Joplin, Missouri, Tornado Response
On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a major tornado rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale touched down in Joplin, Mo., killing more than 150 people, injuring hundreds of others, and destroying more than 8,000 structures in the community of nearly 50,000 residents. EPA Region 7 personnel, including On-Scene Coordinators, technical experts and other support personnel, were involved in several disaster response efforts in the Joplin area under the coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Those efforts included responding to critical environmental emergency incidents, conducting rapid needs assessments of damaged or destroyed facilities and coordinating the removal of household hazardous wastes, white goods and e-goods from the tornado's impact zone, and conducting air monitoring for the presence of asbestos and particulate matter.
This page will include documents, links and other information about EPA's response activities associated with the Joplin tornado.
Next Steps for Projects Recommended in Damaged Joplin Area Outlined in Plan Approved at Joint Meeting
State Senator Ron Richard (at podium) leads a joint meeting in January 2012 of the Joplin Community Advisory Recovery Team, Joplin City Council, Duquesne City Council, Joplin Chamber of Commerce Board, and Joplin School Board to endorse the Joplin Area - Next Steps Plan. This plan outlines projects that are recommended to be undertaken for housing, schools and public buildings, infrastructure and environment, and economic development in the area affected by the catastrophic tornado. The ideas listed in the plan were developed by the advisory team after a series of public comment sessions that began in July 2011. Those sessions were followed by seminars and public information presentations by consultants, and a design roundtable involving 60 architects, city planners and other professionals. The plan was unanimously approved by all of the participants at the joint meeting. Click on photo to enlarge
|Pictured on May 26, 2011 (left to right): EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks coordinates with a representative from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as they survey the tornado damage; EPA On-Scene Coordinator Janice Kroone speaks with Missouri Adjutant General Stephen Danner during recovery efforts; Joplin residents walk amidst the devastation; Brooks gets an update from EPA On-Scene Coordinator John Frey in Region 7's mobile command post in Joplin.|
- Feb. 18, 2014: EPA Region 7 Provides Additional $2.5M to Joplin, Mo., to Continue Post-Tornado Residential Yard Remediation Work
- Oct. 4, 2012: EPA Region 7 Provides $2.4M to Joplin, Mo., to Sample and Remediate Contaminated Soils Disturbed by May 2011 Tornado
- Oct. 3, 2012: EPA Region 7, Joplin City Officials Schedule Oct. 4 News Conference on Funding to Assist with Tornado Recovery
- Dec. 16, 2011: EPA Issues Cooperative Agreement to Joplin, Mo.; $500,000 in Funding to Address Lead Exposures Caused by May 22 Tornado
- Nov. 1, 2011: EPA Encourages City of Joplin, Mo., to Apply for Cooperative Agreement to Respond to Lead Exposure Caused by Tornado
- July 14, 2011: EPA Urges Residents of Joplin, Mo., to Keep Tornado Debris Segregated into Categories as Curbside Pickup Continues
- June 21, 2011: EPA Urges Caution on Tornado Renovation Activities Involving Lead Paint
- June 21, 2011: EPA Closes Joplin Drop-Off Site for Hazardous Waste, White Goods and Electronic Equipment; City of Joplin Drop-Off Site to Remain Open
- June 20, 2011: MRC Recycling Begins Processing Thousands of Electronic Goods Collected from Joplin, Mo., Tornado Debris
- June 7, 2011: Air Monitoring Results for Particulate Matter, Asbestos Posted on EPA's Joplin Tornado Web Page; No Health Concerns So Far
- June 7, 2011: EPA Opens Drop-Off Site for Hazardous Waste, White Goods and Electronic Equipment from Joplin Tornado; Curbside Pickup Also an Option
- July 14, 2011: Collection of Household Hazardous Waste, White Goods and Electronic Goods (including drop-off site information)
- July 14, 2011: Tornado Debris and Asbestos Concerns (PDF) (2 pp, 38K, About PDF)
- June 21, 2011: Post-Disaster Home Renovations and Lead-Based Paint
EPA continues to conduct air monitoring for particulate matter and asbestos in the impacted area. The daily maps below show the monitoring locations and results. For particulate matter, monitoring results are reported for a 12-hour period to reflect the hours during which workers and residents would be exposed (daylight hours). Beginning June 22, the results displayed on the map represent a 12-hour period. EPA changed from a 24-hour period to a 12-hour period to more accurately characterize air quality during the daytime hours when the public and responders are working as part of the cleanup effort.
The locations are color coded based on the results as compared to the Air Quality Guidelines. If a measurement at any of the locations exceeds a standard for one hour, that concentration and time period are also displayed and color coded according to the guidelines. Some monitors are mobile, and are used only in response to situations and conditions. These monitors may not be employed every day. However, when these monitors are used, results will be displayed as an 8-hour time weighted average.