EPA response to Hurricane Florence

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EPA Office of Emergency Management Director Reggie Cheatham recently announced the following details related to fuel, waste water and drinking water in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia due to effects of Hurricane Florence:

(Pictured – EPA Office of Emergency Management Director Reggie Cheatham participates in a Hurricane Florence briefing at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C. with federal partners on Thursday, September 13.)

  • EPA Region 3 has approximately 15 personnel currently involved in emergency response efforts.
  • EPA Region 4 has approximately 25 personnel currently involved in emergency response efforts.
  • An EPA ESF-3 liaison is expected to deploy today to the North Carolina SEOC.
  • On September 12, 2018, EPA  Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for Virginia. EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in Virginia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the summer fuel season. EPA has also waived the requirement to use reformulated gasoline in the southern part of Virginia and the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Virginia. These waivers are effective through September 30, 2018.
  • On September 12, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for Georgia. EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in Georgia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the summer fuel season. EPA has also waived the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Georgia. These waivers are effective through September 30, 2018.
  • On September 13, 2018, EPA granted a request from the State of Georgia to revise its September 12th emergency fuel waiver to allow the sale and distribution of gasoline with a Reid vapor pressure of up to 11.5 pounds per square inch before the addition of any ethanol. EPA has granted this revised temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the State of Georgia until normal supply to the region can be restored. This revised waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the high ozone season. All other provisions of the September 12 waiver remain unchanged.
  • The EPA Oil Program contacted 25 coastal North Carolina and South Carolina Facility Response Plan facilities to assess readiness and verify contacts for post-storm assessments.
  • EPA Region 4 is compiling a list of Superfund sites in Georgia, as well as a total number of Risk Management Plan facilities, Federal Response Plan facilities, drinking water systems, and wastewater treatment systems to help them as they prepare their response plans.

HEADQUARTERS EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER 

  • The EPA headquarters Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is partially activated. EPA is staffing Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF-10) for oil and hazardous materials at the National Response Coordination Center at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters.
  • On September 12, 2018, Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler convened the Policy Coordinating Committee at the headquarters EOC.
  • This morning, EPA Office of Emergency Management Reggie Cheatham participated in a press briefing at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

REGIONAL OPERATIONS CENTERS 

Region 3: The EPA Region 3 Regional Emergency Operations Center (R3 REOC) is partially activated. Region 3 has approximately 15 personnel currently involved in emergency response efforts.

  • EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio has contacted Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to discuss needs for EPA support. No support has been requested. Regional Administrator Servidio has also been in touch with Region 4 Regional Administrator Trey Glenn  for coordination purposes.
  • Logistics and resource staff are working to have response personnel and resources accounted for and available. Region 3’s Regional Incident Coordination Team is on standby to support response efforts through the weekend.
  • Region 3 received a Federal Operational Support Mission Assignment for ESF-10 activation and is staffing FEMA Region 3’s Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC).
  • The EPA Region 3 Watchstander at the FEMA Region 3 RRCC is coordinating with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in anticipation of a potential hazardous debris mission assignment. EPA is preparing needed resources to address releases of hazardous materials and oil, if requested, including flooding impacts to hazardous sites.

Virginia: The Virginia State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is in partial activation status.

  • EPA Region 3’s Water Protection Division is coordinating with the Virginia Department of Health on potential impacts to drinking water facilities and support to the state. EPA Region 3 is also coordinating with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on handling drinking water and waste water mission assignments, if necessary.
  • On September 12, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for Virginia. EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in Virginia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the summer fuel season. EPA has also waived the requirement to use reformulated gasoline in the southern part of Virginia and the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Virginia. These waivers are effective through September 30, 2018.

Maryland: The Maryland State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is in enhanced watch status.

District of Columbia: The District of Columbia Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is at normal operations.

Region 4: The EPA Region 4 Regional Emergency Operations Center (R4 REOC) is activated. It is currently operating 12-hours daily and will continue that status through the weekend. Region 4 has approximately 25 personnel currently involved in emergency response efforts.

  • EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn is coordinating with Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and is working with emergency response staff to determine regional assessment and response deployment activities. Other Region 4 states have also been contacted to offer support in the event of hurricane impacts.
  • Regional Administrator Glenn has spoken directly with the South Carolina Director of Environmental Affairs, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner, and the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner regarding coordination between EPA Region 4 and their respective states.
  • Regional Administrator Glenn has also been in touch with Region 3 Regional Administrator Servidio for coordination purposes.
  • EPA Liaison Officers are deployed to the FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center.
  • EPA deployment teams and a response structure has been identified for post-landfall assessment and response, if needed.
  • The Response Support Corps Coordinator and R4 REOC Manager will meet with response staff today to provide a hurricane briefing and update on R4 REOC operations, roles, and responsibilities.
  • EPA Region 4’s Regional Readiness Center has the Mobile Command Post, emergency response trailers, utility terrain vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, the breathing air trailer, communications equipment, air monitoring instruments, and field equipment ready for deployment.

North Carolina: The North Carolina State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is currently operating at Level 2 activation.

  • On September 11, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for North Carolina. This waiver relieves the requirements to use summer blend fuel, is effective immediately, and continues until September 15, which is the end for the high ozone season. Additionally, a blending waiver was signed, which is effective immediately and continues through October 1.
  • At the state’s request, the EPA North Carolina out-posted On-Scene Coordinator began staffing the North Carolina SEOC ESF-10 desk on September 10.
  • A technical expert from the EPA Region 4 Water Division has been deployed to the North Carolina SEOC to support the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for water/wastewater issues. The deployment is via a subtask under an ESF-3 mission assignment.
  • EPA has an initiated a call-down of Facility Response Plan facilities to verify pre-storm readiness in coastal counties of North Carolina.
  • Liaison Officers have been deployed to the North Carolina SEOC.
  • Today, an EPA ESF-3 liaison is expected to deploy to the North Carolina SEOC.

South Carolina: The South Carolina EOC is currently at Level 3 (Full ESF Activation 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) The EOC is evaluating whether they will increase to Level 2 (24-hour operations).

  • On September 11, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for South Carolina. This waiver relieves the requirements to use summer blend fuel, is effective immediately, and continues until September 15, which is the end for the high ozone season. Additionally, a blending waiver was signed, which is effective immediately and continues through October 1.
  • EPA Region 4 received a request and began staffing the ESF-10 desk at the South Carolina EOC starting September 12 at 8 a.m.
  • EPA has an initiated a call-down of Facility Response Plan facilities to verify pre-storm readiness in coastal counties of South Carolina.
  • Liaison Officers have been deployed to the South Carolina EOC.

Georgia: The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is currently operating their State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at Steady-State operations. EPA Region 4 continues to maintain communication with the State to provide support at the ESF-10 Desk in the SEOC, as needed.

  • On September 12, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed a fuel waiver for Georgia. EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in Georgia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the summer fuel season. EPA has also waived the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Georgia. These waivers are effective through September 30, 2018.
  • On September 13, 2018, EPA granted a request from the State of Georgia to revise its September 12th emergency fuel waiver to allow the sale and distribution of gasoline with a Reid vapor pressure of up to 11.5 pounds per square inch before the addition of any ethanol. EPA has granted this revised temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the State of Georgia until normal supply to the region can be restored. This revised waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the high ozone season. All other provisions of the September 12 waiver remain unchanged.
  • EPA has not received a request for assistance from the State.

Region 4 Federally Recognized Tribes: Region 4 continues to coordinate with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  • Catawba Indian Nation, Rock Hill, SC: The Catawba Indian Nation is preparing for the likelihood of impacts from Hurricane Florence.
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), Cherokee, NC: As of today, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation report that they do not have any immediate concerns.

ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS   

  • EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. EPA has also waived in these same states the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline blendstock or oxygenate. EPA intends these waivers to assist in distributing fuel needed for voluntary and mandatory evacuations.
  • EPA has issued no action assurances as requested by North Carolina and South Carolina to help avoid delays in fuel distribution. EPA policy allows the Agency to issue no action assurances in cases where it is necessary to avoid extreme risks to public health and safety and where no other mechanism can adequately address the matter. Under these no action assurances, EPA will not pursue enforcement actions against tanker trucks under air quality regulations governing the testing for tank tightness and associated documentation.

REGION 3 SUPERFUND SITES, OIL SITES, AND OTHER FACILITIES 

  • Based on the current projected path of Hurricane Florence, Region 3 has identified 29 sites (see below) within the potential impact zone of Southeast Virginia/Hampton Roads. Region 3 is updating information for National Priorities List (NPL) data layer, as well as facilities that are subject to Risk Management Plans, and large oil facilities that are covered by Facility Response Plans on the Response Dashboard GIS map.
  1. Abex Corp., Virginia
  2. Atlantic Wood Industries Inc., Virginia
  3. Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia
  4. Peck Iron and Metal, Virginia
  5. Norfolk Naval Base (Sewells Point), Virginia
  6. Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  7. Chisman Creek, Virginia
  8. Naval Weapons Station – Yorktown, Virginia
  9. NWS Yorktown – Cheatham Annex, Virginia
  10. Saunders Supply Co, Virginia
  11. Suffolk City Landfill, Virginia
  12. C&R Battery Co., Inc., Virginia
  13. Defense General Supply Center (DLA), Virginia
  14. St. Juliens Creek Annex (US Navy), Virginia
  15. Former Nansemond Odnance Depot, Virginia
  16. Greenwood Chemical Co., Virginia
  17. Buckingham County Landfill, Virginia
  18. US Titanium, Virginia
  19. Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren, Virginia
  20. Marine Corps. Combat Development CMD, Virginia
  21. L.A. Clarke & Son, Virginia
  22. Arrowhead Associates, Inc./Scovill Corp., Virginia
  23. Culpeper Wood Preserves, Inc., Virginia
  24. JH&H Inc., Burn Pit, Virginia
  25. Rentokil, Inc. (Virginia Wood Preserving), Virginia
  26. Southern Maryland Wood Treating, Maryland
  27. Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland
  28. Langley Airforce Base/NASA Langley, Virginia
  29. Fort Eustis (US Army), Virginia

REGION 4 SUPERFUND SITES, OIL SITES, AND OTHER FACILITIES 

  • The EPA Oil Program contacted 25 coastal North Carolina and South Carolina Facility Response Plan facilities to assess readiness and verify contacts for post-storm assessments.
  • EPA Region 4 has provided North Carolina and South Carolina with a list of Superfund sites in their states, as well as a total number of Risk Management Plan facilities, Federal Response Plan facilities, drinking water systems, and wastewater treatment systems to help them as they prepare their response plans. The Region is compiling this information for Georgia.
  • The EPA Region 4 Superfund Remedial program has compiled a list of NPL sites within potentially impacted coastal zones. Vulnerability assessments for these NPL sites are being reviewed and updated.
  • Coastal NPL Sites within the potential impact zone are:
  1. Macalloy Corporation, Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Kopper CO., INC, Charleston, South Carolina
  3. Geiger, Charleston, South Carolina
  4.  Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Beaufort, South Carolina
  5. Wamchem, INC, Beaufort, South Carolina
  6. Triangle Pacific Corporation, Pasquotank, North Carolina
  7. Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, Craven, North Carolina
  8. Horton Iron and Metal, New Hanover, North Carolina
  9. FCX, INC, Beaufort, North Carolina
  10. Holtra Chem/Honeywell INC., Columbus, North Carolina
  11. Weyerhaeuser CO Plymouth Wood Treating Plant, Martin, North Carolina

For more information please visit: https://response.epa.gov/florence