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EPA Posts Summary of Final Sediment Sample Results Taken in Hurricane Katrina Response

Release Date: 08/17/2006
Contact Information: Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Aug. 17, 2006) On Aug. 17, 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final summary of sediment sampling conducted in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In total, EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality collected approximately 1,800 sediment and sediment/soil samples since the hurricane flooded New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. Most of these samples were analyzed for over 200 metals and organic chemicals. The results indicate that, in general, the sediments left behind by the flooding from the hurricanes are not expected to cause adverse health impacts to individuals returning to New Orleans. A few localized areas were re-assessed due to elevated levels of arsenic, lead, benzo(a)pyrene, and diesel and oil range organic petroleum chemicals.

These sampling results served as the basis for a series of recommendations and advisories provided by local government. The final summary provides an extensive picture of the conditions in the flood impacted areas.

Summary Results of Sediment Sampling Conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/sediments/summary.html

All test results: www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults