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First responders feel inadequately equipped, survey finds

August 20, 2003 U.S. emergency responders believe they lack adequate protection to respond to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, according to a report released by RAND Wednesday. "The majority of emergency responders feel vastly underprepared and underprotected for the consequences of chemical, biological or radiological terrorist attacks," the study says. Researchers ...

Ridge defends threat advisory system

August 19, 2003 Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge Monday defended the color-coded national terrorism-alert system, which has come under increasing criticism for being too vague to be effective. While the Homeland Security Department will continue to improve the threat advisory system, in general "it's a good system," Ridge said Monday during a speech ...

Terror alert system is too vague, congressional researchers say

August 13, 2003 The color-coded system used by the Homeland Security Department to warn of potential terrorist attacks suffers from being too vague and from failing to provide specific information on appropriate protective measures, according to a Congressional Research Service report released last week. The Homeland Security Advisory System, established last year, uses ...

GAO finds management problems with stockpile maintenance

August 11, 2003 Congressional auditors have found budgeting, cost accounting and management problems associated with a National Nuclear Security Administration program to extend the operational life of U.S. nuclear weapons, according to a General Accounting Office report released last Friday. In 1996, the Energy Department created the Stockpile Life Extension Program, which is ...

GAO: Energy needs to improve recovery of radioactive sources

May 14, 2003 The Energy Department needs to place a higher priority on the recovery of unwanted sealed radioactive sources to prevent terrorists from using them in radiological weapons, according to a new report from the General Accounting Office. In its report (03-483), the GAO examined Energy's efforts to recover and securely store ...

Senator introduces chemical, nuclear plant security bills

May 13, 2003 In an effort to improve security at U.S. nuclear power and chemical plants, U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., has introduced two alternatives to Democratic proposals. Last week, Inhofe introduced the Chemical Facilities Security Act of 2003. Under the bill, the Homeland Security Department would ...

Security agency to do background checks on hazardous material drivers

May 6, 2003 U.S. commercial driver's license holders who want to be authorized to transport hazardous materials will have to undergo federal background checks under interim Transportation Department rules in Monday's Federal Register. Comments are due July 7. Under the rules, effective immediately, states will be barred from issuing commercial driver's licenses with ...

Senator reintroduces chemical plant security bill

January 16, 2003 Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., reintroduced legislation Tuesday to increase security at U.S. chemical plants to reduce the threat of an intentional release of toxic chemicals through a terrorist attack. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had approved the proposed Chemical Security Act unanimously in late July, but the full ...

FBI science experiment could help anthrax investigation

November 11, 2002 The FBI's attempts to recreate the spores used in last year's anthrax attacks could provide valuable clues and help the bureau focus its investigation, experts told Global Security Newswire last week. The bureau has been working for months to reconstruct the spores, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Nov. 1, according ...

Efforts to prevent bioterror attacks intensify

October 4, 2002 While the investigation into last year's anthrax attacks has so far had little success, the United States has begun an intensive effort to be better prepared for a future possible attack. In January, three months after the attack, U.S. officials increased efforts to develop the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile-supplies of treatments ...