Citizen groups request results of samples from state and federal environmental agencies: Call for transparency and publicly accessible monitoring results after Hurricane Katrina

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(Baton Rouge) The complete results of sampling in the areas of Louisiana hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina are being requested today by environmental and public health groups that have longed worked in the area. “Transparency has never been more important than it is right now,” said Anne Rolfes, Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an organization that has conducted air monitoring in St. Bernard Parish for the last several years. “We need to see the results of their air, water and soil samples, and we need to see their plan.” 

The sample results and monitoring plans of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency are being  requested in a letter sent today. The results of monitoring from St. Bernard Parish are of particular importance given the oil spills that ended up in people’s homes. Benzene – a chemical that is known to cause cancer, including leukemia – is among the hazardous chemicals that were released into the neighborhood.

“something about the urgent need to sample from Denny,” said Denny Larson of Global Community Monitor. Put in what you think. I am sure I am forgetting something.

“The samples are crucial,” said Ms. Rolfes. “Sample results are facts that residents of all the parishes can use to determine what chemicals they might be exposed to.” The organizations making the request today are concerned by the government agencies’ sometimes troubled and ineffective history in regard to sampling in the region. The EPA’s false assurances of safety to New Yorkers after 9/11 fuel the concern.

For copies of the letters sent to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency, please go to www.labucketbrigade.org

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