EPA Announces Preparations for 2018 Hurricane Season

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has joined partners across federal, tribal, state and local governments in preparation for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Senior leaders in the agency gathered recently in New Orleans, Louisiana, to discuss preparations.

“EPA stands ready with our partners on every level to respond to the 2018 hurricane season,” says EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Given the expert preparedness and rapid response efforts of our teams during last year’s hurricanes, we are confident that we will respond swiftly to provide the necessary support and minimize impacts to public health and the environment.”

Just last week, Hurricane Beryl became the first major named storm in the Atlantic of the 2018 hurricane season. EPA Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) personnel monitored Hurricane Beryl in anticipation of potential landfall in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked closely with the government of Puerto Rico, the USVI and municipalities over the past few months to address lessons learned from María and ensure the islands are better prepared for hurricane season at all levels.

Currently, the EPA has approximately 60 personnel on the ground in Puerto Rico and USVI and in the REOC in Edison, New Jersey, dedicated to response, recovery and readiness. Generators used to supply power to some public water supply systems in Puerto Rico are being maintained and refueled by EPA and remain on the island in case they are needed for future responses.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 until Nov. 30.

The EPA supports hurricane preparedness and response in many ways, including mobilizing emergency responders; providing technical and response support; addressing fuel shortages; activating mobile assets for imagery and laboratory analysis for water quality; and securing superfund sites.


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