Climate Adaptation and Critical Infrastructure Webinar Series – Register Today!

The DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, will host a Webinar entitled “Regional Adaptation Strategies for Addressing Sea Level Rise and Its Cascading Effects.”  This joint partnership Webinar will feature speakers from Federal, State, and local entities discussing regional adaptive strategies and activities for addressing the impacts of sea level rise on critical infrastructure and will cover:

  • Sea level rise in the Southeast United States – cause, how high, and when
  • Organizing communities
  • Comprehensive planning
  • Role of Protective Security Advisors regarding extreme weather and climate adaptation

DATE:  Friday, January 30, 2015

TIME:   1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Register Today

At the time of the webinar, you may use the following access information:

Dial-in: 1-888-889-4460 /Pin: 3720870

HSIN Webinar Link (enter as a Guest)

 

EPA Publishes CRWU Newsletter

Look below to find information on the array of climate ready-related projects and activities underway as part of EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative.


 

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative’s mission is to provide resources for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.

EPA Water Utility Climate Resilience Support Project

EPA is initiating a nationwide effort to promote an understanding of climate risk and adaptation options within the water sector.  By working with a diverse set of individual utilities in a collaborative process, EPA will assist 20 water and wastewater utilities in conducting comprehensive climate related risk assessments using our Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT). The assessments will identify utility-level adaptation strategies for implementation to bolster climate readiness and resilience.  A list of confirmed participating utilities can be found on the CRWU website.

EPA’s Climate Resilience and Awareness Tool (CREAT)

  • CREAT 3.0 Framework: The CREAT 3.0 Working Group is now reviewing the draft framework document detailing the proposed elements and functionality of the third version of CREAT.  The Framework provides an overview of the additions and enhancements to CREAT and describes the new modular program architecture featuring the Climate Awareness, Scenario Development, Asset Screening, Adaptation Planning and Risk Assessment modules.

 

  • Scenario-Based Projected Changes Map:  This online map provides easy access to localized scenarios of projected changes in annual total precipitation, precipitation intensity, annual average temperature, 100-year storm events, and sea-level rise from EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool.  To explore local climate change projection data across the United States, simply zoom in on your location of interest or type a location into the search field of the map.  Climate change projection data within this map is provided by grid cell, illustrated as a square grid with 1/2-degree resolution, approximately 32 X 32 miles, for the United States.  Explore the map on the CRWU website.

 

Climate Resilience and Sustainability Pilots

 

EPA and its partners are supporting two regional workshops with water sector utilities focusing on sustainable practices and building resilience to climate change impacts. The pilots are being held in Faribault, MN, and Blair, Nebraska. The work includes a full risk assessment using EPA’s CREAT, as well as our Planning for Sustainability Handbook and Sustainable Practices Roadmap. The risk assessment process will not only focus on identifying climate change challenges the utility may face, but identifying funding sources for implementing relevant adaptation strategies. These pilots will be used to demonstrate how small and rural systems can use EPA tools and resources to help adapt to climate change impacts and build effective, long-term, resilience strategies.

 

Climate Ready Water Utilities/Emergency Response Workshops

 

The Climate Ready Water Utilities and Emergency Response teams worked with communities and utilities around the country to conduct four Emergency Response and Climate Change Workshops, which were completed in September. They were held in Mattapoisett, MA, New Orleans, LA, Ft. Pierre, SD, and Fresno, CA. Each of these workshops focused emergency response and regional climate change impacts for the water sector, such as flooding, sea-level rise, drought, ice storms and power outages. Sessions included discussions on how participants can better plan for and adapt to extreme events and disasters, tool demonstrations on the Flood Resilience Guide and CREAT, utility case studies, and energy management. Participants included academia, state climatologists, associations, Union of Concerned Scientists, Tribes, non-profits, and other water sector stakeholders. These workshops will be used to update the Preparing for Extreme Events: Workshop Planner for the Water Sector Tool, and may lead to additional workshops with small and tribal utilities.


 

For more information on CRWU efforts, please visit us at:  www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities

 

For any help, feedback or questions, please contact us at CRWUhelp@epa.gov

EPA WSD Preparedness Tools & Resources for Drinking Water & Wastewater Utilities

On November 13, EPA’s Water Security Division hosted a webinar to showcase tools and resources for use by drinking water and wastewater utilities.  If you were not able to participate in this event, WSD has generously made the slide deck and links for all of the referenced tools available for your use and reference.

Please take advantage of this very useful information.  Check out the resources and share them with your water utilities and others with an interest in enhanced resiliency for the water sector.

