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Unger working to help energy companies avoid attacks

November 12, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - State Sen. John Unger is working with a Morgantown, W.Va.-based technical assistance firm to help energy companies protect their facilities from possible terrorist attacks.

Unger, D-Berkeley, started working last month as the manager of homeland security and economic development for EG&G Technical Services Inc.

EG&G was contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy to help energy companies protect their systems from terrorist attacks, Unger said Tuesday.

Unger said he cannot discuss details about what the job involves, but said it includes helping energy companies identify vulnerabilities in their systems and addressing those problems.

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It also involves identifying alternative energy sources, such as wind or water power, Unger said.

Identifying alternative energy sources is important because they can be used as a backup form of energy in case one form is knocked out, Unger said.

EG&G has worked with the U.S. Department of Energy for years on issues such as fossil fuel research, Unger said.

Protecting energy systems from terrorist attacks is a new area for the firm, Unger said.

"It's very exciting to be part of something that is brand new," said Unger, who represents Berkeley and Jefferson counties in the state Legislature.

Unger said his work with EG&G is part time. Unger considers his Senate job as full time.

Earlier this week, about 370 federal, state and local officials gathered at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center near Shepherdstown, W.Va., to determine the best way to protect state residents from possible terrorist attacks.

The West Virginia Summit on Homeland Security brought in respected experts in the anti-terrorism field such as FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.

The idea was to give local and state officials access to the experts so they can obtain the information they need to effectively protect communities from terrorist attacks.

Local and state officials also got the chance during the summit to view the latest in rescue equipment that is used to respond to terrorist attacks. Officials said some of the equipment could be arriving in the Eastern Panhandle within weeks.

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