May 24, 2011

EPA, Louisiana Officials Continue Efforts to Mitigate Flood Threats

Workers are taking preemptive measures to solve wastewater, drinking water and hazardous material problems

Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana officials are continuing efforts to prepare for any possible hazardous materials cleanup or chemical discharges in the state as result of flooding. EPA officials are actively evaluating threats to human health and the environment that may exist from Mississippi River flooding of facilities and potential release of contaminants.

The agency has sent personnel to staff the Regional Response Coordination Center in Denton, Texas, and a representative to the FEMA Incident Management Advance Team in Baton Rouge, La. Staff are also in the southern region of the state to coordinate activities with other response organizations.

EPA officials are currently working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to address issues associated with wastewater and drinking water facilities. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry officials are addressing stockpiles and inventories of farm chemicals including herbicides and pesticides. Meanwhile, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office are working with operators to mark tanks, remove contents and replace with water and secure equipment.

Additionally, EPA officials are identifying regulated facilities and wastewater and drinking water plants in the flood areas. The information will be used to identify potential hazards and areas of concern.

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