TSA said it will begin using powder explosives detection kits at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and other airports around the country this week, following a pilot test of the kits in late 2008 at airports in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Washington, D.C. At about $145 each, the 1,250 kits distributed nationwide cost close to $185,000.
Typical security checkpoint procedures will not change, the agency said. Security screeners will use X-rays to determine which substances need additional screening.
When substances are selected for additional screening, security officers will use a powder test kit to collect a sample and apply a solution to test for potential explosives. Powders that are "determined to be a potential threat" will not be permitted past checkpoints or in checked baggage, according to TSA.
Common powders are not prohibited and the vast majority of commonly carried powders, like most medication, infant formula and makeup, are unlikely to need further screening, TSA said.
From Associated Press, on the new Girl Scout Preparedness Patch:
It's not just the Boy Scouts who need to "Be Prepared."
To reinforce a motto shared with the Girl Scouts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Girls Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger announced a new emergency preparedness patch to encourage girls to prepare for emergencies.
"We've been talking the past eight months now that I've been in the department about the need to get more individuals involved and also to get young people used to the idea of emergency preparedness," Napolitano, a former scout, said at Scotchtown Hills Elementary School in Laurel.
The event in suburban Washington coincided with President Barack Obama's speech to students at an Arlington, Va., high school about taking responsibility to be good students.
To earn the patch, girls will have to create an emergency preparedness plan for their families. They also will learn about local alerts and warning systems and get involved in community service. Planning for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes
will be part of the exercise, as well as other emergencies.
"It covers the full scope of emergency preparedness," said Brigid Howe, program services manager for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital.
The program was developed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Girl Scouts also announced a new affiliation with DHS Citizen Corps, a part of FEMA that brings government and community leaders together to get residents involved
in emergency planning.
10 AM EDT
Secretary Napolitano, General Services Administration (GSA) Acting Administrator Paul Prouty, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty and Councilman Marion Barry will participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking to commence consolidation of a new unified DHS headquarters
St. Elizabeths Campus
2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE
9:30 AM EDT
National Programs and Protection Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Rand Beers will deliver remarks at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness Conference
Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson, Manhattan Room
2 Exchange Place
Jersey City, N.J.
11 AM EDT
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Director Colleen Manaher will participate in a panel discussion about U.S. land border management at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 2009 Homeland Security Symposium and Exhibition
Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy
1 PM EDT
Private Sector Office Acting Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw will testify before the House Committee on Small Business about the fall 2009 H1N1 flu season and its potential impact on small businesses
2360 Rayburn House Office Building