On October 4, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 announced it will give the City of Joplin, Missouri, an additional $2.4 million to help sample and clean-up lead and cadmium-contaminated soils that were disturbed during the devastating May 2011 tornado.
Statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), show that the Joplin tornado was the single deadliest twister in U.S. history since 1950, when record-keeping began. The mile-wide tornado received an EF-5 rating - the highest - and traveled on the ground for 22 miles.
The funding will help Joplin replace soils and restore yards in about 240 homes, parks, child-occupied properties, and playgrounds over the next three years.
"EPA is pleased to continue as a key partner in rebuilding Joplin," EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said in a statement. "This new funding will speed the redevelopment of Joplin’s neighborhoods, bringing life back to properties where families and children will once again be able to live and play in safe environments."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Tornado Response/Recovery resource warns of a number of potential hazards cleanup workers may be exposed to, including falling objects, electrical hazards, and falls from heights. When performing cleanup at contaminated sites, provide employees with appropriate safety products, such as fall protection, respiratory protection, and protective clothing.