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EPA Posts Results of Additional Samples Taken at the Murphy Oil Site On March 17, EPA updated its website to include the results from additional samples collected at the Murphy Oil Site.  Pursuant to a FEMA mission assignment, US EPA is overseeing Murphy Oil's ongoing sampling activities of residential and other properties.  Today EPA posted samples taken as part of two ongoing efforts. The first set of samples relates to ongoing activities to assess the level of contamination at residential and other sites.  Ten percent of the samples Murphy collects are split between Murphy and EPA.  EPA sends the split samples for independent analysis.  Thus far, Murphy has collected 7230 sediment samples from 4271 properties.  Of the 7230 sediment samples collected, US EPA has sent 748 split samples for separate analyses.  US EPA has received, evaluated and is posting the results of the first 722 samples. Additional soil samples are taken after cleanup at each property to confirm that Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program (RECAP) Standards have been met. Ten percent of the confirmatory samples Murphy collects are split between Murphy and EPA.  EPA sends the split samples for independent analysis.  Thus far, US EPA has sent 15 split samples for separate analyses.  US EPA has received, evaluated and is posting the results of these 15 samples.  The levels of compounds detected in the samples were below their respective RECAP standards. 

For more information on these results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/murphy

Contact:  Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov

EPA Posts Results of Additional Samples Taken at the Murphy Oil Site On Feb. 17, EPA updated its website to include the results of an additional 149 samples collected at the Murphy Oil Site.  Pursuant to a FEMA Mission Assignment, US EPA is overseeing Murphy Oil's ongoing sampling activities of residential and other properties.  Ten per cent of the samples Murphy collects are split, and US EPA sends the split samples for independent analysis.  Thus far, Murphy has collected 6818 sediment samples from 4009 residences.  Of the 6816 sediment samples collected, US EPA has sent 703 split samples for separate analyses.  US EPA has received, evaluated and is posting the results of the first 684 samples.

For more information on these results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/murphy/index.html

Contact:  Jessica Emond, 202-564-4355 / emond.jessica@epa.gov

(1) EPA Samples Three Temporary Housing Locations in Louisiana On Jan. 6, 2006, EPA released results from soil samples taken at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at three potential temporary resident housing locations in St. Bernard Parish, La.  Samples from Judge Perez Drive and Corinne Baptist Church locations in Violet, and Fanz Mobile Estate Park in Toca will be used to help FEMA determine the suitability of these locations for temporary housing for residents. EPA has a mission assignment to sample up to 25 sites for FEMA, and will continue to sample locations as requested.

All results will be posted on the web site at: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/index.html#housing

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(2) Murphy Oil Sampling Data Released On Jan. 6, 2006, EPA posted 52 additional Murphy Oil samples taken at residential and other properties near the oil spill at Murphy's Meraux Refinery in St. Bernard Parish, La.  These most recent sample results were consistent with other samples taken.  The primary contaminants detected in the new sediment samples that were above the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Screening Standards for Soil were polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are commonly found in fuel oils and crude oil, and diesel and oil range organic chemicals.  The screening levels are intended to be protective levels based on long-term (i.e., 30-year) exposures to children and adults in a residential setting. EPA recommends, in the short-term, that residents returning to the area should avoid direct contact with the crude oil contaminated sediments. These compounds can pose a skin irritation problem if they get onto bare or broken skin.  Skin contact with crude oils for short periods may cause itchy, red, sore, or peeling skin. To date, the facility has collected a total of 5,582 interior and exterior sediment samples from 3,242 residences.  Of these 5,582 sediment samples, EPA has collected 578 split samples for analysis at an off-site laboratory.  US EPA has received, evaluated and is posting the results of the first 516 samples.  US EPA will continue to post the results of these samples as they become available.

For more information on these results and EPA recommendations, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/murphy/index.html

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(3) Air Data From New Orleans and Mississippi Released On Jan. 9, 2006, EPA posted another set of air quality data for hurricane impacted areas in both Mississippi and New Orleans.  The samples taken tested for fine (PM 2.5) and coarse (PM 10) particles, asbestos, metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  All compounds measured were below EPA's health-based screening levels, except for concentrations of acrolein at testing sites in both Mississippi and Louisiana. Samples showed concentrations of acrolein continue to fluctuate between concentrations above EPA's 1-year screening level and concentrations too low to be detected at three sites in Mississippi (Stennis Space Center, Maple Street in Gulfport, and Hospital Road in Pascagoula) and in Jefferson Parish, La.  Acrolein can enter the air when organic matter such as trees and other plants are burned and when fuels such as gasoline and oil are burned.  The acrolein concentrations measured are below those where health effects, beginning with irritation of eyes, nose and throat, begin to be expected.

