The Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System (ERAMS) was a national network of monitoring stations that regularly collected air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk samples for analysis of radioactivity. The ERAMS network, has been used to track environmental releases resulting from nuclear emergencies and to provide baseline data during routine conditions. Data generated from ERAMS provides the information base for making decisions necessary to ensure the protection of public health.
ERAMS was operated by EPA's National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory, located at Montgomery, Alabama. These stations regularly sampled the major pathways through which the U.S. population could be exposed to radiation: air and precipitation (69 stations); drinking water (77 stations); surface water (58 stations); and pasteurized milk (66 stations). For each of the major pathways the stations were strategically distributed across the United States. Virginia has participated in this program since its inception in 1973.
ERAMS had five specific objectives:
Data from ERAMS have been published quarterly in an EPA journal called Environmental Radiation Data since the program began in 1973. In addition, special reports on specific events, such as the Chernobyl accident or nuclear weapons testing by the Chinese, are prepared, published, and distributed.
Source: U.S. EPA. Office of Radiation Programs National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory. June 1990.
Information regarding the environmental data resulting from the Fukushima accident in Japan amy be found at: http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/
Monitoring points for Virginia are:
Air Particulates, Near Real-Time Gamma
Air Particulates, Precipitation, Drinking Water
Air Particulates, Near Real-Time Gamma Virginia Beach
Air Particulates, Near Real-Time Gamma Norfolk
Radiological Health Program | James Madison Building, 7th Floor | 109 Governor Street, Room 730 | Richmond, VA 23219 | Telephone (804) 864-8150 | Fax: (804) 864-8155