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FEMA to test West Virginia, Pennsylvania response to potential nuke power plant incident

By Matt Harvey, The Exponent Telegram

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Beaver Valley Power Station, a nuclear facility, is located northwest of Pittsburgh, about 130 miles north of Clarksburg. How would officials in Pennsylvania and West Virginia respond in the event of an emergency at the facility? Finding that out is the object of an exercise Tuesday to be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“These drills are held every other year to evaluate government’s ability to protect public health and safety,” said MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator for FEMA Region 3. “We will assess state and local government emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of West Virginia.”

Within 90 days, FEMA will send its evaluation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for use in licensing decisions. The final report will be available to the public approximately 120 days after the exercise.

FEMA will present preliminary findings of the exercise during a public meeting at 4:30 p.m. next Thursday. Planned speakers include representatives from FEMA and the NRC. The meeting will take place in-person at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.

At the public meeting, FEMA may request that questions or comments be submitted in writing for review and response.

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