Unified Command Established for Post-Hurricane Ike Pollution Response

PASADENA, Texas – Four federal and state agencies established a unified command here Monday to efficiently coordinate efforts to contain and clean up oil and hazardous materials in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Members of the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality comprise the Unified Command. Field workers from these agencies are working with local agencies to assess, contain and clean up spills and hazardous materials.

The Unified Command are responding according to federal guidelines in Emergency Support Function (ESF) #10. This provides an outline for federal support and management of various spill sites to minimize their impact on the public and the environment. In addition to detailing the roles of federal agencies, it promotes close coordination with state, local and industry representatives to establish priorities and goals for response.

Field personnel have identified 181 sites with reports of pollution in the Houston-Galveston area. Teams are assessing pollution sites in the Port Arthur area and will have a count of the pollution sites there later Monday.

Members of the public can report oil spills or displaced hazardous materials by contacting the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802.

The public should report oiled or injured wildlife by calling Texas Parks & Wildlife at (281) 842-8100.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.