The site will contain data from EPA’s ongoing air monitoring along with other details about the agency’s activities in the region. Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies is available at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
“We are taking every possible step to protect the health of the residents and mitigate the environmental impacts of this spill,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said on April 30. “For several days, EPA has been on the ground evaluating air and water concerns and coordinating with other responding agencies. We are also here to address community members – the people who know these waters and wetlands best. They will be essential to the work ahead.”
EPA has established air monitoring stations along Plaquemines Parish on the Louisiana coast to determine how oil set on fire in the gulf and oil that is reaching land is impacting air quality. EPA is monitoring levels of a number of chemicals potentially emitted by oil, including volatile organic compounds such as xylene, benzene and toluene.
The agency also deployed two Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers – mobile laboratories that collect and analyze air quality samples in real time – to monitor air quality in the region.
EPA recently tested smoke from the controlled burn and found the Louisiana coast had not been affected because an off-shore breeze was blowing away from land and out to sea during that time. The agency will continue to collect and share data with the public, and will coordinate and share information with local health officials.
In addition to monitoring air quality, EPA also is assessing the coastal waters affected by the spreading oil. EPA deployed twin-engine aircraft to assist in the collection of air sampling data and photograph the spill and surrounding area.
All of the data EPA collects will be posted on the new site, http://www.epa.gov/bpspill, along with frequently asked questions, fact sheets about potential health impacts of the spill and links to more information on the spill and the government’s response.