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TIAER To Assess Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Harvey

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS – Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, came ashore on TIAER to Assess Environmental Impactsthe Texas Gulf Coast Friday August 25, 2017 at Rockport, Texas and moved north along the coast to eventually stall over Harris county and Houston, the fourth largest city in our nation.  From Corpus Christi to Beaumont, Texas Hurricane Harvey caused tens of billions of dollars’ in infrastructure, property and commercial damage.  Millions of people are without shelter, food, electricity, or clean water.  People lost their lives.  Described as a “thousand year” storm, the immediate impacts to people and property are catastrophic and tragic and will require years for recovery.  The environmental impacts will require decades to mitigate.  

Dr. Quenton Dokken, the executive director of The Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) of Tarleton State University has a message for Texans along the Gulf coast, “TIAER will do what it does best, measure and monitor environmental impact from Hurricane Harvey and all other weather events affecting the quality of the waters and habitats of Texas.” 

Every hurricane and every flood is a major environmental contamination event.  As flood water wash down streets, flood garages and kitchens with a wide range of chemical products sitting on shelves, flow across tens of thousands of acres of managed farm land, and course through industrial infrastructure an A to Z listing of toxic chemicals is flushed into the environment.  In addition, tons of manure and raw sewage is incorporated into this rancid brew.

According to the leading environmental research institute, hydrocarbon sheens can be seen on the surface of the flood waters, but the majority of the chemicals introduced mix into the water and can only be detected through chemical analysis.  Although not visible to the naked eye, these chemical, bacterial, and viral cocktails are none the less toxic to the critters living in the water and the people who come in contact with the water. 

Dokken promised, “The Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research is developing plans to address the environmental impacts of storm floods to take care of Texas and Texans today and tomorrow.”

Read the full article from the Tarleton State University's News and Information: TIAER to assess environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey

For more on TIAER, visit http://tiaer.tarleton.edu or find the institute on Facebook and Twitter as @TarletonTIAER

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