An Environmental
Overview of
Hurricane Katrina –
Regulatory
Perspectives
Tom Harris, M.S.P.H.
Louisiana Department of Envi...
SEARCH AND RESCUE

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

• Teaming with the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, LDEQ...
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING
AND ASSESSMENT:
Water Sampling - New Orleans Area

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

o
FLOODWATER SAMPLING:
New Orleans Area Sampling

o 690 floodwater samples taken
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quali...
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING
AND ASSESSMENT:
New Orleans Floodwaters -Toxic Soup?

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality...
HISTORIC STORMWATER DISCHARGE
vs. FLOODWATER DISCHARGE:
Concentration Levels In Floodwaters

Louisiana
Department of
Envir...
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT:
Surface Waters-Lake Pontchartrain and surrounding waters

Louisiana
Department of
E...
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING
AND ASSESSMENT:
Surface Waters-Canal Outfalls

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

• No ...
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT:
Sediments

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

• Considerable sampling a...
Sediment/Soil Sampling in
Katrina Flooded Areas
o

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental

o

Quality
o

o

Joint effort am...
Phase I Sediment Sampling
o

Sampling began as floodwaters
receded

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental

o

Quality
o

4...
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Phase II Sediment Sampling
o

Objective - more extensively
characterize chemical nature of
sediment in areas with heavy de...
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Phase III Focused Sampling
o

43 sample locations out of 770 taken
from earlier phases identified as
localized areas that ...
Phase III Focused Sampling
o

To determine if elevated levels were
isolated or representative of a larger
area

o

~10 com...
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Phase III Findings - Arsenic
o

Louisiana

No Phase III arsenic samples
concentration were above residential
levels

Depar...
Phase III - Benzo(a)pyrene
o

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

o

o

One composite sample in the Agriculture...
Phase III - Thompson-Hayward
o

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental

o

Quality

o

9 composite samples taken in the
sur...
Phase III - Lead
o

Louisiana
Department of

o

Environmental
Quality

o

o

Lead concentrations exceeded residential
scre...
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Lead Issues
o

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

o

Need to address the source of lead:
housing stock built p...
Summary
o

o

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

o

o

More than 2,500 New Orleans area
sediment samples were ...
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

Questions?
Louisiana Superdome

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Downtown
New Orleans
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
I-10 Twin Span
Slidell, La
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
St Bernard Parish

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Plaquemines Parish
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Bass Oil Spill

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Hurricane Rita
September 23, 2005

SW Louisiana
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

Cameron, La
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

Creole, La
Holly Beach Before

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Holly Beach After

Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

Abbeville, La
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality
Tom Harris
Louisiana
Department of
Environmental
Quality

Division Administrator
tom.harris@la.gov

(225) 219-3716
Baton R...
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An Environmental Overview of Hurricane Katrina – Regulatory Perspectives

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Tom Harris, M.S.P.H.
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Underground Storage Tank and Remediation Division

More information on symposium: http://superfund.oregonstate.edu/LSUSymposium1.13

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An Environmental Overview of Hurricane Katrina – Regulatory Perspectives

