Jun 22, 2011

EPA Urges Residents to Secure Hazardous Items as Floodwaters Rise

Preeminent actions to secure hazardous material will help mitigate threats of Missouri River floods

As risks of new flooding along portions of the Missouri River continue, Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 officials are urging residents of those areas to consider moving potentially hazardous items to safer locations.

During past flooding events in the Midwest, EPA has partnered with various local, state and tribal governments—under the authority of the federal Oil Pollution Act—to recover items from floodwaters and prevent them from entering landfills. Notice of impending floods allows residents and property owners the time to relocate and secure items so they do not pollute water or become hazardous wastes.

To help people identify what should be moved beyond the reach of rising waters, EPA has prepared a list of some common household items containing potentially hazardous ingredients that might be found in homes, garages, basements or other storage spaces.
Additionally, to determine where to relocate items to avoid inundation, EPA recommends that residents and property owners regularly check the official flood level forecasts at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

As a caveat, EPA officials instruct that any items normally stored in garages, barns or other outbuildings—especially flammable products such as gasoline, propane and solvents—should not be moved into homes for safety reasons. When possible, flammable products should be removed altogether from potentially flooded areas before floodwaters can rise to reach them.

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