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December 2, 2023
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Air Plume Maps, Basic Interpretation
Hosted by U.S. EPA
Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA)

The understanding of air plume maps by emergency response decision-makers and their support teams is critical to a successful emergency response. A lack of understanding can lead to ineffective, inappropriate or, even, detrimental actions during a crisis.

EPA created this course for emergency responders and decision-makers as a basic introduction to interpreting air plume maps. The interactive course simulates two emergency response scenarios, one involving a chemical release and one a radiological release. You will learn to assess the accuracy and usefulness of an air plume plot, use the information to make protective action decisions, and respond to press questions.

The course features:
  • How plume maps are created using assumptions (weather patterns, radioactive source, amount of explosives…)
  • The limitations of plume maps,
  • The benefits of using air plume maps, and
  • The importance of developing effective messages regarding emergency information for the public and media.

This training course should function without any changes to your browser, however please note that this training has the following browser requirements:

  • JavaScript must enabled,
  • Session cookies must enabled,
  • Please disable your pop-up blocker.

If you encounter any difficulty, you please contact us.

Registration Required. Click here to register for this training.

For general information contact Jessica Wieder by telephone at 202-343-9201 or via e-mail at

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