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Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.


November 2005

EPA Regional Information

Map of the US showing EPA regions affected by Hurricane Katrina Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

EPA Region 4 (for Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi)
EPA Region 6 (for Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas)

Information by Louisiana parish

View all sampling results in both Regions | Download data

Most recent updates

Thursday, November 17
Thursday, November 10
Wednesday, November 2


EPA Response Activity - November 17

EPA emergency response personnel are working in partnership with FEMA to help assess and clean up from the Hurricanes. In emergency situations such as this, under the National Response Plan, EPA serves as the primary agency for coordinating the federal response to releases of oil and hazardous materials. Our national and regional Emergency Operations Centers are activated to support EPA's field response.

In The Field

Louisiana E-Cycling Event - On 11/16, Administrator Johnson toured the household hazardous waste (HHW) collection site where all electronic waste from Jefferson Parish is readied to be recycled. In the past several months, EPA has collected and shipped nearly 20,000 pieces of electronic equipment through this site. EPA, the state and USACE will expand the program to surrounding Parishes. The E-Cycling efforts in Jefferson Parish complement EPA's ongoing HHW collection and disposal work throughout the hurricane-affected Louisiana Parishes. By collecting and properly disposing of the wastes, EPA is protecting the health of Gulf residents by preventing contamination of soil and groundwater. For more information on Parish-specific HHW collection, visit http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/parishes.htm For information on E-Cycling, visit http://www.epa.gov/ecycling/index.htm.

National Priorities List (NPL) Sites - On 11/16, EPA posted additional sampling results from three NPL sites in Louisiana. The samples were taken to assess if Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had any impact on remedies completed at those sites. Soil samples were collected at Mallard Bay Landing in Grand Cherniere. Ground water samples were collected at Gulf Coast Vacuum in Abbeville; and surface water samples were collected at Gulf States Utilities in Lake Charles. Sample results indicate the remedies at all three sites were not affected. Sampling results are available at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/katrina/emkatrina.html Information about assessment of all NPL sites affected by the hurricanes is available at: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/superfund.html

Air Monitoring Networks - Additional air monitoring data for New Orleans has been posted on EPA's Web site. New concentrations reported for metals, and volatile organic compounds in New Orleans continue to be below health-based screening levels. These monitoring results also include the first results of outdoor sampling for asbestos in New Orleans. Asbestos was not detected in the air samples collected in New Orleans for dates ranging from Oct. 9 - 23 at nine monitoring locations. Asbestos is the name given to a group of six different fibrous minerals that occur naturally in the environment. Because of their resistance to heat, fire, chemical and biological degradation, asbestos fibers have been used in a wide range of manufactured products, including older building materials. EPA does not normally do ambient air sampling for asbestos, but will continue sampling for this substance throughout the demolition and debris disposal process in the hurricane affected areas to help ensure that any asbestos emissions from demolition and disposal are properly controlled. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/air/index.html

Drinking Water Assessment - In LA, there are a total of 1,591 drinking water facilities that served approximately 5 million people. As of 11/15, EPA has determined that 1,506 of these facilities are operational, 26 are operating on a boil water notice and 59 are not operating. In MS, there are a total of 1,367 drinking water facilities that served approximately 3.1 million people. EPA has determined that 1,306 of these facilities are operational, 39 are operating on a boil water notice and 22 are inoperable. In TX, there are a total of 1056 drinking water facilities that served approximately 5 million people. EPA has determined that 872 are operational, 116 are operating on a boil water notice, 1 is not operating, and further information is being gathered on 67. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA's Water program is continuing to assess drinking water plants in the affected area.

Wastewater -- In LA, there are a total of 317 Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). As of 11/15, EPA has determined that 300 of these facilities are operational, 13 are not operating, and further information is being gathered on 4. In MS, AL, and TX, all the facilities are operational. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA's Water program continues to assess wastewater treatment plants in the affected area. (Note: POTW numbers are reported based on utilization of FEMA disaster designation.)

Debris Assessment and Collection - Informational flyers on debris collection continue to be distributed by EPA in the Gulf Coast region. Collection activities continue for household hazardous wastes (HHW) and orphan containers. As of 11/15, EPA has collected over 1.4 million HHW/orphan containers throughout the affected area. In addition, EPA personnel continue to offer technical assistance in the disposal of hazardous waste and other debris left behind by the storm.

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EPA Response Activity - November 10

EPA emergency response personnel are working in partnership with FEMA to help assess and clean up from the Hurricanes. In emergency situations such as this, under the National Response Plan, EPA serves as the primary agency for coordinating the federal response to releases of oil and hazardous materials. Our national and regional Emergency Operations Centers are activated to support EPA's field response.

