EPA watchdog probing air-quality results issued after Harvey

August 02, 2018 - 4:17 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal watchdog at the Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing whether federal and state officials kept the public appropriately informed last year about potential air quality threats after Hurricane Harvey ravaged southeastern Texas.

The office of EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins issued notice Thursday of the audit, which will scrutinize the agency's response following several high-profile accidents and spills following the historic storm, including explosions and fire at an Arkema Inc. chemical plant outside Houston.

According to an accompanying letter, the inspector general will examine whether officials from EPA and Texas state agencies properly addressed potential high-risk areas and whether air quality monitoring indicated any potential health concerns. Also under review is whether those air monitoring results and any associated health concerns were "accurately communicated to the public."

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