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CDC Quarantine Rule, CBRN Intelligence Sharing Act, Sniffer Drones

Topics in this issue of CBRNE Particles include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention final rule on quarantine regulations, a wave of bills passed by the House Homeland Security Committee, and a look at sniffer drones for explosives detection.

In This Article


Quarantine: CDC Final Rule for Control of Communicable Diseases

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the final rule for the Control of Communicable Diseases on January 19th, 2017 which includes amendments to the current domestic (interstate) and foreign quarantine regulations for the control of communicable diseases. >>

H.R. 677, CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2017

Introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), this bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear intelligence and information sharing functions of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security and to require dissemination of information analyzed by the Department to entities with responsibilities relating to homeland security. >>

H.R. 690, The Gains in Global Nuclear Detection Architecture Act

Introduced by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), directs the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) to develop and maintain documentation that provides information on how the Office’s research investments align with gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and the research challenges identified by the DNDO Director. >>

H.R. 687, First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act

A bill introduced by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) directs FEMA to develop a uniform process for reviewing grant applications seeking to purchase equipment or systems that do not meet or exceed applicable national voluntary consensus standards using funds from the Urban Area Security Initiative or the State Homeland Security Grant Program. >>

H.R. 505, Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017

Introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), this bill strengthens accountability for deployment of border security technology at the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes. >>

H.R. 437, Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act

Introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), this bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify authority under existing grant guidance authorizing the use of Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) funding for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities. >>

H.R. 549, Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act

Introduced by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), clarifies certain allowable uses of funds for public transportation security assistance grants and establish periods of performance for such grants, and for other purposes. >>

UK’s Brexit Plans Call for Leaving EU Nuclear Agency

Scientists are shocked and angry at the UK government’s sudden confirmation on January 26 that it wants to pull out of the European Union’s nuclear agency Euratom, as part of its arrangements for Brexit. Depending upon whether and how the UK negotiates a way back in to the organization, the move could endanger British participation in the world’s largest fusion experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, France. It could also curtail operations at the Joint European Torus (JET), a nuclear-fusion facility based in Culham, UK. The facility is a half-sized version of ITER and acts as a test-bed for it; it currently receives around €56 million ($60 million) annually from Euratom. Scientific American >>

Arkansas: City, County Officials Clash Over Hazmat Grant

County Judge Rick Davis notified the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management last month that he was returning a $253,951 grant awarded in fiscal year 2016 to the fire department’s Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction response team. Davis said that, without the funds, the fire department won’t be able to purchase $203,950 of protective and recognition equipment used in the containment of chemical releases. The Sentinel-Record >>

Trump’s Orders Calling for Rapid Hiring of Border Patrol, ICE Could Face Setbacks

Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, praised the actions, saying the 5,000 figure matched exactly the recommendation the union had made to the Trump administration. Currently, he said, the agency is 1,600 positions short of the level of employment mandated by Congress. He cautioned against hiring too fast, however, saying the BP surge undertaken by the George W. Bush administration in 2004 led to significant problems. Government Executive >>

Researchers Shocked at UK’s Plan to Exit EU Nuclear Agency

Scientists are shocked and angry at the UK government’s sudden confirmation on 26 January that it wants to pull out of the European Atomic Energy Community, or Euratom, as part of its arrangements for Brexit. Nature >>

No Toxin Training at Center for Domestic Preparedness at Least Through March

A freeze on training with toxic agents at Anniston’s Center for Domestic Preparedness will continue at least through March, according to an announcement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency today. The move is the latest in a series of measures since the discovery last year that almost 10,000 first responders were exposed to toxic Ricin unknowingly at the center over a five-year period. >>


Long Before Mosul Offensive, U.S. Spooks Worried About Chemical Weapons

U.S. Air Force intelligence summaries show American officials had worried about these toxic materials for months before Iraqi and Kurdish forces began the offensive. War Is Boring obtained the heavily redacted documents through the Freedom of Information Act. War Is Boring >>

Iraqi Forces Discover Chemical Warfare Agent in Mosul

Iraqi forces discovered a mustard chemical warfare agent in eastern Mosul alongside a cache of Russian surface-to-surface missiles, an Iraqi officer said Saturday. Seattle Times >>

A U.S. Army Formula Shows What Sarin Gas Would Do to Your Neighborhood

Syria’s brutal civil war has put the horrors of chemical weapons back on many people’s minds. But it’s still difficult to imagine the actual effects and scale of attacks with these terrible weapons. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, War Is Boring can offer some help in answering that morbid question, obtaining a U.S. Army training manual from 1957 that has a simple formula to figure out the answer.
War Is Boring >>

