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EPA's Homeland Security Research is helping to protect human health and the environment from adverse impacts
intentional acts of terror. With an emphasis on safe buildings, water security, and rapid risk assessment, Homeland Security Research scientists and engineers are working to develop tools and information that will help detect the intentional introduction of chemical or biological contaminants in buildings or water systems,
the containment of these contaminants, the decontamination of buildings and/or water systems, and the disposal of material resulting from cleanups. With a substantial background in environmental protection and risk management, Homeland Security researchers are well-positioned to develop the tools and technologies needed to respond to existing and potential terrorist threats. The focus of these efforts is aimed at providing advice, guidance and scientific expertise on homeland security issues to emergency response personnel, decision-makers, and government officials that will result in improved protection for all citizens.
The U.S. EPA's Role in Water Security Research
Water — every drop of it — is a precious natural resource that Americans once enjoyed with little thought to potential tampering by terrorists or others. Today, however, U. S. citizens are increasingly aware of threats of harm to our homeland. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the delivery of anthrax-contaminated letters later that year have taught us to anticipate that other such threats are possible. Terrorist threats are targeted not just at individuals, but also at the country’s vital institutions and infrastructure, including drinking water and wastewater systems.Complete Story
EPA Researchers Lead Team to Select Standards for Analyzing Threatening Contaminants
The EPA’s Homeland Security Research, in conjunction with the EPA’s Laboratory and Capability Committee, has developed a list of Standardized Analytical Methods (SAM) to be used by environmental laboratories in analyzing biological and chemical samples associated with threats to homeland security. SAM provides a standard by which to measure specific types of contamination that may be associated with future terrorist attacks. Ultimately, these procedures will be vitally important in assisting state and local government laboratories that are preparing to analyze samples associated with homeland security events. Complete Story
The U.S. EPA Holds Workshop on the Transport and Disposal of Contaminated Wastes
A recent report follows a collaborative effort initiated by the “Homeland Security Workshop on Transport and Disposal of Wastes from Facilities Contaminated with Chemical or Biological Agents.” The report summarizes discussions on the following seven topics: classes of chemical and biological agents; detection; effectiveness of decontamination; triaging of wastes; handling, storage, and transport of wastes; landfilling; and incineration. Complete Story
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeland Security Research, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center, has developed a helpline database to provide information on issues related to general policy, training, and equipment needed to both plan and train for potential threats to homeland security. The database will be made available to environmental laboratories, emergency responders, and other officials charged with public protection. Complete Story