Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
DHS will look for governments to host new chemical defense demonstration projects
The Chemical Defense Program at DHS is inviting state, local and tribal governments to volunteer their jurisdictions as sites for newly-established chemical defense demonstration projects that can explore ways to assess a community’s vulnerability to a chemical attack as well as ways to defend against such attacks.
The project is being spearheaded by the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) within DHS, which has already begun such a project with the Maryland Transit Administration and the City of Baltimore, MD.
“OHA launched a partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration and the City of Baltimore to develop chemical defense techniques for subway mass transit,” explained Dr. Alan Garza, MD, the chief medical officer at DHS, in testimony before Congress last March. “OHA is looking to expand this program to additional jurisdictions and is developing criteria to allow jurisdictions to submit proposals for demonstration projects,” Garza continued.
DHS expected that the FY 2013 budget request, in addition to anticipated carry-over funding from FY 2012, would allow the Chemical Defense Program (CDP) to move forward with these initiatives.
The CDP now plans to competitively select the locations for conducting additional chemical defense demonstration projects. It plans to solicit “expressions of interest” from interested jurisdictions.
In the meantime, members of the public are invited to comment on the proposed information-gathering initiative by April 9, 2013 by sending an email to Capt. Joselito Ignacio, in the office of health affairs, at email@example.com or by phoning Ignacio at 202-254-5738.