In The Field

Outreach

Media Briefing – On 11/10, Administrator Johnson led a teleconference briefing with reporters to discuss a variety of data postings regarding the affected Gulf Coast region involving air monitoring networks, Mississippi Water Quality Study, Murphy Oil spill sampling and NPL sites.

One Million Flyers - On 11/4, EPA announced the distribution of one million flyers in its campaign to provide information to residents returning to southern Louisiana parishes affected by the hurricanes. In distributing the flyers, EPA workers and contractors covered nearly 20,000 square miles in 27 parishes while meeting with local leaders and helping residents contact EPA cleanup experts. The flyers are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For handouts visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/outreach/handouts.html

Informational PSAs - In the agency's ongoing outreach efforts to the impacted region, EPA has released additional public service announcements in English and Spanish regarding children and flood water, protective equipment, septic systems, and lead-based paint. For more information about all of the PSAs released by EPA warning returning residents about potential environmental hazards in the hurricane affected areas visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/outreach/psa.html

National Priorities List (NPL) Sites – On 11/8, EPA posted sampling results from five NPL sites in the New Orleans area. These samples were taken to assess if Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had any impact on remedies completed at those sites. Sampling results at additional NPL sites in the impacted area will be posted as they become available. The samples taken at Agriculture Street Landfill (soil), Southern Shipbuilding (soil), and Madison Creosote Works (water) indicate that the remedies for these sites were not affected by the hurricanes. At Bayou Bonfouca, some chemical concentrations were detected but they did not exceed Region 6 screening levels for tap water and no contamination has been reported in the drinking water supply. At Delatte Metals, four metals were detected; however, no contamination has been found in any of the domestic wells. Monitoring will continue at the wells for both the Bayou Bonfouca and Delatte Metals sites. Specific test results are available at: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/katrina/emkatrina.html Information about assessment of all NPL sites affected by the hurricanes is available at: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/superfund.html

Murphy Oil Spill – On 11/9, EPA released results of sediment samples taken in areas affected by a one million gallon oil spill on Sept. 4, 2005 at the Meraux Refinery of Murphy Oil USA, Inc. in St. Bernard Parish, LA. The spill affected an estimated 1700 private residences and other public areas. The results showed that several samples exceeded screening levels for residential soil of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), diesel and oil range organic chemicals, and arsenic. The screening level risk evaluation was performed by comparing the results of samples to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's (LDEQ) Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action (RECAP) Screening Standards for Soil. The RECAP screening standards are intended to be protective levels based on long-term (such as 30-year) exposures to children and adults in a residential setting. EPA continues to issue the agency's previous warnings that, in the short-term, residents returning to the area should avoid direct contact with the crude oil contaminated sediments. These compounds can pose a skin irritation problem if they get onto bare or broken skin. Skin contact with crude oils for short periods may cause itchy, red, sore, or peeling skin. Detailed information about the Murphy Oil spill and test results are available at: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/murphy/

Air Monitoring Networks – The existing air quality monitoring networks in Louisiana and Mississippi were badly damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, making it difficult to measure and report air quality status in parts of the Gulf Coast region. To provide the public with this information, EPA, in coordination with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, has been working to restore the air quality monitoring networks in the hurricane-damaged areas. Results of limited sampling, which began the first week of October, are now available on EPA's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/air/index. html The data include results from samples collected at three Louisiana sites on Oct. 9 - 11, 2005, and six Mississippi sites, collected Oct. 7 - 19, 2005. Levels of most pollutants measured at the nine sites to date are below the screening levels. These pollutants include: particle pollution, lead and arsenic, most volatile organics compounds (such as benzene), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, which are associated with burning activities. However, two sites showed elevated levels of two volatile organic compounds, and the state of Mississippi and EPA are looking into their potential sources on the dates sampled. As part of a larger regional air quality monitoring effort, this new data provide more detailed information on pollutants than previous data from earlier air screening and real-time measurements. EPA will provide additional air quality information as it becomes available.

