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No technology can eliminate all vulnerabilities, but prudent application of current knowledge and future research advances in science and technology remains a wise investment. The Office of Water also provides tools and training to help utilities plan for and practice responses to emergencies, offers technical and financial assistance to utilities to support security initiatives, develops outreach materials, and supports information sharing mechanisms EPA, a.

Additionally, the Office of Water works to develop laboratory capabilities and promote monitoring and detection capacities for drinking water systems under Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD 9 see Box Its mission is to:. Most of these research products are intended. The overall goal was to develop and provide useful tools and technologies to water system managers that would help them protect drinking water and wastewater systems. To achieve this broad goal, the EPA organized the Action Plan and its research projects around the following seven specific issues:.

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In , the United States Policy on Counterterrorism required all federal agencies to plan for terrorist attacks and designated the EPA to provide environmental response support. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act signed in required the EPA to review: 1 methods to prevent, detect, and respond to the intentional introduction of chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants into community water systems and their source waters and 2 methods by which terrorists or other individuals or groups might disrupt the supply of safe drinking water by interfering with conveyance, collection, treatment, and storage facilities or with cyber infrastructure.

It also required the EPA to provide community water systems those that serve over 3, people with baseline information needed to conduct vulnerability assessments and to provide general security guidance to smaller water systems. The National Strategy for Homeland Security sought to define the goals of homeland security and the roles of the federal executive branch, nonfederal governments, the privatesector, and citizens in achieving them.

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Each critical infrastructure sector is assigned a lead federal agency primarily responsible for coordinating security efforts, and the strategy designated the EPA as the lead agency for the water sector. A Strategic Plan for Homeland Security EPA, was subsequently developed to ensure that the EPA met its traditional mission of protecting the environment and safeguarding human health while additionally addressing its new homeland security responsibilities. The EPA is accordingly responsible for establishing collaborations among federal departments and agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector.

The EPA was also tasked to facilitate the evaluation of vulnerabilities of water systems and to encourage risk management strategies to prevent or mitigate the effects of attacks against critical water infrastructure. HSPD assigns the EPA the responsibility of developing strategies, guidelines, and plans for decontamination, remediation, and cleanup of contamination events, including those involving the water system. The work identified in the Action Plan has been conducted in partnership with several water-related professional organizations in the private sector and with other federal agencies.

The Action Plan does not attempt to incorporate research and development efforts outside of those funded by the EPA, such as work conducted by private industry. The products of the Action Plan to date have largely focused upon making compilations of existing data available to water infrastructure customers through various media e. The NHSRC also conducts applied research to address data gaps and develop new methods and tools, but the practical needs of water infrastructure stakeholders remain the driving force behind all of these initiatives.

Herrmann, EPA, personal communication, The EPA was approaching the end of the planning time frames originally developed in the Action Plan, and this second NRC study was motivated in large part by the shift in status of the NHSRC from temporary to permanent and the accompanying need to address strategic planning for long-term research. To address its task, the committee held five meetings between January and May The committee examined relevant EPA documents both public and classified documents that had been published by May and related scientific literature.

Therefore, much of the review of progress was based on oral and written progress reports e.

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The committee issued a letter report in November , highlighting immediate opportunities for water security research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina NRC, ; see Appendix A. The report is presented in six chapters. This report was obtained by Wikileaks staff from CRS computers accessible only from Congressional offices.

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    Protecting vital water infrastructure

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    DEFCON 18: Cyberterrorism and the Security of the National Drinking Water Infrastructure 3/4

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    • Shop Donate Submit. Leaks News About Partners. Jump to: navigation , search. The fiscal downstream effect of a deliberate act of sabotage would be multidimensional, reverberating through other sectors of the economy and ultimately impacting the consumer. The mechanics of dealing with an attack — especially the potential need for mass animal slaughter to contain a major disease outbreak — could certainly generate public criticism as it did during the foot and mouth epidemic in the United Kingdom.

      Beyond the immediate economic and political impact, such attacks could also elicit fear and anxiety among the public.

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      NSHS - Protect the American People, Critical Infrastructure, and Key Resources

      This would be particularly true in the event of a public health scare resulting from foodborne outbreaks or the spread of animal pathogens contagious to humans. Terrorists can choose from a large menu of bio-agents, most of which are environmentally hardy, are not the focus of concerted livestock vaccination programs, and can be easily smuggled into the country. The food chain offers a low-tech mechanism for achieving human deaths. Many animal pathogens cannot be transmitted to humans, which makes them easier for terrorists to work with.