PREPAREDNESS TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR DRINKING WATER & WASTEWATER UTILITIES WEBINAR
Recording Link:

      https://epa.connectsolutions.com/p1jnkc3qk1c

 

Webinar Tools and Resources Links:

Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT)      http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/vsat.cfm
Water Health & Economic Tool (WHEAT)      http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/wheat.cfm
Flood Resilience: A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities      http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan
Your Water Your Community Video      www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWttOjQ47ls

EPA Water Security Division Link:

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/

Please be on the lookout in the Spring of 2015 for information on the next webinar in this series, featuring a new set of water security tools and resources from EPA’s Water Security Division!

For more information and details on any in-person or web based training being held on the tools referenced in the webinar, please contact WSD-Outreach@epa.gov.

Fillable COOP Template for Labs Now Available

Many of you will remember that last September, ASDWA and EPA’s Water Lab Alliance Team cohosted a webinar on Continuity of Operations Plans appropriate for water laboratories.  One of the highlights of that event was EPA’s announcement that they were working on a fillable form that labs could use when designing their COOPs.  Attendees were asked to “stay tuned” in anticipation of the release of the form.

EPA’s Water Security Division is excited to announce that the fillable Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories is now available for download at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/wla/index.cfm.  This template streamlines the process of creating COOPs through the inclusion of features such as autofill, drop-down boxes, and fillable tables. An accompanying Factsheet and Instructions document with examples is also available online.

For those of you who could not participate in the September event, EPA will be hosting another webcast that focuses on the benefits of laboratory COOPs in January.

 

DATE:  January 15, 2015

TIME:   1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  https://www.thetestportal.com/public/alsded+portal_apps.wlacoop2.p_register.

Please share this opportunity with your colleagues who have an interest in enhanced preparedness and strengthened partnerships between state drinking water programs and state labs.

If you have any questions about the COOP Template, COOPs for labs, or the next webcast, please email WLA@epa.gov

Cyber Incident Liabilities, Mitigation, and Insurance Webcast

On Thursday, December 11, WaterISAC will host a panel of experts who will discuss emerging legal risks and standards relating to cybersecurity and critical infrastructure sectors and how specialized insurance can be used by water and wastewater utilities to help mitigate the financial and reputational repercussions of cyber incidents.  This webcast is available at no charge for WaterISAC Pro and Basic subscribers.

DATE:  Thursday, December 11, 2014

TIME:   2:00-3:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Register Now (Open to WaterISAC Pro and Basic members.)

The panel will address some of the potential liabilities utilities can be exposed to due to such incidents and how an evolving legal “standard of care” will require increased investment in cybersecurity prevention programs as well as cyber risk transfer and acceptance. The risk transfer process of procuring specialized insurance products can help to indemnify organizations from damages resulting from allegations of negligence or misconduct. The panel will further explain what cybersecurity insurance entails and the different types of policies available, including the extent of coverage each provides.

Not a WaterISAC subscriber?  Please contact them at info@waterisac.org or 866-H2O-ISAC to learn more about this information sharing resource.

WaterISAC Shares Cyber Resource Guide

As many of you know, October has been Cyber Security Awareness Month.  As part of that acknowledgement, the WaterISAC has put together a Cyber Security Resources Guide to be shared with the Water Sector. The guide contains a high-level view of several key resources to help water and wastewater utilities and the government agencies that support them mitigate risks and resolve vulnerabilities. All of the resources discussed in the guide are available on WaterISAC’s portal. For the resources only available to Pro members, consider a free three-month Pro membership trial.

Contents:

  • Threat Information Sources
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework
  • AWWA Cybersecurity Guidance and Tool
  • Assessment Tools and Services
  • Other Guides and Resources
  • Education and Training
  • Cyber Security Insurance
  • Who to Call if You’ve Been Hacked

Download the guide today

EPA WSD Webinar on Available Tools & Resources

On November 13, EPA is offering a webinar to showcase tools and resources available to drinking water and wastewater utilities as they strive to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from a water emergency.

Participants will:

  • Learn about EPA preparedness tools and resources that can help mitigate an emergency,
  • Learn about EPA tools and resources that can support them during an emergency, and
  • Hear testimonials from utilities that have used these tools.

DATE:  Thursday, November 13

TIME:   2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  https://www.thetestportal.com/freeEPAresources (“Register” button – top left of page)

A flyer that contains more details about this event is linked here 2528-15 EPA AES Webinar Flyer_v5_1up for email

RECENT EPA HOMELAND SECURITY RESEARCH WATER SECURITY PRODUCTS

From time to time, ASDWA receives very helpful updates from our colleagues at EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC).  And, as they have reminded us this time, “Many of our products have multiple uses, not just homeland security applications.”  Please take a few moments to read through this impressive product list and consider how you can make the connections between these tools and products and other aspects of your drinking water program.

