Lufkin, TX -- On Feb.1, when the Columbia Shuttle broke apart over Texas, scattering material over East Texas and parts of Louisiana, President Bush declared an emergency disaster for both Texas and Louisiana.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was named the lead federal agency in the search, find and recovery operation. Through Monday, April 14, all reported known shuttle debris has been removed from Louisiana.
There were 41 declared parishes in Louisiana under the emergency declaration. FEMA was empowered under the Public Assistance Program to reimburse state agencies and local governments for search and rescue, emergency medical care, security in impacted areas and activation of emergency operations center approved activities.
A total $396,000 has been obligated by FEMA and distributed to the State of Louisiana to pay for eligible costs involved in responding to the Columbia shuttle materials recovery operation. The President authorized 100 percent funding for EM-3172 Louisiana for this incident. The program is funded by FEMA and administered by the State of Louisiana.
There were reports of suspected shuttle debris received from 52 parishes. To date, all known debris reports have been cleared by FEMA, NASA and local parish officials.
Louisiana residents discovering what they suspect could be shuttle debris are urged to call the toll-free Shuttle Material Reporting Line at 1-866-446-6603. Trained operators will record the information and notify proper authorities concerning the material.