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EPA reports on Oklahoma water sampling

Release Date: 07/18/2007
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – July 18, 2007) Water samples collected by the Environmental Protection Agency after oily floodwaters inundated areas of Oklahoma earlier this month showed no adverse levels of hazardous chemicals.

Working with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), EPA collected water samples on July 5, 2007, at three locations along the Verdigris River and at three locations in Lake Oologah. The sampling locations targeted drinking water intake locations. These water samples were tested for organic chemicals, pesticides, PCBs, metals and bacterial contaminants.

Metals were detected in each sample at concentrations consistent with what would be expected for sediment-laden surface water. No metals were found at concentrations that would pose a short- or long-term health effect. At some locations, manganese was found to exceed its non-health based Secondary Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) which is based upon preventing the discoloration of clothes during laundering.

Some organic chemicals normally found in refined petroleum products were detected in samples collected along the Verdigris River, but at concentrations that would not be expected to pose a health hazard.

ODEQ and EPA continue to oversee the oil containment and cleanup work conducted by the Coffeyville refinery and to collect water samples from the Verdigris River. ODEQ and EPA are also working closely with local officials as recovery efforts move forward.

For additional information on sampling results and the EPA flood response, please visit www.epa.gov/region6.


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