September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
EPA Emergency Responses at World Trade Center and Pentagon; September 14, 2001

September 14, 2001

EPA Emergency Responses at World Trade Center and Pentagon

After terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, 26 EPA specialists were on the scene within hours. Currently, more than 225 EPA experts are responding to the WTC and Pentagon disasters. EPA criminal investigators, forensic and technical specialists and emergency response experts are providing support to FEMA, the FBI and local emergency officials. EPA is one of many federal agencies responsible for responding to this national crisis.

The primary mission of EPA's Emergency Response Program is to protect the public and the environment from immediate threats posed by the release or discharge of hazardous substances and oil. Emergency response personnel are monitoring potential air quality issues; analyzing samples for asbestos and other hazardous materials and oil sampling; and disposing of biomedical waste. EPA has worked with the state of New York and Virginia to waive landfill amount requirements to expedite the removal of debris from the scenes.

EPA has initially budgeted $600,000 to provide technical assistance and response support. More than 3000 respirators, 60 self-contained breathing apparatus machines, and 10,000 specially-equipped protective suits are on the way to these disaster sites. EPA is working closely with federal, state, and local partners to ensure that all workers and volunteers involved in the rescue and cleanup efforts are properly protected.

EPA Region 2 emergency response staff are also stationed at the FBI Joint Operations Center in New York City, Trenton New Jersey Emergency Operations Center, and FEMA's office in Albany, NY. Region 2's Edison, NJ office is also providing work space for 100 FEMA employees. EPA HQ Emergency Operations Center is operating on a 24-hour basis, while R3 has emergency responders deployed to Washington, D.C., Ft. Meade and at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania.

EPA will continue to coordinate with our federal partners to ensure the health and safety of the public and the environment during this national crisis.

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