COMPUTER TOOLS

Threat Ensemble Vulnerability Assessment- Sensor Placement Optimization Tool (Teva-Spot) Graphical User InterfaceUpdated software

The original TEVA-SPOT software guided utilities in selecting the optimal number and location of water quality sensors to best meet their monitoring and security needs. The Consequence and Vulnerability Assessment Tool greatly improves this software by providing functions that enable utilities to make informed risk assessment and risk management decisions related to contamination events or operational upsets in water distribution systems (WDS). The tool can be used to prepare for events or to guide response as events are occurring.

PBPK Literature Visualization Project: ModelMapSoftware

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling is a mathematical modeling technique for predicting the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of synthetic or natural chemical substances in humans and other animal species. PBPK modeling is used in pharmaceutical research and drug development, and in health risk assessment. This second generation computational and informatics tools can be used to automatically organize and give rapid access to the body of PBPK modeling literature.

I-WASTE online tutorial

I-WASTE was developed to address waste management information gaps. I-WASTE provides information on types and volumes of waste materials and potential contaminants generated during an incident, location and contact information for potential treatment/disposal facilities, as well as health and safety information to ensure public and worker safety during the removal, transport, treatment, and disposal of contaminated waste and debris. The online tutorial was developed to assist EPA’s On Scene Coordinators and others in the use of the tool.

PRODUCTS THAT SUPPORT PLANNING FOR EMERGENCIES

Protecting Water Supply Critical Infrastructure: An OverviewBook chapter

This book chapter discusses the general principles and characteristics of water and wastewater system security. The chapter also summarizes current research as it relates to system security, focusing on intentional threats to water systems.

PRODUCTS SUPPORT DETECTION AND ANALYSIS

Configuring Online Monitoring Event Detection SystemsReport

CANARY is an EPA-developed software that enhances the detection of contamination incidents in drinking water distribution systems. One of the challenges to more widespread use of the software is the configuration process. This report presents a set of rule-of-thumb configuration parameters that can be used by water utilities as they start to use the software. In addition, a logical process is laid out for a more comprehensive approach to selecting configuration parameters.

Real-Time Analysis of Moisture and Flow Data to Describe Wet Weather Response in a Permeable Pavement Parking LotSymposium Paper

CANARY event detection software was used for the purposes of detecting and identifying system response to rainfall in a permeable pavement stormwater underdrain in an academic parking lot in Cincinnati, OH. The results show that the software, originally designed for water quality detection in drinking water systems, proved adept at identifying a change in both underdrain flow and subsurface moisture in response to precipitation.

LabLogic Radiation Detection Online Water Quality Monitoring SystemReport

The purpose of this report is to provide EPA testing results of an on line radiation monitor for drinking water called the Beta Ram (B- Ram) by LabLogic Inc. Previous water monitoring systems have not been able to detect radiation at or near Protective Action Guides based upon 500 mrem/yr. This device using a scintillation principle of detection was able to detect at these lower activity levels. This information will help inform buyer decisions in the marketplace

Quantitative Analysis and Stability of the Rodenticide TETS (Tetramine) in Finished Tap WaterJournal Article

The determination of the rodenticide tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) in drinking water is reportable through the use of automated sample preparation via solid phase extraction and detection using isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method was characterized over twenty-two analytical batches with quality control samples. Accuracies for low and high concentration quality control pools were 100 and 101%, respectively. The minimum reporting level (MRL) for TETS in this method is 0.50 ug/L. Five drinking waters, representing a range of water quality parameters and disinfection practices, were fortified with TETS at ten times the MRL and analyzed over a 28 day period to determine the stability of TETS in these waters. The amount of TETS measured in these samples averaged 100 ± 6% of the amount fortified suggesting that tap water samples may be held for up to 28 days prior to analysis.

PRODUCTS THAT SUPPORT THE TREATMENT OF WATER AND/OR DECONTAMINATION OF WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

Decontamination of Chemical Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and Summary

This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of chemical contamination on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some chemical contaminants, but important data gaps remain. In general, data on chemical persistence on drinking water infrastructure is available for inorganics such as arsenic and mercury, as well as select organics such as petroleum products, pesticides and rodenticides. Data specific to chemical warfare agents and pharmaceuticals was not found and data on toxins is scant. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available chemical persistence data to other common drinking water infrastructure materials. Decontaminating agents that successfully removed persistent contamination from one infrastructure material should be used in further studies.

