"In response to growing concerns about domestic terrorism, the 104th Congress enacted legislation in Public Law 104-201, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, to help prepare the United States for a potential terrorist incident. The legislation contained two principal provisions. First, it allocated funding to train first responders to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Additionally, the legislation required that the Secretary of Defense develop and execute a program for testing and improving federal, state and local agency responses to incidents involving biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. As a result, the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) was designated the lead agent for Department of Defense and was charged with establishing and implementing these programs. In response to the latter element of the legislation, SBCCOM established the Biological Warfare (BW) Improved Response Program (IRP) in partnership with other federal agencies. The BW-IRP is a multi-year program designed to identify, evaluate, and demonstrate the best practical approaches to improving BW domestic preparedness. A multi-agency team consisting of over 60 experienced emergency responders, managers, and technical experts from federal, state, and local agencies from around the nation were assembled to execute the program."
Edgewood Chemical Biological Center: http://www.edgewood.army.mil/