The York County Office of Emergency Management and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be evaluated this week on their readiness to respond to an emergency at a local nuclear facility.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency will evaluate a preparedness exercise at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.

Counties, municipalities and school districts within a 10-mile radius of the Delta plant will participate in the drill, which will begin Tuesday afternoon and continue through the evening.

FEMA's Region III, based in Philadelphia, will assess state and local emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile emergency planning zone, as well as the nearby municipalities, according to MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator for FEMA.

"These drills are held every other year to evaluate government's ability to protect public health and safety," Tierney said.

The drills are designed to ensure residents living around commercial nuclear power plants would be adequately protected in the event of a nuclear power plant accident, she said.

Within 90 days, FEMA will send its evaluation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for use in licensing decisions. The final report will be available to the public approximately 120 days after the exercise, according to a news release.

FEMA will present its preliminary report during a public meeting at 11 a.m. Friday at the Homewood Suites, 200 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster. Representatives from the state, FEMA and the NRC will be on hand to discuss the drill.

Public comments will be allowed at the meeting, but FEMA may request that questions or comments be submitted in writing for review and response. Written comments may also be submitted by emailing FEMAR3NewsDesk@fema.dhs.gov or by mail to Tierney at FEMA Region III, 615 Chestnut St., 6th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

— Candy Woodall can also be reached at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.