Decontamination of Biological Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and Summary Journal Article

This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of biological agents on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some biological agents, but data gaps remain. Data on bacterial spore persistence on common water infrastructure materials such as iron and cement-mortar lined iron shows that spores can be persistent for weeks after initial contamination. Decontamination data shows that common disinfectants such as free chlorine have limited effectiveness. Decontamination results with germinant and alternate disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide are more promising. Persistence and decontamination data was collected on vegetative bacteria, such as coliforms, Legionella and Salmonella. Vegetative bacteria are less persistent than spores and more susceptible to disinfection, but the surfaces and water quality conditions in many studies were only marginally related to drinking water systems. However, results of real-world case studies on accidental contamination of water systems with E. coli and Salmonella contamination show that flushing and chlorination can help return a water system to service. Some viral persistence data was found, but decontamination data was lacking. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available biological persistence data to other common infrastructure materials. Further exploration of non-traditional drinking water disinfectants is recommended for future studies.

Decontamination of Radiological Agents from Drinking Water Infrastructure: A Literature Review and SummaryJournal Article

This article summarizes the current state of knowledge on the persistence of radiological agents on drinking water infrastructure along with information on decontamination should persistence occur. Decontamination options for drinking water infrastructure have been explored for some important radiological agents (cesium, strontium and cobalt), but important data gaps remain. Although some targeted experiments have been published on cesium, strontium and cobalt persistence on drinking water infrastructure, most of the data comes from nuclear clean-up sites. Furthermore, the studies focused on drinking water systems use non-radioactive surrogates. Non-radioactive cobalt was shown to be persistent on iron due to oxidation with free chlorine in drinking water and precipitation on the iron surface. Decontamination with acidification was an effective removal method. Strontium persistence on iron was transient in tap water, but adherence to cement-mortar has been demonstrated and should be further explored. Cesium persistence on iron water infrastructure was observed when flow was stagnant, but not with water flow present. Future research suggestions focus on expanding the available cesium, strontium and cobalt persistence data to other common infrastructure materials, specifically cement-mortar. Further exploration chelating agents and low pH treatment is recommended for future decontamination studies.

DHS Reminds All to Secure IT Products and Processes

Information technology exists in almost all of the products that we use. IT products help us run our homes, businesses, and cities. An entire industry has been developed to help secure these products, to include anti-virus software and malware detectors, security services firms, and offices dedicated to protecting information technology.

As software becomes more complex, discovering vulnerabilities also becomes more difficult.  For example, the recent Heartbleed vulnerability existed within popular encryption software for two years before it was detected.

Not every household or company is able to employ cyber professionals to make sure that their IT products are secure. Therefore, this National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we are looking at the importance of securely developing IT products. This involves building in security features, such as encryption, anti-virus, and other controls, into products before they ever reach the consumer. Building in seamless cybersecurity features within products helps us all stay cyber safe. Secure development of IT products can help decrease the zero day vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber criminals.

Government and industry must work together in this endeavor, setting and maintaining high cybersecurity standards across all critical infrastructure industries. In this spirit, DHS developed the Software Assurance Program, which seeks to reduce software vulnerabilities, minimize exploitation, and address ways to improve the routine development and deployment of trustworthy software products. Through public private partnership, the Software Assurance Program is designed to spearhead the development of practical guidance and tools and to promote research and development investment in cyber security.

Regardless of how secure our IT products are, individuals have a personal responsibility toward cybersecurity. For instance, when purchasing software or hardware, consumers should:

  • Install and maintain vendor-distributed patches or updates
  • Ensure they are using the latest operating systems on their computers and mobile devices
  • Be aware of vulnerabilities that may

To learn more about software and applications, visit the US-CERT tips and advice page at www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/.

Secure IT products also do not excuse people from practicing unsafe online behavior. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourages everyone to stop and think about the choices they make when online, and to connect with care and caution. For general online safety tips and resources, visit the “Stop.Think.Connect.” Campaign resource guide at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

EPA and ASDWA Host COOP Webinar for Labs

EPA’s Water Security Division (EPA WSD) and ASDWA hosted a joint webcast on the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories on September 18. Developed by EPA’s WSD Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) team, the COOP Template is designed to help state, utility, and private laboratories enhance the reliability of critical laboratory operations during a crisis.

A COOP Template Fillable Form will be available shortly, but in the meantime, the Instructions for Continuity of Operations Plan Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories can be accessed at: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/wla/index.cfm.

The recorded webinar can be viewed on ASDWA’s website.  Just click this link www.asdwa.org/security and scroll to the first item in the Important Documents section.

If you have any questions about the webinar, COOP plans for labs, or the soon to be released Template, please email WLA@epa.gov