EPA’s Role in Emergency Response - Special Teams

Environmental Response Team

The Environmental Response Team (ERT) is a group of EPA technical experts who provide around-the-clock assistance at the scene of hazardous substance releases. ERT offers expertise in such areas as treatment, biology, chemistry, hydrology, geology, and engineering. ERT can provide support to the full range of emergency response actions, including unusual or complex emergency incidents. In such cases, ERT can bring in special equipment and experienced responders, and can provide the OSC or lead responder with experience and advice.

Radiological Response Team

The Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT) is a specialized unit that responds to emergencies requiring the cleanup of radioactive substances. RERT provides onsite and lab-based radiation risk monitoring services.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Consequence Management Advisory Division

The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Consequence Management Advisory Division (CBRN CMAD) provides scientific support and technical expertise for decontamination of:

  • buildings;
  • building contents;
  • public infrastructure;
  • agriculture; and
  • associated environmental media.

CMAD provides specialized expertise, such as biochemistry, microbiology and medicine, health physics, toxicology, HVAC engineering, and industrial hygiene. CMAD is available to assist local, national, and international agencies supporting hazardous substance response and remedial operations, including Nationally Significant Incidents.

National Criminal Enforcement Response Team

The Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training’s National Criminal Enforcement Response Team (NCERT) supports environmental crime investigations involving chemical, biological, or radiological releases to the environment. NCERT’s specially trained Law Enforcement Officers:

  • Collect forensic evidence within contaminated zones;
  • Serve as law enforcement liaisons with other law enforcement agencies; and
  • Provide protective escorts to EPA’s OSCs, contractors and other EPA Special Teams during national emergencies.

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