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Homeland Security Statutory Authorities

Laws, Regulations & Mandates

Three acts give EPA statutory authority to implement specific homeland security responsibilities:

These acts provide EPA with the authority to carry out activities related to water security and radiological or nuclear incidents. Coupled with EPA’s core mission authorities and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, these acts provide a framework within which EPA can prioritize and implement its homeland security responsibilities.


Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act)

The Bioterrorism Act requires EPA to perform a number of specific actions related to the security of drinking water systems across the country. The Act:

read more Read more about the Bioterrorism Act.

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Homeland Security Act of 2002

The Homeland Security Act grants the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to call certain elements of the Department of Energy and EPA into service as an organizational unit of DHS in support of a nuclear incident response, as part of a “Nuclear Incident Response Team” established by the Act.

While the Act does not provide EPA with any additional response authorities, the Act does provide the DHS Secretary with the authority to place EPA assets that perform nuclear and/or radiological emergency support functions (including accident response, search response, advisory, and technical operations functions) and related functions under the DHS secretary’s operational control in connection with an actual or threatened terrorist attack, major disaster, or other emergency. In the event of a terrorist incident, this Act would authorize EPA to serve as a technical resource for guidance on initial response.

read more Read the full text of the Homeland Security Act.

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Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006

Summary in development.

read more Read the full text of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act. (232 pp, 448K, About PDF)

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