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Hurricane Sandy Response

Hurricane Sandy Response Efforts

Response timeline | March 7, 2013: 

In response to Hurricane Sandy, EPA has been supporting FEMA and working closely with federal agencies and the states of New Jersey and New York to protect the public's health and the environment through multiple activities. EPA worked to assess damage and respond to environmental concerns.

EPA assessed the condition of drinking water and wastewater facilities, helped to get several damaged wastewater treatment plants in New Jersey up and running, evaluated conditions at hazardous waste sites and assisted in the collection of debris and household hazardous waste. EPA provided information to the public about cleaning up after flooding, mold, and the safe disposal of household hazardous waste.

Post Hurricane Sandy Home Demolitions - Samples of Lead in Air

In December 2012, the EPA began assisting New York City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to collect household hazardous waste and heating oil tanks prior to demolishing homes in targeted areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

During the demolition and debris removal, the EPA is collecting air samples around the sites to measure lead. Lead is contained in building materials, primarily in paint that was manufactured and used before 1978. Given that the buildings that are being demolished are from older housing stock, lead-containing paint is expected to be present in the debris. Dust suppression, in the form of using water to wet the materials, is being used to reduce the potential for dust to become airborne.

The EPA collected air samples in Staten Island on January 23 (six samples), January 29 (ten samples) and February 7 (seven samples). On March 3, the EPA took nine samples in Queens. The EPA compared all the results to a concentration of 25 micrograms per cubic meter, which is a level established to be protective of public health, especially children. None of the samples take in Staten Island or Queens were above this level. Additional air samples will be collected as the demolition and debris removal activities continue.

Response Timeline

Nov 2012  8   9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Dec 2012  1   2   4   6   8  10 12 14 17 18 27
Jan 2013  2   3   4   7   8   9  10 11 14 15 16 17 18 22 23 24 25 29 30 31
Feb 2013  1   4   5   6  7 8 12 13 14 20 21
March 2013  1   7 
April 2013 11


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