  1. 1. An Environmental Overview of Hurricane Katrina – Regulatory Perspectives Tom Harris, M.S.P.H. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Underground Storage Tank and Remediation Division
  2. 2. SEARCH AND RESCUE Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality • Teaming with the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, LDEQ employees aided in the rescue of approximately 480 people from the hurricane affected area.
  3. 3. ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT: Water Sampling - New Orleans Area Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality o
  4. 4. FLOODWATER SAMPLING: New Orleans Area Sampling o 690 floodwater samples taken Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality o 192 compounds analyzed per each sample o Volatile and semi-volatile organics,metals, pesticides, herbicides, PCBs & petroleum hydrocarbons o Floodwater sample results were compared to Lifetime Drinking Water Standards!!!
  5. 5. ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT: New Orleans Floodwaters -Toxic Soup? Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality There was never any “toxic soup” in the floodwaters of New Orleans
  6. 6. HISTORIC STORMWATER DISCHARGE vs. FLOODWATER DISCHARGE: Concentration Levels In Floodwaters Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality • Post-Katrina floodwaters were pumped into canals and then discharged to Lake Pontchartrain • These floodwater discharge concentrations were compared to historical permitted discharge monitoring reports for stormwater • Comparison of maximum detected results revealed very little difference between historical norms and post-Katrina levels
  7. 7. ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT: Surface Waters-Lake Pontchartrain and surrounding waters Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality • Used 49 historic water quality sites plus 9 new sites to assess impacts to area water bodies • Conducted more than 55,000 analyses for water quality • Conducted biotoxicity testing on floodwaters pumped into the lake
  8. 8. ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT: Surface Waters-Canal Outfalls Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality • No toxicity was observed in 100 tests results of fish larvae • 7 out of 100 test results for invertebrates indicated toxicity (3 canal sites) • Retesting at the 3 canal sites has shown no further toxicity levels • All other parameters at or near normal
  9. 9. ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ASSESSMENT: Sediments Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality • Considerable sampling and analysis of sediments deposited throughout the flooded areas was done to address public health concerns
  10. 10. Sediment/Soil Sampling in Katrina Flooded Areas o Louisiana Department of Environmental o Quality o o Joint effort among USEPA, LDEQ, CDC, ATSDR, LDHH and the N.O. Health Department Over 2500 soil/sediment samples collected Samples analyzed for over 200 chemicals Tiered approach with multiple phases
  11. 11. Phase I Sediment Sampling o Sampling began as floodwaters receded Louisiana Department of Environmental o Quality o 450 biased samples were collected to identify possible releases Samples were collected from sediments with stains or odors and from curbs/storm drains and drainage paths
  12. 12. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  13. 13. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  14. 14. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  15. 15. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  16. 16. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  17. 17. Phase II Sediment Sampling o Objective - more extensively characterize chemical nature of sediment in areas with heavy deposits o 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish (excluding the area impacted by the Murphy Oil spill) o 282 samples collected o Compared to protective residential standards Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  18. 18. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  19. 19. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  20. 20. Phase III Focused Sampling o 43 sample locations out of 770 taken from earlier phases identified as localized areas that may require additional evaluation o Arsenic, Lead or Benzo(a)pyrene o The neighborhood around the Thompson-Hayward site was also identified for further evaluation due to local concerns Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  21. 21. Phase III Focused Sampling o To determine if elevated levels were isolated or representative of a larger area o ~10 composite samples within a 500’ radius of each of the 43 original sample locations o Compared results to long-term Residential Standards (30 year, children) Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  22. 22. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  23. 23. Phase III Findings - Arsenic o Louisiana No Phase III arsenic samples concentration were above residential levels Department of Environmental o Quality o Arsenic concentrations are not expected to cause health impacts to children or adults in a residential setting No follow-up is necessary for arsenic
  24. 24. Phase III - Benzo(a)pyrene o Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality o o One composite sample in the Agriculture Street landfill area exceeded EPA’s acceptable risk range for B(a)P assuming long-term residential exposure. All other Phase III samples were below residential levels Not a widespread problem, limited to a very small soil area – HANO to address soil as part of property redevelopment.
  25. 25. Phase III - Thompson-Hayward o Louisiana Department of Environmental o Quality o 9 composite samples taken in the surrounding neighborhood Analyzed for complete spectrum of pesticides, no results exceeded residential levels Results indicated no adverse health effects for long-term residential exposure.
  26. 26. Phase III - Lead o Louisiana Department of o Environmental Quality o o Lead concentrations exceeded residential screening levels in 57 of 147 composite samples where lead had been detected in earlier samples Samples results ranged from below 400 mg/kg to 3960 mg/kg Results are consistent with historical levels in New Orleans, with national studies and are not hurricane related. Detailed chemical analysis determined the source of lead contamination in these areas to be lead based paint
  27. 27. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  28. 28. Lead Issues o Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality o Need to address the source of lead: housing stock built prior to 1978 USEPA, LDEQ, LDHH and City Health Department are working together to address lead issues.
  29. 29. Summary o o Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality o o More than 2,500 New Orleans area sediment samples were collected and analyzed for a wide variety of chemicals Soil chemistry post-Katrina was little changed from pre-Katrina conditions, and levels of contaminants are similar to other older urban centers around the country. Other than pre-existing lead in areas with older housing, soils in New Orleans do not pose health risk to residents, children or sensitive sub-populations. Scientists from USEPA, CDC, ATSDR, LDHH and LDEQ worked together in this data assessment.
  30. 30. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Questions?
  31. 31. Louisiana Superdome Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  32. 32. Downtown New Orleans Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  33. 33. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  34. 34. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  35. 35. I-10 Twin Span Slidell, La Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  36. 36. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  37. 37. St Bernard Parish Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  38. 38. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  39. 39. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  40. 40. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  41. 41. Plaquemines Parish Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  42. 42. Bass Oil Spill Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  43. 43. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  44. 44. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  45. 45. Hurricane Rita September 23, 2005 SW Louisiana
  46. 46. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Cameron, La
  47. 47. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  48. 48. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Creole, La
  49. 49. Holly Beach Before Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  50. 50. Holly Beach After Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  51. 51. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  52. 52. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  53. 53. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  54. 54. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Abbeville, La
  55. 55. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  56. 56. Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
  57. 57. Tom Harris Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Division Administrator tom.harris@la.gov (225) 219-3716 Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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