Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response

When Hurricane Katrina hit Southeast Louisiana in 2005, Weston was tasked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under our Region 6 Superfund Technical Assessment & Response Team contract, to pre-deploy personnel and resources in secure areas outside the storm’s impact zone. Our team ultimately provided support from the planning stage prior to hurricane landfall through completion of EPA response and recovery activities in 2009.

The response effort resulted in Weston personnel working in over 20 Louisiana parishes and throughout 500 miles of affected coastline and interior marshes. Under extreme conditions, our staff performed a broad range of on-site activities, including: search and rescue; aerial reconnaissance; water/sediment/soil/ hazardous waste and air sampling; hazardous waste collection, staging and recycling/disposal; hazardous waste and drinking water treatment plant inspection; air quality program management; data management; and reporting. Of particular note, Weston coordinated with multiple subcontract laboratories to ensure rapid turnaround times when collecting, analyzing, validating, and reporting the analytical results of approximately 600 water, 11,500 soil sediment, and 15,000 air samples.

Despite all challenges brought on by the unprecedented disaster conditions, Weston’s response team and the company as a whole worked together to support our client and the successful completion of the project. In the end, our response to this event was the largest in our company’s history, with more than 1M hours of effort delivered over a four-year period.