Mississippi Water Quality Study – EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) completed a water quality study along major bay systems on the Mississippi coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that showed few chemicals of concern in bays and rivers where samples were taken. The study looked for any serious short term problems with water quality. EPA and MDEQ specifically targeted areas with the greatest potential for environmental harm because of the proximity to industrial or municipal areas. Overall, the sampling data show that few water quality criteria were exceeded during the study. In areas where elevated contamination levels were found, EPA and MDEQ will continue to evaluate the need for additional site specific studies to determine if there are any further adverse environmental impacts. Samples collected show bacteria concentrations at or below levels EPA considers suitable for swimming. http://www.epa.gov/region4/sesd/reports/2005-0926.html

Drinking Water Assessment –In LA, there are a total of 1,591 drinking water facilities that served approximately 5 million people. As of 11/09, EPA has determined that 1,506 of these facilities are operational, 26 are operating on a boil water notice and 59 are not operating. In MS, there are a total of 1,367 drinking water facilities that served approximately 3.1 million people. EPA has determined that 1,306 of these facilities are operational, 39 are operating on a boil water notice and 22 are inoperable. In TX, there are a total of 1056 drinking water facilities that served approximately 5 million people. EPA has determined that 872 are operational, 116 are operating on a boil water notice, 1 is not operating, and further information is being gathered on 67. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA's Water program is continuing to assess drinking water plants in the affected area.

Wastewater -- In LA, there are a total of 317 Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). As of 11/09, EPA has determined that 300 of these facilities are operational, 13 are not operating, and further information is being gathered on 4. In MS, AL, and TX, all the facilities are operational. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA's Water program continues to assess wastewater treatment plants in the affected area. (Note: POTW numbers are reported based on utilization of FEMA disaster designation.)

Debris Assessment and Collection – Informational flyers on debris collection continue to be distributed by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in residential neighborhoods. Collection activities continue for household hazardous wastes (HHW) and orphan containers. As of 11/09, EPA has collected over 980,000 HHW/orphan containers throughout the affected region. In addition, EPA personnel continue to offer technical assistance in the disposal of hazardous waste and other debris left behind by the storm.

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EPA Response Activity - November 2

EPA emergency response personnel are working in partnership with FEMA to help assess and clean up from the Hurricanes. In emergency situations such as this, under the National Response Plan, EPA serves as the primary agency for coordinating the federal response to releases of oil and hazardous materials. Our national and regional Emergency Operations Centers are activated to support EPA’s field response.

 In The Field

Outreach

One Million Pounds - On 10/31, EPA announced that an estimated one million pounds of household hazardous wastes have been collected in Louisiana. EPA and its contractors have distributed flyers announcing the collection system and then returned several days later to pick up all materials left in front of homes. After pickup and delivery to the various collection centers, the products were segregated into different waste streams for proper transportation and disposal.

Informational PSAs and Handouts - In the agency’s ongoing outreach efforts to the impacted region, EPA continues to distribute and post additional informational flyers and public service announcements (PSAs) cautioning about environmental hazards for returning residents in the hurricane affected areas. Information is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Region 6 plans to conduct special outreach efforts to Vietnamese temples in the New Orleans area.

For handouts visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/outreach/handouts.html

For PSAs visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/outreach/psa.html

National Priorities List (NPL) Sites – Initial assessments have been performed on the 54 NPL sites in the affected areas of LA, MS, AL, and TX. EPA is still in the assessment phase, and continues to monitor all the impacted NPL sites.

Drinking Water Assessment –In LA, there are a total of 1,591 drinking water facilities that served approximately 5 million people. As of 11/01, EPA has determined that 1,491 of these facilities are operational, 23 are operating on a boil water notice, 66 are not operating, and further information is being gathered on 11. In MS, there are a total of 1,367 drinking water facilities that served approximately 3.1 million people. EPA has determined that 1,302 of these facilities are operational, 41 are operating on a boil water notice and 24 are inoperable. In TX, there are a total of 1057 drinking water facilities that served approximately 4 million people. EPA has determined that 795 are operational, 186 are operating on a boil water notice, 3 are not operating, and further information is being gathered on 73. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA’s Water program is continuing to assess drinking water plants in the affected area.

Wastewater -- In LA, there are a total of 317 Public Owned Treatment Works (POTW). As of 11/01, EPA has determined that 300 of these facilities are operational, 13 are not operating, and further information is being gathered on 4. In MS, AL, and TX, all the facilities are operational. It should be noted that operational facilities may still be in need of repair or reconstruction. EPA’s Water program continues to assess wastewater treatment plants in the affected area. (Note: POTW numbers are reported based on utilization of FEMA disaster designation.)

Debris Assessment and Collection – Informational flyers on debris collection continue to be distributed by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in residential neighborhoods. Collection activities continue for household hazardous wastes (HHW) and orphan containers. Region 4 sponsored a HHW collection day at five sites in Jackson County, MS, and plans two similar events in other counties. As of 11/01, EPA has collected over 680,000 HHW/orphan containers throughout the affected region. In addition, EPA personnel continue to offer technical assistance in the disposal of hazardous waste and other debris left behind by the storm.

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