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                                                                   United States
                                                                   Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Radiation and Indoor Air
Radiation Protection Program
January 2008
EPA 402-F-08-001
                                                                   Emergency Responsi
                                                                   SPECIAL TEAM
                                 > y
To report an emergency, contact your Regional OSC
or call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.
                                                                                           Your Partners in
                                                                                           Emergency Resp(

Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT)

As part of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, the
Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT) supports
federal, state, tribal, and local agencies responding
to radiological incidents and emergencies. The RERT
provides technical advice, monitoring, sampling, data
assessment and cleanup assistance. These services
focus on minimizing threats to public health and the

The RERT has specialized equipment including two  mobile
laboratories and two scanning systems used for on-site
field sample analysis and assessment.  State-of-the-art
communications equipment enables the RERT to keep in
contact with responders both on- and off-site. The national RadNet air monitoring
system is utilized by RERT and provides hourly data on radioactive materials in
the air. It comprises both fixed monitors and deployable components that can be
transported to the immediate area of a radiological incident.

For more than 35 years, the  RERT has  prepared for and responded to incidents,
such as Three Mile Island and in 2000 the wildfires near the Los Alamos and
Hanford National Laboratories as well as non-radiological emergencies,  such as
Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The RERT also supports
NASA launches containing radioactive  power sources and high profile events such
as major political conventions.
Environmental Response Team (ERT)

As a component of EPA's Office of Superfund Remediation
and Technology Innovation, the Environmental Response
Team (ERT) provides multi-disciplined technical expertise
and logistical support in responding to hazardous substance
emergencies, oil spills, potential and actual releases of
biological and chemical agents as well as long-term remedial
activities. The ERT assesses the site, verifies the nature and
severity of the event, and participates in development of a
strategy for the cleanup, decontamination or disposal, and
remedy selection. Its response capabilities include, but are
not limited to, air surveillance, geophysical surveying, underwater diving, radiation
health and safety, modeling, risk assessment, rapid turnaround analytical support
and the capacity for contaminant-specific method development for sampling and
analysis. The Team's extensive response knowledge base is complemented by
many specialized assets such as the Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer (TAGA)
mobile laboratory.

Since its inception in 1978, the ERT has been active in all 50 states, all U.S.
territories and Commonwealths, and 28 foreign countries. The Team has
responded to more than 2,000 hazardous substance releases, oil spills, terrorist
incidents, and other high-profile emergencies.
                                                                                                                                                               In addition, the ERT
                                                                                                                                                               offers a wide variety
                                                                                                                                                               of training courses
                                                                                                                                                               related to all aspects
                                                                                                                                                               of response.
National Decontamination Team  (NOT)

In 2004, EPA's Office of Emergency Management
established the National Decontamination Team (NOT).
The NOT joins the other Special Teams under the National
Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency
Plan (commonly called the National Contingency Plan) and
is available to support On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs).
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the NOT is dedicated
to providing decontamination expertise, especially related
to chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants that
can be used as Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Working closely with the ERT, RERT, EPA's National
Homeland Security Research Center, and other agencies
and research organizations, the NOT provides scientific support and technical
expertise for decontamination of buildings, building contents, public infrastructure
(including waste/drinking water systems, chemical plants, power plants, food
processing facilities, and mass transit facilities such as airports, bus and subway
systems), agriculture, and associated environmental media (air, soil and water).
Specialized expertise, such as biochemistry, health physics, toxicology,  heating,
ventilation and air conditioning, engineering, and industrial hygiene, is available to
assist local, national and international agencies supporting hazardous substance
response and remedial operations.
National Criminal Enforcement

Response Team (NCERT)

As a component of the Office of Criminal Enforcement,
Forensics, and Training (OCEFT), the National Criminal
Enforcement Response Team (NCERT) provides law
enforcement response personnel and support for
environmental crimes investigations involving chemical,
biological, or radiological hazards. NCERT also prepares for
specialized law enforcement duties (i.e., protective escorts)
in support of the EPA's emergency response to a man-made
or natural disaster or during a major environmental criminal
investigation. NCERT supports Special Agents from OCEFT's
Criminal Investigations Division, OSCs, and the other EPA
Special Teams.

While not traditional first responders, NCERT endeavors to
achieve initial on-site response within 12 hours, 24/7, 365
days a year. OCEFT maintains several forensic response platforms (i.e.,
trucks and trailers) to support environmental crimes investigations and
other proactive enforcement operations (i.e., surveillance). The platforms
contain safety and forensic equipment to properly process a contaminated
crime scene and are strategically placed across the United States for rapid
deployment.  NCERT consists of Special Agents and scientific and technical
personnel from all OCEFT Divisions and is managed by OCEFT's Field
Operations Program. NCERT members have extensive knowledge of investigations involving
EPA programs and operations. They are specially trained to provide forensic evidence collection
at high hazard environmental crime scenes or proactive law enforcement operations such as
surviellance and to provide law enforcement liaison and protective escorts to EPA OSCs and EPA
Special Teams during national emergencies.

Since its formation in 2001, NCERT has prepared for and responded to numerous environmental
crime scenes; emergency incidents, such as the anthrax attacks, the ricin incident at the
Capitol and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It has also supported national special security events
such as the 2002 Winter Olympics, the G-8  Nations Summit in 2004, the Republican  National
Conventions in 2004 and 2008, and the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
ERA's Special Teams
supported OSCs
responding in 2005 and
2006 to Hurricane and in
2010 to the Deepwater
Horizon Spill.