National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC)

FLC Region

Security Lab

No

Address

26 West Martin Luther King Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45268
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

For over 30 years, EPA and its partners have made great progress toward a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. Following the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, EPA's mission expanded beyond safeguarding the natural environment (i.e., air, water, and land) from traditional sources of pollution. On September 24, 2002, EPA announced the formation of the National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) to research answers to science questions related to homeland security.

With the nation under continuing threat from those who seek to harm it, EPA now also has the important responsibility of protecting human health and the environment from the effects of terrorist acts. EPA is the lead federal agency in charge of preparing the water sector for terrorist attacks and the lead agency for decontaminating indoor and outdoor areas following an attack. These areas include buildings, large public spaces such as airports, and wide outdoor areas such as stadiums. Terrorist acts may involve biological, chemical, and radiological agents not previously encountered as environmental pollutants. A thorough understanding of the nature of these agents and their effects on human health is needed. EPA's expanded role is to provide the critical scientific research necessary to ensure national security in consideration of these new threats.

Recent major disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the Oklahoma tornados in 2013 have shown the need to prepare for and recover from all types of hazards. The all hazards approach provides a framework for dealing with incidents, regardless of their cause or the type of contamination.

All emergencies share certain features in common. However, incidents that involve the release or potential release of hazardous chemicals, microbial pathogens, or radiological materials contribute additional complexities to disaster scenarios, requiring specialized expertise during all phases of response and recovery.

As part of an all hazards approach, EPA and partner agencies work to foster resilience in communities with training and technical assistance for community-based organizations responsible for response and recovery. The goal is to develop strategies that minimize the risk of hazards and strengthen the ability to withstand and recover from future disasters.

Learn more about homeland security research at EPA

Tech Areas

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Funding

Brownfield sites are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Lab Representatives

The goal of this program is to support environmental education (EE) projects which enhance the public's awareness, knowledge, and skills to make informed and responsible decisions that affect environmental quality.

Lab Representatives

The purpose of the Environmental Justice Grant Program is for EPA to provide financial assistance to support community-based organizations to collaborate and partner with other stakeholders (e.g., industry, government, academia, etc.) to develop and implement solutions that will significantly address environmental and/or public health issue(s) at the local level.

Lab Representatives

The Environmental Justice through Pollution Prevention (EJP2) grant program supports community-based groups across the nation develop collaborative approaches to achieve environmental justice through pollution prevention.

Lab Representatives

EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) supports funding for high-quality research by the nation's leading scientists and engineers that will improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues. NCER supports leading edge extramural research in exposure, effects, risk assessment and risk management by managing funding competitions through the agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR), People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3), STAR and Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships, and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Programs.

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No Facilities for this lab
No Equipment for this lab
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Success Stories
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A new low-cost interoperability solution developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) could save the first responder community millions of dollars.

The Radio Internet-Protocol Communications Module (RIC-M), used by local, state and federal responders, is a low-cost, external, stand-alone, interface device that connects radio frequency (RF) system base stations, consoles and other RF equipment—regardless of brand—over the Internet or Private Internet Protocol (IP) network. The RIC-M converts from a commonly used V.24 serial communications protocol to an open-standard Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP). Both encrypted and unencrypted Project 25 (P25) digital communications are supported, and it can also operate with analog communication equipment.

In the past, legacy systems were not interoperable, explained S&T First Responders Group (FRG) Program Manager Christine Lee. If you bought one brand of base station, you had to buy the same brand for the all other components even if other brands offered more economical choices or better options. RIC-M allows first responder organizations to be free from dependence on expensive, single-vendor communication solutions, offering cost savings and wider variety.

Base stations are used by law enforcement, medical and other agency dispatchers to communicate with first responders and agents in the field. Using the RIC-M, agencies can easily upgrade and reconfigure legacy systems at a low cost, Lee stressed. Instead of having to replace an entire system which can cost as much as $15,000 when one component breaks or becomes obsolete, organizations can use any RIC-M compatible product to extend the system's life for another 10 to 20 years, she said. Since its conception in 2012, RIC-M has been successfully field tested with various state and federal response agencies including Montgomery County, Maryland; U.S . Customs and Border Protection; Federal Protective Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, Office of Law Enforcement and Security.

The biggest benefit of the RIC-M is that it will allow agencies to continue to use current stock pile and installed legacy equipment, said Carter Blumeyer of Rivada Port Graham Solutions, who participated in the fielding as an evaluator. This legacy equipment is solidly built and still could last more than 10 years from now. DHS owns the RICM patent and issued a first commercial license in 2015 with more expected in 2016.