Environmental Issues: U.S. Law & Policy

Hurricane Katrina spurred widespread debate about environmental policies: those that may have contributed to the devastation and those that can help avert future disasters. NRDC is contributing our expertise where it can help meet immediate challenges. And we will work to meet the longer-term challenge of ensuring that our leaders take away the right lessons from this disaster, and respond with real solutions. On this page, NRDC experts on public health, urban design, coastal protection, energy security and global warming recommend policies and analyze opportunities and pitfalls for the post-Katrina recovery period and beyond.


New Orleans Environmental Quality Test Results
Updated August 2007
Results of sampling conducted by NRDC scientific team

On the Ground in New Orleans: An NRDC Fact-finding Mission
October 2005
Photo journal from NRDC experts gathering first-hand information about the health and environmental after-effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita


Katrina's Wake: Arsenic-Laced Schools and Playgrounds Put New Orleans Children at Risk
August 20, 2007

After Katrina: New Solutions for Safe Communities and a Secure Energy Future
September 21, 2005


Rebuilding New Orleans: A 10-Point Plan of Action (pdf)
January 10, 2006
Developed by a coalition of concerned groups, including NRDC

The Environmental Effects of Hurricane Katrina (pdf)
October 6, 2005
Testimony submitted to Congress by NRDC senior attorney Erik Olson

Senate Bills 1765 and 1766 Would Hurt, Not Help, Hurricane Katrina Victims (pdf)
October 2005
Fact Sheet

Hurricane Katrina: Assessing the Present Environmental Status (pdf)
September 29, 2005
Testimony before Congress by NRDC senior attorney Erik Olson

Senate Bill 1711 Exploits the National Tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to Undermine Public Health and Environmental Protections
September 21, 2005
Fact Sheet
Opposition Letter
Bill S.1711

An Open Letter from NRDC President John Adams
September 13, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and Gasoline Prices (pdf)
September 7, 2005
Testimony before Congress by NRDC senior scientist Dan Lashof

The Emergency Fuel Waiver for Diesel and Gasoline (pdf)
September 7, 2005
Letter to the EPA from NRDC senior attorney Rich Kassel

For NRDC press releases on this topic, see the Media Center.

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