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Oct 25, 2012 7:37 AM by AP/CS

Removal of orphan drums begins

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Barrels, drums and other potentially hazardous containers scattered on Louisiana's coastal and inland areas after Hurricane Isaac will be collected and removed under a partnership funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Louisiana.

Called "orphan drums" because their owners are unidentifiable, the containers may contain chemicals, industrial products or unknown substances.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, will begin inspecting six parishes where drums have been reported: Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Terrebonne.

More parishes could be added if abandoned containers are reported there. Residents should not touch, move or open any orphan drum they come across.

The project, announced Tuesday, is expected to last no more than 60 days.

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