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 CHICAGO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- As flood waters continue to affect the Midwest, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun comprehensive monitoring of water, soil and air conditions resulting from the flood. EPA's Washington, D.C.-based Emergency Response Center is coordinating activities at headquarters, as well as in Region 7 (Kansas City, Kan.) and Region 5 (Chicago) to provide help in the nine declared disaster states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
 As flood waters recede, monitoring will identify a range of environmental health and safety risks. Currently, the following areas have been identified as potential health and safety concerns:
 -- When will the water be safe to drink again? EPA will work with local and state health agencies to determine when drinking water quality is safe in flood-affected areas. Water systems -- including wells, waste water, and sewage systems -- and above- and below-ground storage tanks will be assessed and monitored to ensure public health and safety.
 -- What about air quality? The states of Missouri and Iowa have indicated they will allow controlled open-air burning of flood debris. EPA will provide air quality monitoring of burnt debris and dust from post-flood soil as part of its comprehensive response plan.
 -- How should citizens handle cleanup of hazardous material? EPA will provide advice and assistance in the safe and proper disposal of portable toilets, small hazardous materials which may have floated onto private property, and household wastes such as gasoline and household chemicals.
 -- What about Superfund sites affected by the flood? At Superfund sites, as well as industrial and landfill sites in the flood plain, EPA will test and treat hazardous and non-toxic wastes.
 -0- 8/4/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Updates on these conditions and EPA's Emergency Response Operation may be obtained by contacting Bonnie Piper, EPA Press Office at 202-260-4366; Rowena Michaels, Director-Region 7 Office of Public Affairs, at 913-551-7003; or Lawrence LeVeque, Emergency Response Community Relations Coordinator-Region 5 Office of Public Affairs at 312-886-4359.
 /CONTACT: Bonnie Piper of EPA, 202-260-4366/

CO: Environmental Protection Agency ST: Illinois IN: ENV SU:

TM -- NY095 -- 9601 08/04/93 18:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993

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