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Response to 2005 Hurricanes

Katrina: Fifth Anniversary

EPA, in coordination with our Federal, State and local partners:

  • Conducted environmental monitoring and sampling of water, air, floodwater and residual sediment resulting in more than 400,000 analyses.

  • Responded to approximately 70 emergency situations to address chemical spills, fires, and other emergencies causing an immediate public threat.

  • Assisted in the proper handling and recycling of over 380,000 large appliances (refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners).  If laid end to end, these appliances would stretch from Baton Rouge to Dallas.

  • Collected and recycled over 940,000 electronic goods to save important landfill space and ensure the reuse of metal components.

  • Assessed over 970 public and parochial school chemistry classrooms and removed chemicals and other equipment from 133 chemistry laboratory classrooms to ensure safe schools for returning students.

  • Assessed approximately 4000 water systems to determine their viability after the storms and provide assistance where requested.

  • Inspected over 3,500 potable water trucks to ensure drinkable water was delivered promptly to areas affected by the hurricane.

  • Assessed approximately 1,300 underground storage tank locations and over 1,600 chemical facilities and refineries.

  • Continued to monitor 5 temporary ambient air monitoring sites around New Orleans. 

  • Continued to provide oversight of the cleanup by Murphy Oil of a large oil spill in St. Bernard Parish.  Murphy has sampled over 5,400 addresses and completed the external cleanup of 2,525 homes.

2010 marks the fifth year since Hurricane Katrina struck, and we have asked some of the responders on the scene in 2005 to tell their stories. We are sharing those stories with you in EPA's Greenversations blog, and providing a glimpse into an unprecedented response effort. Read their accounts, learn about the events on the ground and in the water five years ago, and share your remembrances.

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