Chris M. Piehler, Clean Water Project Director, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 4312, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Category 4 Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005. The resulting damage was felt in a broad swath of the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. Included in those effects in Louisiana were the flooding of the City of New Orleans, storm surge along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi Sound, the loss of many oil and gas exploration and production facilities in near-shore environments, and dramatic impacts to Plaquemines Parish. Environmental impacts included localized fish kills, large quantities of spilled oil, many square miles of land loss, and infrastructure damage to waste water treatment systems. Perceived, but dispelled impacts included the "Toxic Soup" discharges to Lake Pontchartrain, "Toxic Sediment" blanketing flooded New Orleans and "Toxic Mold" insidiously pervading southeast Louisiana yielding health effects known as "Katrina Cough". Findings of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are discussed.