Environmental hazards remain after Joplin tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. - Experts say environmental dangers could be lurking in the air, water and debris piles in Joplin, Mo., following last week's deadly tornado.

Hazards range from liquid fuels and chemicals that may have leaked from ruptured containers to soot from smoky fires.

Crews with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been inspecting the devastated city. They say no major spills or other ecological crises have turned up, even though among the ruined structures are chemical suppliers, natural gas companies and paint manufacturers.

Missouri officials have relaxed some environmental regulations to expedite the cleanup. The waivers allow limited burning of woody debris. Landfills can accept some types of waste that are normally off-limits.

The tornado leveled much of the city and killed more than 130 people.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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