Chemical and Biological Defense: Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program for Oregon and Washington

NSIAD-00-13 Published: Oct 26, 1999. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1999.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) for the Oregon and Washington communities surrounding the Umatilla Chemical Depot, focusing on: (1) the progress communities have made since GAO's 1997 report on their CSEPP efforts; and (2) strategies for enhancing the program's implementation in Oregon.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response The Director, FEMA, should work closely with Oregon state CSEPP officials, Umatilla and Morrow County officials, and local community officials to apply results-oriented management principles in the development of an overall implementation plan. This plan should: (1) identify and clarify the roles and responsibilities of all the state and local government organizations having a stake in implementing the CSEPP; and (2) identify program requirements and actions that must be taken to fully prepare for a chemical stockpile emergency, the organization(s) responsible for taking each action, (including any technical or other assistance required and who will provide it), and the specific amounts and sources of funding or other resources that are needed and that are available for implementing each action.
Closed – Implemented
FEMA established the Greater Umatilla Community Chemical Stockpile emergency Preparedness (CSEPP) Governing Board comprised of representatives of the state, counties, municipalities, first response agencies and the general public whose responsibility it was to prepare, coordinate, integrate and approve an overall emergency response plan to be used in the event of a chemical agent release at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. The plan is based on eight different chemical agent accident scenarios or "base" cases that provide details such as the roles and responsibilities of the the incident commander, safety and information officers and the unified operations group. The Board finalized, approved, and signed the plan on January 10, 2001. This plan meets the intent of the recommendation, and we consider action on this recommendation to be completed.

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