The newly constructed subway training facility near Broadway Station on the Red Line will be put to use Tuesday through Thursday when officials will replicate a release of hazardous material.
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Emergency Training Center next to Broadway was officially opened June 12 at an old underground streetcar station that was closed in 1919 after only two years of use.
“These types of exercises are vitally important as we continue to ensure the safety and security of the riding public,” MBTA Transit Police Chief MacMillan said in a statement. “This training facility was designed for this purpose so service would not have to be disrupted and our customers inconvenienced.”
Last year, the MBTA began testing new Department of Homeland Security-funded sensors designed to identify biological materials in the subway air. The exercise this week will engage the Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the MBTA Transit Police, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Boston Police, Boston Fire/Hazmat and the MBTA, according to a release from the EPA.
“It is important for EPA officials and first-responders to practice working under emergency conditions, because in those situations coordination amongst federal, state and local partners is vital, and must be precise,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. “It is also important that our workers are current on all of their training, which requires extra practice.”
The emergency testing area was funded with a $10 million DHS grant. Wednesday will mark the 12-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
- A. Metzger/SHNS
Go to Boston.com/Southboston for more Your Town coverage of South Boston.