Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response, Gulf Coast

Sovereign conducted hurricane response and recovery assignments for U.S. EPA Region IV and other stakeholders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sovereign completed a variety of response and recovery assignments which involved coordination with local, state, and federal agencies, on-site response organizations, sampling teams, and clean-up contractors.

Specifically, under an ESF-10 Mission Assignment, Sovereign provided assistance with the recovery, staging and testing of orphan drums and containers that were swept away from their original locations by flood waters and the associated hurricane storm surge. Container locations, conditions, labeling and photographs, plus other required documentation were input into a near real-time GIS-based tracking system. Team activities and findings were also documented on the appropriate ICS forms and sent to the Documentation Unit.

Sovereign conducted assessment, extent of contamination sampling and site documentation associated with a large facility release that was caused by the hurricane. The Murphy Oil facility in Saint Bernard’s Parish had a release of oil into the surrounding residential community. Sovereign personnel were tasked with assessing the impacted area, identifying residential properties impacted by oil staining, coordinating assessment information with the cleanup contractors, and completing final inspection and the associated documentation to ensure a thorough cleanup.

Additionally, Sovereign participated in a multi-agency sampling task force that was responsible for collecting composite soil samples. The purpose of this sampling was to go back to “Hot Spots” to complete composite sampling to confirm the extent of the area associated with the original elevated contaminant concentrations. The team consisted of Sovereign, EPA, LDEQ, and other contractor personnel.

This project demonstrated that Sovereign personnel are experienced with supporting a variety of response and recovery activities under the most difficult post-disaster site conditions.