Low-flying Planes Searching for Radioactive, Hazardous Materials Ahead of Bike Race
September 17, 2015
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  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted aerial monitoring Tuesday and Wednesday for hazardous substances and “radiological incidents” in advance of the UCI Road World Championships next week.


    Residents noticed the low-flying plane, labeled “U.S. EPA” on the bottom of its wings, flying throughout the Richmond region.


    EPA spokeswoman Terri White confirmed the agency has been conducting flights using its “airborne spectral photometric environmental collection technology,” or ASPECT.


    “EPA routinely deploys this aircraft to assist local, national and international agencies in monitoring for hazardous substances and radiological incidents during major events,” she said in an email.


    She said the EPA is conducting background surveys prior to the bike races and Pope Francis’ visit to Washington.


    White said the EPA wrapped up its work Wednesday and will not return to the Richmond area unless “requested for support during the event.”