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5/2/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

MBTA, DHS to test bioterrorism sensors


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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Science Technology Directorate to test a system of biological detection sensors at stations in Cambridge and Somerville.

“DHS conducted an environmental assessment and found no significant impact in using an innocuous, food-safe test bacterium to evaluate the ability of the system to rapidly detect hazardous biological materials in the subway,” MBTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The sensors are designed to enable rapid responses and protective measures within 20 minutes to reduce the impact of a biological terrorist attack. State public health officials will assist DHS and MBTA representatives to monitor test results.

A draft environmental assessment is available for the public to comment on regarding the test and evaluation of the detection system. A public forum will be held May 6 for interested parties to voice their concerns.




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