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Response to Hurricane Katrina

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If your water may not be safe, bring drinking water to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill water-borne diseases.
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Hurricane Recovery

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EPA has reorganized its response structure in MS and AL based on the most affected counties. Three divisions were formed to address Hancock (Division A), Harrison (Division B), and Jackson, MS and Mobile and Baldwin, AL (Division C) counties. The US Coast Guard will serve as liaison between EPA and the three divisions. Coastal MS experienced storm surge flooding of 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels and significant rainfall amounts. In response to this event, more than 360 incident responses have been conducted by EPA and the US Coast Guard since the beginning of EPA’s involvement following the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina along the MS and AL coastline. Of those, 205 were closed due to no further action required or a removal action occurred. An incident response is defined as an investigation of a National Response Center Report, contacting facilities, and reporting hazmat debris while conducting land or water assessment in affected areas.

A total of 244 personnel, which includes personnel from EPA, US Coast Guard, EPA and US Coast Guard contractors, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, are assisting with environmental and hazardous waste issues in response to Hurricane Katrina in MS and AL.

Assessment and Removal Team Activity
EPA, ADEM and USCG overflights of the Mobile Bay area and the MS coast have helped to log locations of barges, boats, tanks and debris fields for further water assessment.

Total debris recovered as part of EPA operations in MS and AL includes 1123 drums, 492 tanks, 578 cylinders, 17 fuel cells, 3,720 other containers, 718,216 gallons of fuel removed, and 32,000 gallons of oil/water recovered.

Division A-Hancock County, MS

Teams performed assessments and recovery in the Bay St. Louis area. Tanks and drums were located and marked for recovery. Team removed seven propane tanks and assessed 6 new items. EPA also responded to a diesel spill discovered by USCG.

Removal operations continued in the Bay St. Louis area. Teams assessed Gulf Line Boats and removed three 55-gallon drums and three small containers. The team also assessed the Chemistry lab at Bay St. Louis High School.

Division B-Harrison County, MS

Teams continued assessment and removal operations working from Gulfport to Pass Christian. Approximately ¾ of the area is finished. Four 200-gallon tanks were found and will be picked up tomorrow.

Continue assessment and removal operations at the Port of Biloxi near the Coast Guard station. Performed oversight of contractors removing 3,200 gallons of unleaded and diesel from three above ground storage tanks.

A teams completed removal operations of a one 500-gallon tank and a 20,000-gallon tank in the D’Iberville area. Assessment and removal operations continue in the D’Iberville area.

A team also deployed boom around the leaking vessels in the Industrial Canal area.

Division C-Jackson County, MS and Baldwin and Mobile Counties, AL

Teams performed assessments of areas on Dauphin Island Alabama. Teams located and marked one 55-gallon drum and five propane tanks marked for recovery. Multiple small containers were recovered and moved to the collection point in Bayou Le Batre.

Teams performed assessments of areas in the Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, and Gautier, MS. Numerous items were found and marked for recovery.

Facilities Group

The facility inspection teams have completed assessment operations. A total of 97 facilities were inspected. The majority of the facilities are regulated by the USCG and under their jurisdiction. During these assessments, the teams inspected the entire facility. Of the 97 facilities, 20 facilities were found to be non-operational. The following is the list of non-operational facilities that have provided their start up date:

Vessel Group

The vessels group continues to conduct assessments of vessels in the area. Assessed vessels have been marked with stickers containing information and US Coast Guard contact numbers. Operations will continue along the Alabama and Mississippi Coast. A total of 190 vessels have been addressed to date.

Water Systems Update

A total of one drinking water system in AL and 200 in MS remain on boil water notices. 71 systems in AL and 1,305 systems in MS are operational.

Wastewater systems that continue to be affected (as defined by ADEM) in Alabama counties include: Baldwin and Mobile.

Wastewater systems that continue to be affected (as defined by MDEQ) in Mississippi counties include: Attala, Copiah, Covington, Forest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Newton, Pearl River, Perry, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, and Wayne.

Historical Responses

Emergency Fuel Waiver for AL, FL, LA, MS


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