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Hurricane Katrina: EPA Response

Release Date: 9/4/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Search and rescue remains a high priority.  EPA has 52 boats providing support to local response efforts by moving supplies and conducting search and rescue missions. Yesterday, our search and rescue missions resulted in about 100 citizens assisted.

     EPA's Incident Management Team has joined the state of Louisiana's Emergency Response Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The ASPECT aircraft continues to conduct over-flights and collect data from fires burning in the hurricane impacted area.   Results show that smoke plumes from yesterday's warehouse fire in New Orleans contained very little chemical contamination.  

     EPA and state officials are combining information obtained during the Rapid Needs Assessment and other environmental management databases into one comprehensive file of potential pollution sources.  This information will be used in future helicopter over-flights and on-the-ground inspections during the upcoming weeks.  

     EPA and Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services are working to restore off-line drinking water systems.  About 30 EPA personnel will assist the state of Louisiana in inspecting drinking water systems early next week.  Two EPA mobile laboratories will be staged in Louisiana to provide analytical services for testing drinking water as services are restored in communities.

     The Debris Taskforce is continuing to review existing landfill conditions throughout Louisiana in preparation for debris removal.