The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has been selected to participate in a national network of laboratories known as the
Environmental Response Laboratory Network. This network is one of several laboratory
networks established through Presidential directives to ensure
that critical services are available to support response and recovery operations following a
terrorist attack or other emergency of national significance. The Environmental Response Laboratory
Network will be administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland
Participation in this network will provide the FDEP Bureau of Laboratories with the necessary infrastructure, tools and training to
assist with response and recovery operations while, at the same time, bolstering the laboratory’s capability to perform its routine mission.
Establishing the capability within Florida to support recovery operation following the release of dangerous or toxic chemicals will ensure a more
rapid response and should help minimize any social and economic disruptions.
Initial funding for establishment of the Environmental Response Laboratory Network is provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
and will not require the use of local or state public resources. Through participation in this network, the FDEP Bureau of Laboratories will:
Upgrade the laboratory facilities at the Bob Martinez Center to include:
Enhancements to security and safety;
Development and expansion of laboratory space;
Procurement and installation of new analytical instrumentation;
Engage in staff training exercises;
Develop additional analytical capabilities;
The FDEP Bureau of Laboratories will continue to carry out its mission of providing analytical services to assure the health of Florida’s
citizens and its ecosystems. The additional capabilities and assets acquired by FDEP as a partner in the Environmental Response Laboratory
Network will be used to support routine environmental investigations until the laboratory is needed to help with response and recovery operations.
This ‘dual-use’ of staff, technology and instrumentation will add significant value to the mission of the laboratory.
Timothy Fitzpatrick, Program Administrator