Incident command Updates

Ray Clement (Environmental Scientist Supervisor) is the incident commander. 

For environmental complaints or concerns call Single Point of Contact (SPOC) at  (225)219-3640  or Toll Free  1-888-763-5424.



September 25, 2008 1:15 PM

Another planned change in the incident commander is underway as Ray Clement assumes the duties of the incident commander from Daniel Lambert. The primary concern of the LDEQ remains the proper siting and permitting of debris disposal sites and addressing the needs of parishes as they work to clean up flood and wind debris

An orphaned container left after Hurricane Ike

To the left of the black line is a wrack line. You can see the various types of debris in the wrack line.

September 24, 2008 2:30 PM

The largest concern in cleaning up wrack lines is the various types of debris that can be found in the lines. Anything from soil and sediment, to dryers and drums can be found in wrack lines. LDEQ and the EPA are assisting parish governments with clean up of the lines. Clean up consists first of collecting the debris and then sorting out the driftwood and sediment from the appliances and orphaned containers. This is to ensure that each piece of debris is disposed of properly.

A wrack line along a canal. At the top of the photo is a flooded area with shipping containers.

A boat stranded in Cameron, above the boat in the photo is a wrack line.

Citizens of Manchac gather at Middendorf's after Hurricane Ike passed.

September 23, 2008 10:15 AM

 When the clean up of storm debris begins, a major concern of the LDEQ is how to handle the disposal of the debris. The Department assists Parish governments in determining appropriate sites for debris disposal and permits these sites to handle tree debris collection and disposal. Inspectors visit the sites in order to verify that the permitted areas are being used appropriately.


A debris collection site in Livingston Parish

A backhoe stands next to a pile of debris that is being readied for disposal.

September 22, 2008 3:30 PM

The major concerns for LDEQ at this time are the wrack lines and orphaned containers that were left behind by the hurricanes. Wrack lines are formed at the crests of flood or tide lines. The lines consist of the sand and silt suspended in the water as well as any debris in the water during the flood. Orphaned contianers, building debris and driftwood are in the wrack lines from the flooding during Hurricane Ike.

Orphaned containers are chemical storage tanks or drums that were moved from their place of origin due to high winds or flooding. One of the responsiblities of LDEQ is to determine ownership of the containers and contact the owners so that they will collect their containers.

A wrack line left behind in Cameron Parish. The red line in the photo indicates the edge of the line.

There are two wrack lines in this photo. The red line indicates the larger one in the middle of the picture. The second wrack line is located at the top left corner of the photo.

Photo of a washed out road in Cameron Parish

A couple of orphaned containers found in Cameron Parish

September 18, 2008 4:00 PM

Aerial flights over remote areas are being done in order to quickly assess potential damage in areas that would othewise take days to reach due to conditions in the areas. The overflights are used to spot ruptured tanks, illegal dump sites, and other environmental concerns.

Photo of a chemical plant taken during an overflight mission.

The LDEQ plane used for most of the overflight photos taken.

September 17, 2008

Damage assessments in southwest Louisiana continue as resources are mobilized to deal with the Hurricane Ike affected areas of the state.

Raymond Guillaume conducts a damage assessment of a facility.

Flooding in Delcambre, LA.

September 16, 2008 1:00 PM

As activities dealing with the damage of Hurricane Gustav conclude, the LDEQ Incident Command is shifting freed assests to the areas affected by Hurricane Ike. Inspectors conduct assessments of damage to industrial facilities as well as wastewater treatment plants. The LDEQ is also working with the US Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to ensure that all of the debris collection sites are working effectively and within the rules. Inspectors in southeast Louisiana are identifying containers that were displaced by Hurricane Gustav so that the containers can be properly disposed of.

Danny Burgard makes some observations about the damage at a facility.


An aerial photo from an oil release in Cameron Parish. The sheen is visible by the brown tank and on the right side of the photo. LDEQ is beginning an investigation into getting the release contained and remediated.

Patrick Augustine conducts an inspection of a wastewater treatment plant.

Flooding in Erath due to Hurricane Ike.

September 13, 2008 11:04 AM

Due to the passage of Hurricane Ike, the LDEQ is now focusing on the areas in Southwest Louisiana that have been affected. Activities in the area will be similar to those conducted after Hurricane Gustav. Inspectors will conduct inspections of industrial facilities and wastewater treatment plants to assess any potential damage or environmental impact at the sites and to determine their operability. Also, inspectors will continue to observe existing debris sites and determine locations for new sites as the damage from Ike is cleared. 


Photo from the ongoing fish kill investigation at Bayou Sorrel.

The LDEQ Mobile Command Center, ready to move to incident sites for better communication between field teams and the Incident Command staff.

A Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) meter is being used at a fish kill investigation to determine if there is any H2S present in the water.


September 11, 2008  1:05 PM


The LDEQ Incident Command and Executive Staff are concerned about the potential of Hurricane Ike. Activities related to Hurricane Gustav continue, but the Incident Command is addressing the need for possible response to any damage created by the new Hurricane. Investigations of fish kills remain a priority for LDEQ. Teams are being sent to examine sites of fish kills, and water quality teams are moving around the affected area to determine the extent of the problem. LDEQ inspectors are continuing to investigate the temporary debris sites that have been set up to dispose of the damaged trees and limbs created by Gustav.

Kevin Masden observes part of a fish kill in a tributary of the Grand River.

More fish in the Grand River fish kill.


An aerial photo of a burn site.

A close up photo of a temporary debris disposal site.

 September 10, 2008 3:30

As part of the ongoing investigation of fish kills in south Louisiana, LDEQ water surveillance inspectors are taking Dissolved Oxygen (DO) readings to determine water quality. A decrease in DO can result in algae blooms and eventually lead to fish kills. LDEQ inspectors continued activities such as site assessments and radioactive source verification. 

John Clark interviews a wastewater treatment plant operator about the facility's operability.

A complaint investigation photograph. Water from a sewage treatment plant has been released.

Photo taken by a site assessment team demonstrating the devastation from high winds in Assumption Parish.

Dwayne Stepter scans a soil moisture gauge to verify that its radioactive source is in working order.

September 9, 2008 3:30 PM

Today, LDEQ inspectors are investigating if there was any damage to the Department's ambient air monitoring sites in the Baton Rouge area . These sites are used in the determination of the overall air quality for the area. Other planned activities include DEQ debris teams checking potential debris collection sites in parishes to make sure the sites are working in accordance to the department's debris management plan. LDEQ inspectors also continue to conduct site assessments and investigation of fish kills in the affected area.



Photos of a fish kill that has been investigated.

September 8, 2008 3:35 PM

As part of a planned change in leadership, Daniel Lambert has taken over as the incident commander for the LDEQ response to Hurricane Gustav. LDEQ inspectors are continuning to focus on wastewater treatment plants and industry centers affected by the hurricane. The LDEQ Headquarters is operational and ready for normal business.

New Incident Commander Daniel Lambert is coordinating with his field teams to ensure the goals set for them are achieved today.


Karen Price (left), Michael Marquez (center) and Richard Silverman (right) discuss the needs for the LDEQ Mobile Command Center.

Missy David (left) and Sherri Courtney work on tomorrow's incident action plan or IAP.

September 7, 2008 2:57 PM

The LDEQ has continued to send out inspectors to assess wastewater treatment plants and industrial sites. Primary among the inspectors' concerns are the security of radioactive sources, operational readiness of wastewater treatment plants, and the condition of major industrial plants and railyards in the affected areas. There are photos below depicting the activities the LDEQ inspectors have oberserved over the past days:

Daniel Cheatham documents observations of a permitted water discharge area.


Aldo Guerrero inspects a Waste Water Treatment Facility.

Oil leaked from an oil storage area of an exploration and production facility. The oil remains inside the facility's containment area.

Michael McMahon is taking a background radiation reading in order to calibrate his detector.

Mr. McMahon is checking source containers to make sure they are packaged appropriately.

September 5, 2008 3:09 PM

The Operations section of Incident Command is moving forward with phone and facility inspections in the affected areas. There are currently twenty teams conducting inspections of facilities to assess any potential environmental hazards. There are also three aircraft conducting overflights of the lower Mississippi River delta to assess the possibility of damage to the oil and gas infrastructure in the area and to check for other potential hazards. Four teams from the Radiation section are inspecting industrial facilities checking up on radioactive source security.


