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EPA and Louisiana continue to address flood issues

23 May 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Louisiana are continuing efforts to prepare for any possible hazardous materials cleanup or chemical discharges in Louisiana as result of flooding. EPA is actively evaluating threats to human health and the environment that may exist from Mississippi River flooding of facilities and potential release of contaminants.

EPA has sent personnel to staff the Regional Response Co-ordination Center in Denton, Texas, and a representative to the FEMA Incident Management Advance Team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. EPA also has deployed staff to South Louisiana to coordinate activities with other response organisations. EPA is currently working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to address issues associated with wastewater and drinking water facilities. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is addressing stockpiles and inventories of farm chemicals including herbicides and pesticides. Meanwhile, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office are working with operators to mark tanks, remove contents and replace with water and secure equipment. Additionally, EPA is identifying regulated facilities, and wastewater and drinking water plants in the flood areas. The information will be used to identify potential hazards and areas of concern. 

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