Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DHS Publishes Chemical Defense Program Notice

Today the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) published a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 60887-60888) seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government agencies to participate in a chemical defense demonstration project. The notice explains that “DHS OHA CDP will initiate, fund and manage the demonstration projects, but in close coordination with the selected SLTT government agencies and venue operators”.

OHA expects that a successful chemical defense demonstration project will include:

• A review of current community preparedness capabilities as well as gaps protecting from and responding to a catastrophic chemical incident;
Community and venue-specific risk assessments, based on likely scenarios, to provide information on chemical threats;
• Technology alignment to include review of existing or intended detect-to-warn or detect-to-treat capabilities in communities;
• Optimizing the communities' response system through decision analysis and the development of a concept of operations plan that defines common mission, roles, responsibilities and key actions necessary for responding to these events; and
• Exercise evaluation using the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) process. 

OHA will conduct a competitive review process to select the projects to fund. The selection criteria will include:

• Chemical threat risk (which the DHS Chemical Terrorism Risk Assessments and SLTT government agencies' input will inform);
• Community interest to host a demonstration project; and
• Reasons given for desiring a demonstration project hosted in this community and specific venue.

Submitting agencies will need to complete and submit a DHS Form 10088 (9/12). Neither the notice or OHA web site provides a link to a copy of the form, but I previously pointed readers to a copy on the OMB web site when OMP approved the information collection request for this program. The form may be emailed to The notice states that the form should be submitted within 45 days of the publication of the notice in the Federal Register which would be November 16th. I suspect that the date was not included in the publication because of timing problems due to the on-going government shutdown.

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