EPA Making a Visible Difference Alexandria/Pineville, LA Sampling Results
View the Rapides Training Academy Sampling Results from February, June and September 2016.
The Making a Visible Difference in Communities is an initiative of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that focuses on providing better support to communities, especially in environmentally overburdened, underserved and economically distressed areas where the needs are the greatest.
Alexandria/Pineville was identified with the help of local citizens who raised environmental concerns related to several regulated sites in the area (two creosoting facilities, two federal Superfund sites, a state Superfund site, and a metal recycling facility).
Several community meetings have been held with community members, industry representatives, as well as interested environmental activists to discuss next steps. EPA has organized a series of projects to address concerns that were voiced in the community meetings consisting of air and soil sampling, community outreach, and development of a Community Sustainability Network which is an assembly of community stakeholders working together to resolve community concerns.
The EPA has listened to concerns brought forth in community meetings, and has developed the following projects:
1) Assess Environmental Conditions
a) Air Sampling
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) collected air data from 2013 – 2015 using their Mobile Air Monitoring Lab (MAML). Initial results were reported to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).
b) Sediment and Soil Samples
EPA took sediment and soil samples the week of February 1, around Pineville Soccer Park, Hunter Park and JS Slocum to screen for potential contaminants. Samples taken at Hunter Park had levels of benzo(a)pyrene (BAP) above the Louisiana Risk Evaluation and Corrective Action Program (RECAP) residential screening value. JS Slocum also had an area with BAP above the RECAP residential screening value, as well as the presence of pentachlorophenol. EPA and LDEQ will work with the permit holder to address remediation of sediment in the Chatlin Lake Canal in Hunter Park. Additional sampling at JS Slocum School was conducted by the EPA in June 2016.
c) Groundwater Data Review
EPA is reviewing groundwater data collected near the active creosoting site to ensure the contaminant plume is adequately defined.
2) Improve Health of Community – Outreach
a) Health Survey
EPA is working with Louisiana State University (LSU) – Alexandria under the Colleges/Underserved Communities Partnership Program (CUPP) to perform a health survey for the Alexandria and Pineville communities.
b) Healthy Homes
EPA will provide training to the Alexandria and Pineville communities regarding ways to improve health, reduce exposures and avoid everyday health hazards.
3) Improve Communication
a) Community Sustainability Network (CSN)
The CSN is a network of members from the community and industry that is being developed to discuss and resolve community issues. The CSN is currently being facilitated by Louisiana House of Representative Jeff Hall with the help of representatives from the Rapides Area Planning Commission (RAPC).
The EPA overall goal is to grow and empower the community to discuss and resolve issues through the development of the CSN and to provide the community with environmental data to guide the decision-making process at the community level.
For More Information
If you would like more information about the EPA’s Making a Visible Difference Initiative, you can visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/making-visible-difference-communities
For question regarding projects taking place in the Alexandria and Pineville communities, please contact:
Diana Greiner, MVD Alexandria/Pineville, LA Team Lead U.S. EPA Region 6
Nancy Fagan, Environmental Engineer
U.S. EPA Region 6
Charlotte Runnels, Environmental Justice
Community Liaison for Louisiana
U.S. EPA Region 6
All inquiries from the news media should be directed to: EPA Region 6 Press Office at 214.665.2200 or email@example.com.