U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson concluded her tour today of areas that could be impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an EPA press release. The administrator joined President Obama at a briefing with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco and Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen and also held a conference call with New Orleans officials to discuss the importance of coordinating response efforts.
“Local responders and EPA staff in our Emergency Operations Center at headquarters are working around the clock to assess and confront human health concerns, mitigate immediate environmental impacts, and prepare for the long-term effects of the BP Spill. We continue to offer the fullest measure of support to the ongoing response effort,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, I have been inspired by the hard work and outpouring of support from the local community and around the country. The people of the Gulf Coast â€” even at a time of considerable anxiety and anger â€” have stepped up to assist the response and lift each other up. Their example of hopeful persistence and hard work are the standards we must meet as we continue to address the BP Spill.”
Administrator Jackson arrived in the region on Friday, when she joined Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for an overflight of the oil spill and a meeting with state and local officials. The administrator also held a community meeting in Waveland, Mississippi.
On Saturday, Administrator Jackson held a meeting with community leaders at Greater Little Zion Baptist Church in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, then visited EPA staff who are monitoring air quality in the region. The administrator held another community meeting with Congressman Charlie Melancon in Saint Bernard’s Parish and met with representatives of the fishing, oyster and shrimping industries to discuss the potential impact of the spill and opportunities for them to serve as part of the response and cleanup effort.
EPA is fully engaged in the response to the spill and is working around the clock to support the Coast Guard’s response efforts. The agency is currently conducting air monitoring in the region to determine how the oil fumes are impacting air quality, and is helping to assess the spill’s impact on coastal areas.
On Friday, EPA launched a website â€” http://www.epa.gov/bpspill â€” to keep the public informed about the impact of the spill and the EPA’s response.
Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies is available at: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.