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EPA announces completion of mission assignment in response to Minot, ND floods

Release Date: 10/04/2011
Contact Information: Paul Peronard, (303) 312-6808; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

Agency committed to working with FEMA and City of Minot with long term community recovery efforts

(Denver, Colo -, October 4, 2011) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the field mission assignment in response to flooding in Minot, North Dakota has been completed.

EPA Emergency Response staff first mobilized to Minot on July 11th, 2011 and began mission activities at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the City of Minot, and the State of North Dakota on July 17th, 2011. The final shipments of removed waste and demobilization of EPA staff were completed on September 29th, 2011.

“For over two months we’ve worked hard to help make Minot a safer place to live,” said Paul Peronard, EPA On-Scene Coordinator. “Our collaborative relationship with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Coast Guard, and other agencies really helped us execute our mission under FEMA’s leadership.”

In response to extensive flood damage and the potential for environmental impacts, FEMA issued a Mission Assignment to EPA to accomplish four objectives: remove household hazardous wastes from the impacted area; decontaminate and prepare white goods and electronic waste for recycling; collect and process orphaned containers; and to conduct environmental monitoring and sampling in impacted and work areas.

In total, EPA removed:

    Nearly 6,000 units of white goods – air conditioners, refrigerators, and other household appliances. Freon, mercury, and other hazardous materials were removed by EPA and the scrap was turned over to the city of Minot for recycling.

    More than 90,000 small containers including paint, household cleaners, and small gas cans totaling more than 15,000 gallons of gas which was sent to a fuel processor.

    Several large containers, including propane tanks as large as 3,000 – 5,000 gallons, which were returned to their owners or sent to a local Minot company for reuse.

    215 lead-acid batteries which were turned over to the city of Minot.

    Over 550 cubic yards of electronic waste such as household electronics, computers, and television sets which were sent to a contractor for recycling.

In addition, EPA collected asbestos insulation from over 220 households, conducted air sampling during cleanup activities, and conducted soil sampling in city parks once flooding subsided.

Looking to the future, EPA has participated in three FEMA-sponsored Community Recovery Open House Planning Meetings in Minot and Burlington. At the request of FEMA and the community, EPA will partner with FEMA and other agencies to continue Long Term Community Recovery activities to assist with restoration activities in Minot.

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