(RT) The New York City Police Department announced Wednesday that it will deploy, then track, what it calls “harmless” gases into the city’s subway system over three non-consecutive days this summer.
The plan, to be enacted in July, will investigate New York’s readiness to handle a chemical terrorist attack by dispersing the colorless gas and tracing it as it flows through the city, according to Scientific American. The test is expected to cost $3.4 million and is scheduled to be carried out in all five boroughs and dozens of stations on 21 of the city’s 34 subway lines.
“The NYPD works for the best but plans for the worst when it comes to potentially catastrophic attacks such as ones employing radiological contaminants or weaponized anthrax,” police commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
The police will use roughly 200 detectors to monitor the gas. Dubbed the Subway-Surface Air Flow Exchange, the test will be the largest of its kind and organized in cooperation with the energy department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. They’ll use perfluorocarbon tracer gases (PFTs), which are frequently used to measure potential sites for underground construction.
Despite the science fiction catastrophe a plan of this magnitude naturally conjures, Fernando Ferrer, the acting chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority maintained that it will not impact commuters.
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