John Pardue, the Elizabeth Howell Stewart Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at LSU, recently spoke to the LSU Law Center’s Environmental Law Society on “Hurricane debris and the environment: Understanding impacts three years post-Katrina.”
He described how he was involved in evaluating the debris situation after the hurricane, explaining that two days after the storm, his crew launched their boat from I-10 and took water and other samples. They were part of the debris collection efforts from that point forward. Pardue also explained how the Department of Environmental Quality, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies handled debris pick up after the hurricane.
He further detailed how some hazardous waste was properly and safely diverted. As to the rest of the waste, Pardue discussed how the choice of landfills was made and how distance from landfill was prioritized over other landfill traits.
Pardue directs the Louisiana Water Resources Research institute (LWRRI) and co-directs the EPA Hazardous Substance Research Center (South & Southwest), a multi-university consortium studying the remediation of contaminated sediments. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, his group had been working on identification of critical chemical storage areas in Orleans and Jefferson Parish, identifying simple chemodynamic models that would predict acute hazards to first-responders in the event of a flood or hurricane inducted spill. His group has been involved in a wide range of environmental sampling and analysis efforts post-Katrina and has published the first peer-reviewed scientific paper on Hurricane Katrina.
Pardue has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and conducted research for federal agencies such as EPA, NSF, NOAA, and DOD. His research has led to the development of a number of innovative technologies including the constructed wetland approach for treating contaminated groundwater.