together to determine next steps.
     For more detailed information on these results, visit: