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EPA Region 7 Deploys Certified Drinking Water Analysts with Mobile Lab to Work with Texas as They Restore Drinking Water Systems

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EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Feb. 23, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deployed resources and staff to communities in Texas dealing with drinking water and wastewater system outages as a result of Winter Storm Uri. This support comes in response to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ’s) request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“The Region 7 mobile lab team is in Texas to help restore drinking water systems in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area by analyzing water samples for bacteria,” said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Ed Chu. “EPA has a successful history working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the aftermath of extreme weather disasters, including Hurricane Harvey.”

TCEQ is conducting assessments of drinking water and wastewater systems in Texas and reporting their findings to EPA. Drinking water systems remain heavily impacted in the state with many systems not operating at all or operating with restrictions such as boil advisories and conservation measures. Please refer to TCEQ’s websiteExitfor the most up-to-date information on water systems.

Upon receiving a mission assignment from FEMA, EPA dispatched three mobile drinking water labs to assist TCEQ and FEMA with analysis of drinking water samples. EPA’s mobile labs deployed from Region 7 in Lenexa, Kansas, and Region 4 in Atlanta. The labs are certified to perform bacteriological analysis, among other types of analyses. The mobile labs and support staff are scheduled to assist with processing drinking water samples in Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston.

EPA continues to support FEMA, state, local and tribal partners in response to Winter Storm Uri. EPA is taking action to ensure that Superfund sites are secure following the storm; to assist public drinking water systems with rapid assessments and analyses; and to seamlessly integrate emergency response activities with Texas, and other federal agencies. EPA encourages affected communities to continue staying alert for instructions from local authorities.

Learn more about EPA Regional Labs. For information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on winter storm safety in Texas, visit EPA’s website.

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