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Water: Security Enhancement, Research & Technology

Security Enhancements, Research and Technology

About PDF Files

Picture of Plant with Camera and Fence with SignEPA works with other federal agencies (e.g. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI, and DOD) and water sector organizations (e.g. Water Environment Research Foundation) to improve information on technologies and conduct research for water sector security. The information below is intended to help water utilities and other agencies to understand and use available scientific information and technologies to detect contaminants, improve physical facility security, develop and use monitoring protocols and techniques, and ensure treatment effectiveness.

  • Water Security Research and Technical Support Action Plan (Action Plan) (PDF 56 pp, 1,116 K) - EPA's Office of Research and Development and Office of Water developed the Action Plan which was peer reviewed by the National Research Council. This publication presents results of collaborative efforts between EPA and other government agencies, the water industry, public health organizations, and the emergency response community to identify critical research and technical support needs for protecting drinking and wastewater infrastructures. The Action Plan identifies projects in the areas of physical and cyber infrastructure protection; contaminant identification; monitoring and analysis; treatment, decontamination, and disposal; contingency planning; infrastructure interdependencies; and risk assessment and communication. It provides a snapshot in time. Revisions to the Action Plan will be made periodically based on input from others dealing with drinking water and wastewater security.
  • Standardized Analytical Methods for Use During Homeland Security Events - EPA's Homeland Security Research Center, in conjunction with EPA's Laboratory and Capability Committee, has developed a list of Standardized Analytical Methods (SAM) to be used by environmental laboratories in analyzing biological and chemical samples associated with threats to homeland security. SAM provides a standard by which to measure specific types of contamination that may be associated with future terrorist attacks. Ultimately, these procedures will be vitally important in assisting state and local government laboratories that are preparing to analyze samples associated with homeland security events.
  • National Drinking Water Advisory Council's (NDWAC) Water Security Working Group (WSWG) - Established by law to provide practical and independent advice, consultation, and recommendations to EPA on the activities, functions, and policies related to the Safe Drinking Water Act. In order to provide expert advice on best security practices and policies for the water sector, the Water Security Division proposed the formation of the Water Security Working Group (WSWG). For additional information, contact Marc Santora at 202-564-1597. On February 27, 2004, the Council established and charged the working group to:
    1. Identify, compile, and characterize best security practices and policies for drinking water and wastewater utilities and provide an approach for considering and adopting these practices and policies at a utility level.
    2. Consider mechanisms to provide recognition and incentives that facilitate a broad and receptive response among the water sector to implement these best security practices and policies, and make recommendations as appropriate.
    3. Consider mechanisms to measure the extent of implementation of these best security practices and policies, identify the impediments of their implementation, and make recommendations as appropriate.
  • EPA's National Homeland Security Research Center - The Agency's Office of Research and Development officially established the National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) in February, 2003. The Research Center oversees three major research areas: water security, rapid risk assessment, and safe buildings. The Research Center's Water Security Team contributes by conducting applied research and then reporting on ways to better secure the nation's water systems from threats and attacks. The Team is producing analytical tools and procedures, technology evaluations, models and methodologies, decontamination techniques, technical resource guides and protocols, and risk assessment methods. All of these products are for use by EPA's key water infrastructure customers--water uility operators, public health officials, and emergency and follow-up responders.
  • Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program - The Water Security Division is working with the Office of Research and Development to support verification of water security technologies.
    • During 2003, 6 cyanide detection and eight rapid toxicity detection technologies were verified.
    • In 2004, immunoassay test kits and rapid polymerase chain reaction (PRC) technologies will be verified using similar type threat agents.
    • The Monitor is a newsletter published by the ETV Advanced Monitoring Systems Center that may be of interest to utilities concerned with water security.
      The Environmental Technology Verification Program is also initiating an effort to verify detection and decontamination technologies for safe buildings.

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