Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

U.S Environmental Protection Agency · 2005-2006

About

Bay West supported cleanup following the Hurricanes Katrina/Rita disasters in Texas/Louisiana by providing more than a dozen task force leaders/supervisors to serve as EPA representatives on cleanup crews during removal of hazardous waste/debris.

Personnel performed pre- and post-cleanup monitoring and recommending cleanup methodologies. Bay West task force leaders worked closely with the EPA to ensure proper PPE, efficient and safe cleanup methodologies, and minimal impact to the environment. Crews worked on sites in New Orleans (Katrina cleanup) and Lake Charles (Rita cleanup).

Crews were deployed to various sites around Louisiana impacted by the hurricanes, including residential and industrial areas. Crews dealt with household hazardous waste, industrial waste (oil drums, containers of cyanide, bottles of compresses gas, landfill fire waste), bio-hazards (animal carcasses, medical waste, coffins), and munitions. Bay West personnel documented pre- and post-cleanup conditions of the sites, logged the type/contaminant of all waste materials/debris removed, and recorded the condition of sensitive areas before and after cleanup.On the many environmentally protected and sensitive areas, Bay West determined if the debris/waste impact from the hurricane was worth going in and causing more disturbance to the site via cleanup activities/heavy equipment operation. When it was necessary, Bay West determined a safe route of least environmental impact, oversaw the cleanup operations, then mitigated the activity impact as much as possible (e.g., using an airboat to smooth out ruts caused by heavy equipment), thus giving the area an opportunity to renew/re-vegetate itself.

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