In the spring of 2022, we worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard on a project called Analysis for Coastal Operational Resiliency-Wide Area Demonstration (WAD) which tests large scale decontamination following the release of surrogate bioagents. The team conducted a WAD at a military base in Virginia to test decontamination using various technologies on numerous surfaces. Our involvement included securing service contracts, equipment, and supplies; assisting with test bed set up and field work; managing and shipping collected samples; and providing assistance in demonstration execution.

In addition, our EPA Research Laboratory Support contract team assembled a novel prototype machine, which quickly collects samples of resuspended air particles from over hundreds of square feet. It is intended to be used to confirm decontamination of biological agent contamination (pictured below).

Prior to this exercise, our team led a smaller-scale exercise in January 2020 to decontaminate a U.S. Coast Guard response boat. We tested and successfully used three different technologies during this process.

Both of these field exercises enabled us to understand the data collected in a controlled, laboratory environment in a different way. We conducted the exercise in an outdoor environment, on a larger scale, and with front line responders to ensure that the procedures, decon chemicals and technologies evaluated in the lab can be ready to be stood up in real events. This is an extraordinary accomplishment as multiple agencies work together to sample and decontaminate with the goal to successfully clean up and restore important assets following a biological agent contamination event. 

Learn more about this full operation: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2022/07/26/feature-article-field-tests-culminate-4-years-bioagent-studies   

A machine with a push handle and wheels has a silver box at the bottom with a black tube connected to a smaller blue box at the top.
This novel prototype machine quickly collects air particle samples.
A boat with an inflatable orange base surrounded by a tarp in the middle of a field.
The team successfully decontaminated a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.
Three people in hazmat suits log samples with a device on a vertical pole.
The team logs sampling points during the field exercise.

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