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Environmental Clean Up and Recovery. Doug Ferguson 913-551-7221 EPA On-Scene Coordinator. 5 th Annual Biopreparedness Symposia Series Norfolk 2007. EPA’s Goal. Protect Human Health Protect the Environment. I. X. II. VIII. V. III. VII. IX. IV. VI. Alaska. Oceania. Caribbean.

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environmental clean up and recovery

Environmental Clean Up and Recovery

Doug Ferguson


EPA On-Scene Coordinator

5th Annual Biopreparedness Symposia Series

Norfolk 2007

epa s goal
EPA’s Goal
  • Protect Human Health
  • Protect the Environment
epa regions














EPA Regions
superfund division

CERCLA - Hazardous Substances, Pollutants, or Contaminants

Includes, but not limited to…substances that may cause death, disease, cancer, abnormalities……..

Release includes threat of or abandonment

Authority to spend $250k

Superfund Division


  • 22 On-Scene Coordinators
  • 24-Hour Spill Line (913.281.0991)
  • Cache of equipment
  • Reachback capability to other 9 regions and national assests
removal actions
Removal Actions

Omaha Lead

3-D Investments, Alda

emergency responses
Emergency Responses

Tire Fire, Nebraska City

Abandoned Drums, Omaha

national issues
National Issues

Columbia Shuttle Recovery

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Capitol Hill


  • Capitol Hill Anthrax response was unique in terms of size, complexity, and nature of contamination
  • Marked the first large scale bioterrorism incident in the Nation
  • First time EPA faced biological weapon contamination
  • Experience and available assessment and decontamination technologies were seriously limited
  • Sampling
    • Sampling efficiency
    • Detection limits
  • Unlike extensive EPA chemical sampling and analysis experience
    • Little was known about the efficiency of media collection for bacillus anthracis(Ba)spores
    • Personnel accustomed to detection limits: not directly translatable to biological assessment
  • Outcome:
    • Sampled virtually every horizontal surface in every room
    • Affected clean-up levels

Gel Set-up

Dry Filter Unit Set-up

Wipe Sampling


Swab Sampling

HEPA Sampling

  • Decontamination:Personnel Decon
  • No recognized/registered decon-agent and procedure available decon
    • lack of knowledge forced probable excessive PPE SOP
    • developed, w/close FIFRA cooperation effective agent and procedure for decon lines
  • Outcome:decon-agent serviceable:

however, decon-agent and procedure

problematic to implement

  • Decontamination: Facility Decon
    • Surface Application, for secondary and lower depositional areas
  • Decon agent and SOP for decon of an operational civilian structure non-existent
  • Developed, w/close FIFRA cooperation, effective agent and application procedure for surface application
  • Evaluated several different agents
    • Liquid ClO2 –“Envirofoam” –Bleach mixture
  • Outcome: Success.Application simple on hard surfaces, but requires disposal of “fuzzy” surface items.
    • Some decon-agents problematic
    • Some lower depositional areas so lightly contaminated the act of sampling decontaminates

Fumigation Process

Sabre Tech Services

  • Clearance: How Clean is Safe?
    • No safe level of Bacillus anthracis certain
    • Uncertain level of confidence regarding assessment techniques
      • collection efficiency
      • detection levels
      • analytical uncertainties
    • Clean-Up level set at “zero detectable, viable Ba spores”
national decontamination team ndt
Level A

Trained and equipped


National Equipment Tracking System

Specialized CBR equipment

Special Teams Coordination and Cross Training

Emergency Response Teams

Regional EPA

National Homeland Security Research Center

National Decontamination Team (NDT)
  • Training
    • WMD Decontamination Course
    • OSC Readiness - specialized Bio and Rad courses in 2006
    • Avian/Pandemic Flu Train-the-Trainer Course
  • Responses, Predeployments and Exercises
    • Hurricane Katrina
    • New York City Anthrax- April 2006
    • Region 5 Ohio Polymer incident
    • Superbowl XL
    • Exercises in Regions 1, 6, 9, 10
national decontamination team summary
National Decontamination Team Summary
  • Team of 19 full-time employees
  • Established two years ago
  • Attempting to bridge gap between research and end users
  • Ensuring decon technologies can be implemented and able to achieve

desired clean up goals

  • Actively involved in Interagency coordination on decon issues
  • Providing training and exercises on

decon technologies and methods

overview of national homeland security research center nhsrc

Overview of National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC)



Public Health Surveillance Systems

(RODS, ESSENCE, Biosense)


Disposal of Contaminated Materials

  • Studies of thermal destruction of contaminant agents
  • Safe landfilling of decon waste assessments
  • Investigation of migration of bioagents from landfills
  • Web-based disposal decision support tool
  • Technical resource manual for the protection of decon personnel
  • Disposal workshops
epa s role during an ag event
EPA’s Role During an Ag Event
  • Animal infectious disease—USDA has jurisdiction
  • Assist with carcass disposal
  • Assist with decontamination efforts
  • Negotiate the use of decontamination agents
epa cleanup and recovery overview
EPA Cleanup and Recovery Overview
  • Easy access (913.281.0991)
  • Perceived responsibility is cleanup
    • Identification capability
  • Doug Ferguson 913-551-7221
  • Ferguson.doug@epa.gov
  • 24 Hr Emergency Line 913-281-0991