Hurricane Maria Response

Hurricane Maria Response Edison, NJ - Region II

Site Contact:

Elias Rodriguez
Public Information Officer

rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

Hurricane Maria Response Edison, NJ 08854
response.epa.gov/hurricane-maria



ALWAYS CALL 911 if you are in immediate danger and need emergency help.

For information about Maria recovery in Puerto Rico, please contact:
• Puerto Rico Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Agency (AEMEAD): 787-724-0124

For information about Maria recovery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, please contact:
• Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA): 340-774-2244

To report suspected spills, contamination or possible violations:
• To report oil, chemical, or hazardous substance releases or spills, call the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802 (24 hours a day every day). For those without 800 access, please call 202-267-2675.

• Report a suspected environmental violation on EPA's reporting page.

For general questions about EPA’s response in Region 2, please call 1-888-283-7626 during regular business hours.

Media inquiries should be directed to press@epa.gov.

EPA Hurricane Maria Update – October 12, 2017
EPA’s Region 2 offices are managing EPA’s response efforts to Hurricane Maria. EPA is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its assistance to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). EPA is focused on environmental impacts and potential threats to people’s health caused by Hurricane Maria, as well as the safety of those in the affected areas. Our priority is getting clean drinking water to residents, which includes sampling, analysis and lab support, and getting wastewater systems up and running. EPA’s missions also include oil and chemical spill response, oil and chemical facility assessments and debris management.

Personnel
EPA continues to deploy personnel to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as conditions allow. As of October 12, 2017:
• About 243 personnel are currently involved in hurricane response efforts.
• About 57 personnel are on the ground in USVI to assist with response efforts.
• About 89 personnel are on the ground in Puerto Rico to assist with response efforts.

Debris Management
EPA continues to work with FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Puerto Rico and USVI governments on debris management. EPA will provide assistance to establish and operate facilities for receiving debris. In Puerto Rico, the Environmental Quality Board has approved the disposal of construction debris and wet debris at the following landfills: Peñuelas Valley, Ecosystems, Cabo Rojo, Humacao, Hormigueros, Vega Baja, Toa Baja, Ponce, and Salinas.

In Puerto Rico and the USVI, EPA is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard on supporting the recovery of submerged or damaged vessels.

Public Schools
In the USVI, EPA coordinated with the USVI government regarding the re-opening of public schools. The Virgin Islands Department of Education identified schools on St. Thomas and St. Croix which were prioritized for testing of drinking water by EPA in coordination with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. EPA will continue to coordinate efforts for drinking water sample collection at schools with the USVI government.

Assessment of Superfund Sites, Oil Sites and Regulated Facilities
EPA also continues to re-assess Superfund sites, oil sites, and chemical facilities in both Puerto Rico and the USVI to determine if the sites were affected by Hurricane Maria and if there is a potential for contamination to cause off-site impacts.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Management

USVI:
• EPA continues to coordinate drinking water sampling with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resources.

Puerto Rico:
• The EPA continues to focus on assessing both drinking water and wastewater systems and continues to work closely with the government of Puerto Rico.
• Thirty three percent of Puerto Rico’s sewage treatment plants remain non-operational. Raw sewage continues to be released into waterways and is expected to continue until repairs can be made and power is restored.

Water Safety
Water contaminated with livestock waste, human sewage, chemicals and other contaminants can lead to illness when used for drinking, bathing and other hygiene activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people should not use the water from rivers, streams and coastal water to drink, bathe, wash or to cook with unless first boiling this water for a minimum of one minute. If boiling the water is not possible, water may be disinfected with bleach. To learn more about making water safe in an emergency, go to CDC’s Making Water Safe in an Emergency web page.


SIEMPRE LLAME AL 911 si se encuentra en peligro inmediato y necesita ayuda de emergencia.

Para obtener información sobre la recuperación tras el Huracán María en Puerto Rico, póngase en contacto con la:
• Agencia Estatal para el Manejo de Emergencias y Administración de Desastres (AEMEAD) de Puerto Rico: 787-724-0124

Para obtener información sobre la recuperación tras el Huracán María en las Islas Vírgenes Estadounidenses, póngase en contacto con la:
• Agencia Territorial para el Manejo de Emergencias de las Islas Vírgenes (VITEMA): 340-774-2244

Para reportar sospechas de derrames, contaminación o posibles infracciones:
• Para reportar derrames o liberación de aceite, sustancias químicas o peligrosas, llame al Centro Nacional de Respuesta al 1-800-424-8802 (las 24 horas del día, todos los días). Si no se tiene acceso a números con 800, por favor llame al 202-267-2675.

• Reporte una infracción ambiental sospechada en la página para reportes de la EPA.

Para preguntas generales acerca de la respuesta de la EPA en la Región 2, sírvase llamar al 1-888-283-7626 durante horarios normales de atención.

Las indagaciones de los medios de comunicación deben dirigirse a press@epa.gov.