Government Digs Up US Chemical Weapons, Then Debt

Sor Hun and the monks at his pagoda waited for a few days before going near two chemical barrels dropped on their village near the Vietnamese border in 1970 as part of a U.S. aerial assault meant to flush out Viet Cong guerillas believed to be hiding out there. Two other barrels had exploded on impact. Cambodia Daily >>

New M50 Protective Mask Gets Phased In

Led by the battalion’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, noncommissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Xavier Cooper, Soldiers became familiar with the capabilities, fitment, maintenance and use of the M50 mask. Hawaii Army Weekly >>


Facebook Enables Disaster Research Studies

Introduction: Disaster research entails several methodological challenges, given the context of a disaster. This article aims to describe and evaluate the use of Facebook as a tool to recruit participants for a self-selected Internet sample using a web-based survey in a post-disaster setting in the Philippines after the Haiyan typhoon hit parts of the country in November 2013. PLOS Currents Disaster >>

Survey: Hazard and Disaster Preparedness Training for EMS

Fire departments, hazmat teams, law enforcement and others often overlook or assume that EMS is already involved in mass incident hazard and disaster planning, however, this is often not the case. Course planners are interested in hearing perspectives to help them clearly identify the people, processes, content and issues that will result in the development of successful training. EMS World >>

Programs in Israel & Jersey City Shift the Paradigm of the Community’s Role in Medical Response & Disaster Preparedness

The work these organizations do isn’t aimed at transporting an injured or sick individual to the hospital, but in being the immediate response to save critical seconds in the start of care before an ambulance can arrive. Ambulances often get bogged down in traffic or held up by weather conditions such as snow or rain. These community-based models use responders on foot, bikes or motorcycles who are already near the location. In the case of mass casualty incidents or trauma, triage can begin and immediate medical treatment can already be taking place before the ambulances arrive. JEMS >>


Family DNA Searches Seen as Crime-Solving Tool, and Intrusion on Rights

The technique, which has been used more than a dozen times in the United States over the last 10 years, represents a frontier in the evolving world of forensic science. Familial searching allows investigators to search offender databases with wider parameters to identify people who are likely to be close relatives of the person who may have committed a crime. NY Times >>

Experts Call for Evidence-Based, Field-Driven Terrorism Research

In the past, the U.S. government has relied almost solely on data collected by intelligence agencies in the fight against terrorism. But, the experts contend, problems with data collection and interpretation have limited the positive effects of this approach. To counteract that, academic researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines got involved; but without prior knowledge, access to classified data and previous field research, the effort produced overly simple “root-cause” paradigms that ultimately did more harm than good, according to the authors. Forensic Magazine >>


Reported Missile Launch Is Early Test for Trump Administration’s Approach to Iran

U.S. officials say Iran test-fired a ballistic missile on Sunday, the first known test since President Trump took office — which could provide an early assessment of how the new administration will interpret and enforce the terms of the international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities. NPR >>

Possible Nuclear Fuel Find Raises Hopes of Fukushima Plant Breakthrough

Hopes have been raised for a breakthrough in the decommissioning of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after its operator said it may have discovered melted fuel beneath a reactor, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown. The Guardian >>

U.S. Threatens Iran With Reprisals Over Missile Test

The current administration condemned Iran on Wednesday for its recent test of a ballistic missile, saying it was putting Tehran “on notice” and threatening reprisals, still unspecified, from the United States. Iran confirmed that it had recently conducted a missile test, but it rejected accusations that the launch had violated a UN Security Council resolution. NY Times >>

Staff ‘Overwhelmed’ at Nuclear Plant, but U.S. Won’t Shut It

One by one, ordinary residents confronted the federal regulators, telling them during a three-hour meeting Tuesday night that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station here was not safe and should be shut down. Their chief piece of evidence? An internal email written Dec. 6 by the leader of a federal inspection team and sent accidentally — thanks to autofill in the “to” line — to Diane Turco, a citizen activist opposed to the plant. NY Times >>


Minot Fire Department Undergoes Hazmat Training

Fire crews use the months of January and February to focus on training indoors because of the cold weather conditions. Tuesday, their training includes getting familiar with hazardous materials, the hazmat truck compartments and other equipment. “We try to stay trained up on all of it as we can. We take days like today to do some extra practice, make sure we fine-tune any training points that we need to do so if we do get responded out to a call, we’re pretty proficient,” says Senior Firefighter, Travis Degele. KFYR North Dakota >>

