photo of EPA's mobile command post with EPA logos on the side

Once on site, EPA sets up this mobile command post. This is where the Incident Commander hangs out (who basically runs the operation) and is a hub of activity for EPA staff before, during and after the race.

garage area with 18 wheel team transporters lined up behind garages

EPA, working with state and local partners, arrives at the track a few days before the race to set up and to start scanning the team transporters (or haulers) for any potentially threatening chemicals or radiation.

aerial view of Pocono raceway track

This is the Pocono Speedway in Long Pond, PA. This normally rural setting becomes home to thousands of race fans twice a year. EPA uses this unique setting and opportunity to test our emergency response capabilities and scientific instruments.

EPA staff gathered around gator

Scientists and responders work in shifts and gather around the gator to discuss schedules and monitoring locations before heading out for another round of sampling.

small fixed monitor hanging above entrance to pit area

This is one of EPA's fixed monitors which is set up at the entrance to the NASCAR pit area. Data from this device is sent back to computers at the Command Post where scientists and staff monitor for any chemicals or radiation levels of concern.

long, thin monitoring device mounted to wall in NASCAR garage area

This is another fixed monitoring device is placed outside of the NASCAR garage area.

four-wheel drive covered in mud in the race infield

Even though we have luxurious accomodations like the mobile command post, life is not always pretty in the field. This sport utility is in the infamous mud bug in the infield of the race track.

four-wheel drive vehicle used to move staff around the track

Vehicles like this "gator" help staff to move around the track with our monitoring equipment.

EPA responder using handheld monitoring instrument

We use a combination of mobile monitoring equipment (which is basically equipment that we can carry or move around with us) and fixed equipment (which is basically instrumentation that sits in one location and gathers data from that location). Here you see EPA staff using a handheld monitor which allows them to move around various parts of the track.

EPA staff using handheld monitoring device inside garage area

EPA staff also use handheld instruments to monitor inside and outside of the garage area.

EPA Region 3 mobile command post vehicle

So the next time you're at the race in Pennsylvania, keep an eye out for EPA scientists and responders practicing our response skills. There's a lot of science and engineering underneath the hood of those race cars at a NASCAR race but now you know that EPA has a lot of science on the ground too!

Monroe County Emergency Services vehicle

EPA is fortunate to do all of this work with our state partners from the state of Pennsylvania.

EPA counterterrorism trailer

Through exercises like the Pocono Race, EPA can build its relationship with local and state partners assuring a more effective response if an emergency ever arose at the track.

EPA team assembled for a meeting

After a team meeting, EPA staff and our partners from the state, head into the field to take some samples.