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Executive Orders

Laws, Regulations & Mandates

Executive Orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.

Several Executive Orders address homeland security:

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Federal Emergency Management - EO 12148

President Carter issued this Executive Order on July 20, 1979, in response to the accident at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant. It assigned responsibility to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for developing a "national contingency plan"* for responding to accidents at nuclear power plants. FEMA published the first version of the "Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan" in 1985 and updated it in 1996.

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Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities - EO 12656

This Executive Order, issued by President Reagan in November 1988, spells out the roles and responsibilities of federal agencies in preparing for and responding to national security emergencies. These roles and responsibilities reflect the existing statutory authorities and capabilities of these organizations. EPA has lead responsibilities for certain health and environmental radiation protection activities. EPA's support responsibilities include helping federal agencies plan for environmental protection and advising them on complying with environmental standards and regulations.

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