BART Ordered to Pay $1.27 Million In Hazmat Suit

BART has been ordered to pay $1.275 million in a settlement with three district attorney’s offices in the region for failing to implement hazardous materials business plans at facilities throughout the transit system, prosecutors said Tuesday. Hazardous Materials Business Plans (HMBPs) are required by law to be present at each facility and contain critical emergency response information for first responders and BART employees. CBS SF Bay Area >>

COHMED Conference Brings Hazmat Stakeholders Together

More than 200 representatives from the hazardous materials community attended the Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development Conference, an annual conference where the federal, state, provincial, territorial and local agencies responsible for regulating and enforcing the safe transportation of hazardous materials and dangerous goods. Go By Truck >>


Orange County Fire Rescue to Join Firefighter Cancer Risk Study

For the last 15 years, fire departments have been promoting heart disease as the No. 1 cause of firefighter deaths. But one of the biggest risks is cancer. The county fire department is now preparing to take part in a state-funded study out of the University of Miami testing what cancer risks firefighters come across on the job. Orlando Sentinel >>

First Responders Trained How to Deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to statistics provided by Sears, Canada has already had three first responders commit suicide in 2017 related to PTSD. Forty-eight first responders committed suicide in 2016 and 51 others took their own lives in 2015. Of all first responders, Sears specifically says paramedics are at the greatest danger. Minot Daily News >>

Vets Are Left to Pay High Price for U.S. Nuclear Tests

Roughly 4,000 U.S. military troops helped clean up nuclear-tainted Enewetak Atoll between 1977 and 1980; most wore no protection. Hundreds say they are now plagued by health problems but the military says there is no connection between their illnesses and the cleanup. Seattle Times >>

FDNY World Trade Center Health Program 2001-2016

This updated report outlines the program’s efforts to support FDNY members affected by 9/11 and what we have learned about the health consequences of exposure to the WTC site. It is the result of years of data collection and health screenings and will provide policy makers and the public with critical information as we move forward in our work to ensure that the needs of those affected by 9/11 continue to be met. NYC Gov >>


Explosives Detection: The World’s First Sniffer Drone

The world’s first drone-based explosive detection system, SpectroDrone, has been unveiled by Laser Detect Systems in Tel Aviv, Israel. With a flight range of 3km and its ability to identify explosives and other hazardous materials at distance, the integrated laser-based drone platform is pushing the frontiers of drone capabilities. Army Technology >>

New Bomb Disposal Robot to Neutralize Car Bombs

A new bomb disposal and tactical robot was launched recently. The Avenger Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) robot has been engineered to provide police and military response teams with enhanced capabilities to manage ongoing and emerging threats posed by terrorists, particularly in urban environments where car bombs (Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, VBIEDS) are of concern. iHLS >>


New Menswear Label Sankuanz Has a Chic Hazmat Suit for the End of the World

For his Fall men’s show last week in Paris, Zhe continued on his doomsday streak with chic hazmat suits complete with breathing tubes, military-style jackets and boots, and he even incorporated some of the same fabrics used in NASA space suits. W Magazine >>

Man Wearing a Hazmat Suit Burglarizes Bayside Home: Cops

Police are searching for a suspect donned in a protective coverall who removed a huge sum of money and other valuables from a Bayside residence earlier this month. Once inside, the burglar removed a safe containing approximately $200,000 and jewelry. QNS >>

SJCFR Special Operations Team Wins State Hazmat Competition

The St. Johns County Fire Rescue special operations team won the annual hazardous materials response competition in Daytona Beach. The SJCFR team placed first in all categories: best overall, best leak control and best risk assessment. News4JAX >>

Army Opens Site of Atomic Bomb Blast to the Public for a Day

Two days a year, the site of a once-secret weapon project is open to visitors at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In a few weeks, on April 1, the gate will open for visitors to the Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29 a.m. Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945. Army Times >>

Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation

Fundamentals of a certain field of knowledge may be described traditionally by giving compilation of data that describe phenomena and processes, reveal regularities and formulate generalized judgments and hypotheses. The author of the book, ‘Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation’, has chosen another original but interesting and a straightforward way of storytelling, devoid of scientific jargon, to achieve the aim of reaching the widest possible audience of readers, regardless to their technical background. Radiation Protection Dosimetry >>

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