For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/katrina/emkatrina.html

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(4) Results Released from Post Hurricane Samples taken at Old Gentilly Landfill in New Orleans On Jan. 6, 2006, EPA posted results from surface water samples taken adjacent to the Old Gentilly Landfill in Orleans Parish on Nov. 5 and 6, 2005.  EPA is monitoring the landfill operations as part of our ongoing post-Katrina cleanup efforts.  Trace amounts of pesticides, volatile organic compounds, diesel range organic compounds, and metals were detected in the samples, however, only thallium slightly exceeded Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program (RECAP) levels for drinking water.  As the surface water is not used as a source of drinking water, and samples did not indicate any additional issues, EPA does not plan to continue monitoring at the site.

For more information on these results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/index.html#landfill

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

1) EPA Posts Results from Samples taken in Hurricane Affected Areas of Mississippi On Jan. 13, 2006 EPA posted results from soil and sediment samples collected near hazardous waste facilities or facilities that handle hazardous substances in the hurricane affected areas of Mississippi. These samples were taken to determine if flooding from the storm surge released hazardous constituents and materials.  The facilities being investigated are located in the storm surge impacted portions of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties in Mississippi, and include Sonford Products; Chemfax, Inc.;  DuPont DeLisle - Pass Christian; Chevron Pascagoula; First Chemical; Mississippi Phosphates; Omega Protein - Moss Point; Port Bienville Industrial Park (Polychemie, Inc.); and Ershigs Fiberglass, Inc. Based on the sampling results, EPA does not believe these sites were impacted by Hurricane Katrina. EPA's conclusions regarding the potential impact of the hurricane on these sites are based on a comparison of post-hurricane data to available past sample data collected during facility investigations or routine monitoring activities.  In addition, the results were compared to EPA Region 9 Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) to determine if conditions at the sites might represent previously unrecognized risks to human health and the environment.  EPA Region 9 PRGs (available at: http://www.epa.gov/region9/waste/sfund/prg/index.html ) are conservative risk-based concentrations based on long-term exposures in either a residential or commercial/industrial setting.  They are considered by EPA to be protective for people (including sensitive groups) over a lifetime.

For more detailed information on these results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(2) NPL Data Posted from Hurricane Katrina Affected Area in Louisiana On Jan. 13, 2006 EPA posted results from samples taken at D.L. Mud, Inc., an NPL site in Vermillion Parish, La.  On Oct. 1, 2005, EPA collected two shallow ground water samples from monitoring wells at this site and compared the results to data collected for the Five-Year Review for the site completed in September 2003.  The concentrations of metals detected in the October 2005 samples were comparable to the concentrations of metals reported in the Five-Year Review.  Therefore, EPA concludes that the remedy implemented at the site was not affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita.  EPA will continue to monitor the site according to the site operation and maintenance monitoring plan.

For more information on these results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov

(3) More Murphy Oil Sampling Data Released On Jan. 13, 2006 EPA posted 19 additional Murphy Oil samples taken at residential and other properties near the oil spill at Murphy's Meraux Refinery in St. Bernard Parish, La.  These most recent sample results were consistent with other samples taken.  The primary contaminants detected in the new sediment samples that were above the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Screening Standards for Soil were polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are commonly found in fuel oils and crude oil, and diesel and oil range organic chemicals.  The screening levels are intended to be protective levels based on long-term (i.e., 30-year) exposures to children and adults in a residential setting. EPA recommends, in the short-term, that residents returning to the area should avoid direct contact with the crude oil contaminated sediments. These compounds can pose a skin irritation problem if they get onto bare or broken skin.  Skin contact with crude oils for short periods may cause itchy, red, sore, or peeling skin. To date, the facility has collected a total of 5,852 interior and exterior sediment samples from 3,417 residences.  Of these 5,852 sediment samples, EPA has collected 604 split samples for analysis at an off-site laboratory.  US EPA has received, evaluated and is posting the results of the first 535 samples.  US EPA will continue to post the results of these samples as they become available.

For more information on these results and EPA recommendations, visit: http://www.epa.gov/katrina/testresults/murphy/index.html

Contact:  Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 / witcher.eryn@epa.gov