Response to Hurricane Katrina
Boil Drinking Water
EPA is scheduled to resume operations today in Mississippi and Alabama after scaling back this weekend due to Hurricane Rita. More than 385 incident responses have been conducted by EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard since the beginning of EPA's involvement following the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina along the MS and AL coastline. Of those, 375 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 the affected areas.
Assessment and Removal Team Activity
EPA is operating under three divisions that were formed to address Hancock (Division A), Harrison (Division B), and Jackson, MS and Mobile and Baldwin, AL (Division C) counties, which are the most affected areas along the coast. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is serving 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 during Hurricane Katrina.
All teams will continue assessment, recovery and removal activities in their respective counties.
Total debris recovered as part of EPA operations in MS and AL includes 1,438 drums, 745 tanks, 1,053 cylinders, 17 fuel cells, 6,314 other containers, 718,216 gallons of fuel removed, and 49,750 gallons of oil/water recovered.
An EPA mobile drinking water laboratory is stationed in Gulfport to assist the MS Department of Health with analysis of drinking water samples. The lab has processed more than 258 drinking water samples and continues to analyze new samples each day.
Wastewater systems that continue to be inoperable include Dauphin Island, AL, and Eagle Point, Delisle and Oaks Development in MS. Affected wastewater systems in Long Beach/Pass Christian, Pascagoula, East Biloxi, Waveland and Diamondhead, MS are operating with limited capacity.
EPA personnel and equipment have been deployed to assist MDEQ with air monitoring. Air monitoring sites have been set-up at Stennis Air Base, Gulfport and Pascagoula, MS, and particulate matter at the 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter levels will be monitored, along with metals analysis and asbestos. Total samples collected at this time are three PM 2.5 samples, three PM 10 samples, and three asbestos samples. Sampling data will be compiled and the data will be released when it becomes available.