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EPA Kīlauea Eruption Response Update: May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018, 7:03 PM HST
* Updated May 30, 7:04 PM
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest office announces that it continues to monitor and analyze public health threats from volcanic gas emissions. EPA’s work is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) federal response to the Kīlauea volcanic eruption on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contractors Ben Castellana (left) and Amy Dubois (right) install a temporary air monitoring system during the Kīlauea volcanic eruption. Photo: Grace Simoneau/FEMA

“EPA remains committed and ready to assist response efforts in Hawai‘i, and we are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners,” said EPA Regional Administrator Mike Stoker.

In coordination with the County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency, the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH), and partners in the county’s Emergency Operations Center, EPA has established a dozen air monitoring stations in different locations – focused on schools and residential areas – to provide real-time information to responding agencies. Over the next several days, EPA will install several additional monitoring stations to better assess air quality in the area south of Hilo.

As the response continues, EPA will work with partner agencies to identify additional locations for collection of data on sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and particulate levels. EPA will also evaluate data from the Air Now Network operated by Hawai‘i DOH.

Last week, EPA assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with air monitoring on a patrol boat enforcing a marine safety zone offshore where lava is entering the ocean.

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EPA has 16 personnel on the island and is also supporting FEMA operations in Honolulu. Regional Administrator Stoker will be on-island Thursday to meet with FEMA, state and local partners, and to view first-hand EPA’s response operations.

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For more information, visit the Hawai‘i Interagency Vog Information Dashboard, which has comprehensive information and data related to vog and ash hazards and impact: https://vog.ivhhn.org.

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