EPA Supports State of Texas’ Air Monitoring Efforts Following Hurricane Laura
DALLAS – (Aug 30, 2020) To support the response to Hurricane Laura, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 6 office has deployed mobile air monitoring staff and equipment to the Southeast Texas area. This support comes in response to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which then gave EPA the assignment. Information from these efforts will be posted to https://response.epa.gov/hurricanelaura
EPA resources deployed include:
- The Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer or TAGA mobile unit will begin monitoring operations this morning. TAGA will assist TCEQ with air monitoring Beaumont/Port Arthur communities and industrial areas as facilities start operating following shutdowns or damages due to the hurricane and flooding. More information on TAGA can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/ert/environmental-response-team-trace-atmosphere-gas-analyzer-taga
- The Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology, or ASPECT plane, was deployed to collect infrared images and air monitoring data over the Port Arthur area. ASPECT made 18 data collection runs on Friday, August 28, and had chemical detections on four of the runs. The maximum detections were less than federal and state acute screening levels. Infrared imagery did not show the presence of any chemical plumes from facilities. ASPECT is scheduled to continue data collection runs today and Monday. More information on ASPECT can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response/aspect
- EPA teams working during the day and night will use hand-held air monitors to assess conditions in the West Port Arthur and El Vista neighborhoods, the mid-county area, and the Charlton Pollard neighborhood. An additional day team and night team will be added today.
EPA continues to support FEMA, state, local, and tribal partners in response to Hurricane Laura. EPA’s Region 6 headquarters office in Dallas is taking action to ensure Superfund sites are secure following the storm, to assist public drinking water systems with rapid assessments, and to seamlessly integrate emergency response activities with Texas, Louisiana, and other federal response agencies. EPA encourages affected communities to continue staying alert for instructions from local authorities.
Connect with EPA Region 6:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6
About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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