US EPA's Radiation Program carries out the Agency's mission to issue policy guidance and regulations, measure environmental radiation levels, evaluate the impact of radiation on public health, respond to emergencies involving radiation, work with state and local governments and industry groups to reduce harmful levels of radiation, and provide information to the public.
Since May 1996 EPA has been designated Lead Federal Agency for responding to all radiation emergencies involving radioactive materials not controlled or licensed by another Federal Agency. This includes accidents involving naturally-occurring radioactive materials, atmospheric radiation fallout from foreign activities such as the Chernobyl accident, radioactive satellite impacts, and imported radioactive materials. The EPA maintains equipment and trained staff to respond to radiation emergencies as may be needed.
In the Pacific Northwest Region, the program:
Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)
Hanford Thyroid Disease Study
- informs people about the hazards of radon gas and other forms of ionizing radiation
- provides technical support on radiation issues to federal, state, and local government agencies
- regulates radionuclide emissions and provides guidance on compliance with the Clean Air Act's National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) on radionuclides
- provides technical support for cleanup of radiation-contaminated sites
- assists in FEMA emergency exercise evaluations about dispersal of radioactive materials