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Richmond Conference to Focus on Disaster Preparedness, Hazmat

Release Date: 10/09/2008
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567 seneca.roy@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 9, 2008) – Who do you call when terrorists try to explode a dirty bomb, criminals set up a meth lab full of toxic chemicals, or a hurricane hits your town?

These and other questions will be answered Oct. 26-29 at the Richmond, Va. Convention Center, where one of America’s foremost emergency preparedness conferences is expected to attract 1,000 disaster experts and hazmat technicians to learn the best response techniques and examine state-of-the-art detection and cleanup technology at more than 100 exhibits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annually sponsors the Emergency Preparedness & Prevention and Hazmat Spills Conference for first responders, counter-terrorism professionals, emergency managers, and medical, fire, law enforcement and industry personnel.

Co-hosting this year will be the City of Richmond and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Response Specialists, and Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties.

Highlights of this year’s conference agenda are instruction in street-smart chemistry for first responders, making informed decisions quickly in a disaster, facing conflicting demands as the situation deteriorates, and knowing how to handle a railroad emergency.

The emergency preparedness conference will include speakers on relevant topics, dozens of workshops, intensive training, and local field trips, including visits to a DuPont specialty chemicals plant, which manufactures protective gear, and the Virginia Fusion Center, where counterterrorism resources come together.

Key speakers at the 2008 conference will include:
Aaron Richman, former Israeli police captain, on counter-terror techniques.
Thomas Dunne, EPA associate administrator of homeland security.
Mike Perelman, Institute of Terrorism Research & Response, on unlawful tactics used by eco-terrorists and anarchists.

More information is available at the conference website: http://www.2008conference.org/, or by calling the conference hotline at 1-800-364-7974.