Super Bowl XXXVIII - February 1, 2004

HOUSTON, Texas - The E-Plan system has been used successfully in a number of emergency response actions. One significant example involves the security planning for the 2004 Super Bowl held in Houston, Texas. Because of the large number of chemical facilities in the Houston area, the FBI and EPA were concerned about the potential for use of existing chemicals as weapons by terrorist during the playing of the Superbowl. Identifying the facilities of concern was expedited through the use of E-Plan. EPA used E-Plan to assist the FBI, Texas Council on Environmental Quality, Harris County Hazmat and other agencies in identifying facilities storing large quantities of hazmat materials. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and Risk Management Plan (RMP) databases were initially used to identify potentially significant facilities, however, only eight facilities were identified. By using E-Plan, which accesses the Texas Department of Health's Tier II data, over 250 facilities of concern were identified. EPA employees examined E-Plan records for these facilities, and developed a prioritized list of facilities for inspection. E-Plan data was also used in some instances for generating "worst case scenario" dispersion plumes using the CSIRO AVHRR Time Series (CATS) atmospheric dispersion model over the area.

Figure 1 illustrates chemical sites near the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The facilities contained in E-Plan in pink outnumber those contained in the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) in yellow or the Risk Management Plan (RMP) in green by at least an order of magnitude. The E-Plan data also allowed for far easier screening of facility contents and identification of emergency response contacts than the RMP or TRI databases.

Figure 1 - Hazardous Chemicals in Close Proximity to Reliant Stadium