Inspection teams have been sent to Southern Ship Building, Madisonville Wood Preserving, and Bayou Bonfuca, three Superfund sites in the affected areas. The teams verified that status of the sites, and determined that no environmental damage was caused by the storms.

LDEQ is in the process of contacting operators all sewer treatment plants statewide to verify if there are any environmental problems.

Holly Maynard of LDEQ (right) and Sgt. Lee Lewis of Louisiana State Police (left) are assessing an above ground storage facility.

Aerial photo of an oil and gas production site. Several storage tanks suffered some damage during the hurricane.

Another aerial photo of an oil and gas production facility. A sheen of oil is coming out of the platform.

September 4, 2008 3:55 PM

Prior to Landfall, the Radiation section notified all facilities in parishes on the coast and below the I-10 corridor that they are required to notify LDEQ if they move their radioactive sources to another location and to include their new contact information. Presently, the Radiation section is preparing to send out field teams to verify the security of all radioactive material in the affected areas.

The Emergency Response section met with representatives of the Louisiana State Police to discuss the affected areas and determined the facilities that needed to be inspected. Emergency Response then began to send out teams to conduct inspections with the Louisiana State Police to determine if any severe environmental impact had occurred.

LDEQ will also be sending out teams to inspect the wastewater infrastructure in the affected areas. LDEQ is calling in assistance from the EPA. The EPA will be responding to the region to support LDEQ in disposal activities pertaining to household hazardous wastes, white goods, e-goods, orphan containers, and ammunition.

Robert Lockwood is entering the Louisiana State Police Emergency Services trailer to begin working on environmental assessments.


August 31, 2008  3:45 PM


LDEQ Secretary Hal Leggett meets with the Incident Command staff, Executive Staff, and other key deparmental personnel to discuss the hurricane preparation.


LDEQ Incident Commander Jeffrey Meyers speaks with the Incident Command Staff to discuss post-storm activities.

August 31, 2008 11:02 AM


The State EOC and the LDEQ Headquarters are currently staffed to assist both industry representatives and citizens. Headquarters personnel are assisting industry with notifications of plant shutdowns in the affected areas, obtaining the permit variances needed in response to the hurricanes, and receipt of mandatory notifications of hazardous materials. LDEQ personnel are assisting citizens with issues such as medical assistance evacuation locations, locating the proper department or organization to serve their needs, and processing environmental complaints.


 August 29, 2008 4:08 PM

Holly Maynard is testing TVA-1000s to make sure they're providing accurate readings.


Robert Lockwood is assembling a PortaSens air monitor. In the background are SUMMA Canisters. These canisters are used for holding air samples.



Here Mr. Lockwood is checking an air sample with the PortaSens monitor.



Ms. Maynard is organizing and calibrating the AreaRAEs.

August 29, 2008  11:15 AM

The LDEQ has multiple responsibilities before, during and after a hurricane event.  Personnel have been making all necessary preparations to respond to the impacted areas after hurricane landfall.  Environmental damage assessments will be performed so that the appropriate corrective actions are taken.  LDEQ Radiation personnel are contacting all licensees located south of I-10/I-12 to verify the security of radiation equipment.  LDEQ Chemical Emergency Response personnel are preparing to respond with Louisiana State Police personnel to any chemical issues.

Since Hurricane Katrina, LDEQ has taken steps to train additional personnel to provide critical services to the citizens of Louisiana.  The LDEQ Incident Command recommends that all citizens take the time to secure their belongings to minimize damage from high winds and flooding.  After the storm, it is also recommended that Louisiana citizens monitor this website for updates.







When the clean up of storm debris begins, a major concern of the LDEQ is how to handle the disposal of the debris. The Department assists Parish governments in dertermining appropriate sites for debris disposal and permits these sites to handle tree debris collection and disposal. Inspectors visit the sites in order to verify that the permitted areas are being used appropriately.


Picture of a debris site, in the background is the tree debris piled up for disposal.

A LDEQ inspector observes a backhoe that finished piling up debris.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 602 N. Fifth Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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