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Individual Agencies Exercises

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EPA is a support agency for both crisis management and consequence management in terrorist incidents involving WMD. EPA provides expertise and technical support for identification of contaminants, collection and analysis of samples, monitoring of contaminants, on-site safety, and decontamination. EPA also issues permits for the custody, transportation, and transfer of hazardous chemical. The Office of the Emergency and Deputy Emergency Coordinator would coordinate overall EPA support in chemical and nuclear terrorist incidents. Examples of EPA resources include an Environmental Response Team, a Radiological Emergency Response Team, the Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System, and the National Enforcement Investigations Center.

EPA generally participated in tabletop exercises with WMD scenarios that included several federal agencies. EPA led 1 (2 percent) of the 47 exercises in which it participated. The one EPA-led exercise was a tabletop exercise that only involved EPA and used a WMD scenario. Of the total 47 exercises that EPA participated in, 4 (6 percent) were field exercises, 46 (98 percent) involved three or more agencies, and all had WMD scenarios.

The exercise that EPA sponsored was “Olympic Sparkler” in April 1996. This EPA-only tabletop exercise used a scenario where terrorists dispersed radioactive material at the Atlanta Olympics. The purpose of the exercise was to test EPA plans and procedures to respond to a terrorist incident involving radiation dispersal among a civilian population.

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Individual Agencies Exercises

DOE is a support agency in WMD incidents for both crisis management and consequence management, providing support and technical assistance related to nuclear devices and radiological events. Specifically, DOE can provide threat assessments, search operations, diagnostic and device assessments, containment relocation and storage of special nuclear material, and post-incident cleanup. DOE's Office of Emergency Response generally provides coordination of the Department's support. In the event of a nuclear terrorist threat or incident, DOE could activate and/or deploy several teams, including a Nuclear Incident Team, the Nuclear/Radiological Advisory Team, the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center, Accident Response Group, the Aerial Measuring System, the Radiological Assistance Program, Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability, and the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center and Training Site. These response teams are composed of DOE employees and contractors who work at DOE facilities as weapon designers, engineers, and physicists.

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DOE generally participated in a mixture of field and tabletop exercises with WMD scenarios that included several federal agencies. DOE led 5 (14 percent) of the 36 exercises it participated in. Of the five DOE-led exercises, three (60 percent) were field exercises, three (60 percent) involved three or more federal agencies, and all had WMD scenarios. Of the total 36 exercises that DOE participated in, 13 (33 percent) were field exercises, 30 (83 percent) involved three or more agencies, and 30 (83 percent) had WMD scenarios.

The exercises that DOE led were generally deployments (including one no-notice deployment) of DOE's rapid response capabilities and included personnel and equipment from other agencies as well. Most of them were field exercises that focused on crisis management. Given DOE's role, most of the exercises that DOE led or participated in had nuclear or radiological scenarios.

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