NASA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working expeditiously to recover Space Shuttle Columbia debris. The agencies are working as rapidly as possible to protect public safety, honor the needs of astronaut families, and support the mishap investigation.
NASA is adding additional expertise and staff to support clean-up efforts in affected communities. NASA has provided guidance to EPA to enable clean-up teams to assess and recover debris when agency personnel are not available. Additional personnel trained in handling hazardous material have been added to these teams. The public is reminded not to attempt to handle Shuttle debris, but to inform local authorities when debris is found.
All agencies participating in the Space Shuttle Columbia mishap investigation deeply appreciate the caring, patience, efforts and dedication local communities have demonstrated during this difficult time.