Immediately after participating in a press conference at the White House, left EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson left to tour areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana that could be impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She joined U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for an overflight of the oil spill, and a meeting with state and local officials. She also visited EPA employees at a mobile air monitoring station that EPA has established in the area.
Administrator Jackson toured a stretch of the Mississippi coastline that could be impacted by the spill and held a community meeting in at the Leo Seals Community Center in Waveland, Mississippi to discuss the spill and the government’s response.
The Administrator held a meeting at Greater Little Zion Baptist Church with community leaders in New Orleans, toured Plaquemines Parish in New Orleans and met with representatives of the fishing, oyster and shrimping industries.
Administrator Jackson also briefed President Obama when he arrived in the area to see the spill and mitigation preparations.
President Barack Obama is briefed by National Incident Commander U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in Venice, Lousianaa. , as he visits the Gulf Coast region affected by the British Petroleum oil well spill, Sunday, May 2, 2010.
EPA Establishes Web site on BP Oil Spill
As part of the ongoing federal response to the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA has established a website to inform the public about the spill’s impact on the environment and the health of nearby residents. The website – - will contain data from EPA’s ongoing air monitoring along with other information about the agency’s activities in the region.
Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies
EPA has established air monitoring stations along Plaquemines Parish on the Louisiana coast. EPA established those facilities 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.
EPA has 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 tested smoke from the controlled burn and found the Louisiana coast had not been affected.
In addition to monitoring air quality, EPA is also 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.