4.2 Technical Support Services

4.2.1 Field Services Section

The Field Services Section, Superfund Division, Region 5 has the ability to perform limited field surveys at hazardous waste sites. The Section has staff and equipment to provide the following services using various techniques and field equipment:

  • Surface geophysical surveys: using ground-penetrating radar, electromagnetic surveys, magnetometers, seismic refraction, and resistivity measures.
  • Subsurface geophysical surveys: using seismic tomography, electromagnetic surveys, natural gamma detection, single-point resistivity, spontaneous potential measures, fluid resistivity, and various borehole measures.
  • Soil/Groundwater samples: using a Geoprobe or similar equipment.
  • Aerial photography: using a remote control helicopter for low level flights.

4.2.2 Underwater Response Underwater Survey Equipment

The following underwater survey equipment is available to the Region through the US EPA Emergency Response Team (ERT):

  • Remote-Operated Vehicle (ROV) : For use in observing underwater objects from shore or boat (1,000-foot depth limit).
  • Mesotech Sonar : Mounted on ROV to locate any object above bottom sediments. ROV directed to potential drums by sonar.
  • Proton Magnetometer : Locates metal objects underwater. Towed behind a boat.
  • Sediment and Water Sampling Equipment : Provides ability to sample water and sediments at any depth. Analyses performed at ERT’s laboratory facilities, Edison, NJ.
  • 20-foot Boston Whaler : Trailerable boat specially designed for underwater electronic surveys and diving operations.
  • Side-Scan Sonar Survey Equipment: Accurately maps bottom. Diving Capabilities

The following diving and diving support resources are available to the Region through the US EPA Emergency Response Team (ERT):

  • ERT Diving Team: Three US EPA-certified divers with Level B-equivalent diving gear.
  • Commercial (Contract) Divers: For long-term underwater removals, Region 5 uses private diving firms that comply with US EPA’s Chapter 10 Diving Safety Regulations.
  • Various Diving Equipment: Available from any of US EPA’s five diving units. U.S. Navy SUPSALV Program

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Surface Warfare Program directs the U.S. Navy’s Salvage Program which stems from 10 U.S.C.§7361-7364 (Salvage Facilities Act) authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to provide necessary salvage facilities for public and private vessels and settle claims for salvage services rendered by the Navy. This authority allows for the maintenance of a national salvage and oil spill response capability for use in peacetime, war, or national emergency, many of the primary responsibilities of which are assigned directly to SUPSALV. The NAVSEA 24-hour duty number is (202) 781-3889.

Information about SUPSALV is available online at

4.2.3 Remote Sensing

A variety of land-based remote sensing methods exist which have been successfully used and are commercially available through contractors. Contact US EPA for details and to access its contracted resources.

Aerial remote sensing, primarily used for locating pollutants in water, is in its early stages of development. Technologies are similar to land-based systems; however, data acquisition and interpretation are costly and of limited value. The agencies listed below have capabilities and experts that can be consulted regarding the use of these techniques.

  • US EPA Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (EPIC) Reston, Virginia (703) 648-4284; fax: (708) 648-4290
  • NOAA Satellite Services Division (301) 763-8051 (business hours); (301) 763-8142, x 124
  • Environment Canada (Emergency Science Division) (613) 998-9622

4.2.4 Models


CAMEO is a suite of software tools developed by EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to assist front-line chemical emergency planners and responders. They can use CAMEO to access, store, and evaluate information critical for developing emergency plans. For more information, visit


ALOHA is the hazard modeling program for the CAMEO software suite. It allows users to enter details about a real or potential chemical release, and then it will generate threat zone estimates for various types of hazards. ALOHA can model toxic gas clouds, flammable gas clouds, BLEVEs (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions), jet fires, pool fires, and vapor cloud explosions. For more information about ALOHA, visit Weather Forecasts and Observations

The most current weather information can be found on the National Weather Service website at Stream gages

Click here for Flood Planning Viewer

Data Portal

The GLOS Data Portal provides access to near-realtime and archived observations and to model forecasts for the Great Lakes. For more information, visit GLOS.US.