The entire world is now looking to the EPA for guidance, explanations and emergency resources for Gulf residents who are bracing for what experts predict will be the worst oil spill in U.S. history. In hasty response, the EPA just put up a "damage control" web page
which provides breaking updates and resources for those living in the affected areas.
Lisa P. Jackson, the EPA administrator, just flew over the area a few hours ago (you can follow her updates on Twitter @lisapjackson
) and has dispatched two Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers or TAGA's to test the impacts on air quality as toxic vapors threaten several densely populated areas, including New Orleans. Here's what Lisa Jackson has to say:
We are taking every possible step to protect the health of the residents and mitigate the environmental impacts of this spill. For several days, EPA has been on the ground evaluating air and water concerns and coordinating with other responding agencies. We are also here to address community members — the people who know these waters and wetlands best. They will be essential to the work ahead.
The EPA site casts a little light on information about water testing and what is being done to curtail the oil slick as it impacts protected wildlife reserves and coastal towns on the Gulf, but an adjunct website called DeepwaterHorizonRepsonse.com
has a great photo gallery of tactics being used to capture oil before it hits land — like oil-absorbent pads and underwater booms. It provides recent reports from the Coast Guard, NOAA, the Department of Homeland Security and BP.
The Deepwater website also has some great video, but unfortunately the U.S. government doesn't do YouTube, so video can only be viewed if you have a special plugin which doesn't work on a Mac. Still a great resource though ... check it out.