Physical and Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure

TEEX is offering a series of no cost, onsite trainings across the nation between February and September 2016.  The one day course encourages collaborative efforts by those responsible for both physical and cybersecurity in order to develop an integrated risk management strategy.  Participants will learn to identify physical and cybersecurity risks and concerns, and examine past incidents and their impacts on critical infrastructure.  Information about resources that can be applied to improving security within an organization, business or government entity will also be explored.

Training locations have been identified for American Samoa, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Mariana Islands, Guam, Washington, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, Vermont and Colorado.  Click here to learn more about specific dates and locations for these courses.

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance Hosts Training for Labs and Utilities

The Water Lab Alliance is preparing to host a series of webinars that cover an array of lab related activities and at least two topics of more particular interest to the water utility community.  Continuity of Operations Planning and Tabletop Exercises are just two of the lab related events.  Please share this information with your labs!

Two other web trainings in the series are a bit broader in scope and are recommended for water utilities as well as the laboratory community:

Decontamination Strategies for Utilities – How to use EPA’s Disposal Guide will be broadcast several times – February 22, March 7, March 22, and April 5 – in hour long webcasts.

On April 26, Unknown Sampling Guidance will be the focus for the hour long web event.

To register for any and/or all of these events, please go to the Water Security Division WLA webpage at: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/epa-office-of-water-water-security-division-water-laboratory-alliance-8453004715

More information on each of these events are available by clicking this link WLA Training Opportunities Flyer

EPA Launches New Online Training Module on Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources

EPA has released a new online training module, “Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources.” This training module is intended to increase water resource professionals’ understanding of the causes of climate change, its potential impacts on water resources, and the challenges that water resource professionals face. The module also describes how federal, state, tribal, and local governments and communities are working to make the United States more resilient to the impacts of climate. The 45-minute training is part of the EPA Watershed Academy Web certificate program. Click this link to learn more: http://www.epa.gov/watershedacademy/understanding-climate-change-impacts-water-resources

Finding EPA WSD Information and Tools

As many of you know, the Environmental Protection Agency has been redesigning all of its web pages.  This means that many of the links that we have come to rely on no longer work or have been modified.  Our colleagues at the Water Security Division have provided a new set of links that should help you “rediscover” their web pages, tools, and helpful information.

General Risk, Response, and Recovery:  http://www.epa.gov/waterresilience

Risk Assessment and Reduction:  http://www.epa.gov/waterriskassessment

Climate Ready Water Utilities:  http://www.epa.gov/crwu

Emergency Response:  http://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse

Water Lab Alliance:  http://www.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork

Training & Exercises:  http://www.epa.gov/waterresiliencetraining

Community Based Water Resilience: http://www.epa.gov/communitywaterresilience

Emergency Funding:  http://www.epa.gov/fedfunds

Water Quality Surveillance & Response System: http://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance

EPA WSD Shares Water Utility Public Awareness Kit

Drinking water and wastewater utilities can use EPA’s newly released Water Utility Public Awareness Kit to reach and inform their customers and communities about the value of water services.  Using print, web, and TV communication methods and approaches, the kit includes an infographic poster, mailers, video, web, and print public service announcements. Some of these materials can be easily personalized with the utility’s own logo.  You can view and/or download the Water Utility Public Awareness Kit on EPA’s WSD website at http://www.epa.gov/communitywaterresilience/water-utility-public-awareness-kit.

 

 

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance to Host COOP Template Training Webcast

EPA’s Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Team invites you to attend the upcoming WLA Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training Webcast.  State primacy agencies are encouraged to participate and invite their labs to join as well to make sure that their respective COOP plans are well aligned and harmonized.

DATE:              Thursday, January 21, 2016

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wla-continuity-of-operations-plan-coop-template-training-tickets-20478831737?aff=ebrowse There is no cost to participate but you must register in advance.

The webcast will provide an overview of the COOP Template for Drinking Water and Wastewater Laboratories developed by EPA’s WLA Team and also demonstrate how the COOP Template fillable form can be used by laboratories to develop a personalized COOP.

The COOP template helps create a plan that contains information to:

  • Establish policies and procedures to assure continuous performance of laboratory testing
  • Provide communication and direction to stakeholders
  • Minimize the loss of assets, resources, critical records and data
  • Reduce or mitigate disruptions to the laboratory’s operation
  • Effectively manage the immediate response to an emergency

Questions?  Send an email to the WLA Team at WLA@epa.gov.

EPA and Idaho National Lab Create a First-of-Its-Scale Water Security Test Bed

EPA’s Cincinnati-based Homeland Security Center Research Center has announced the construction of a new Water Security Test Bed (WSTB) at DOE’s Idaho National Lab.  The WSTB is designed to help address the gaps related to the science and engineering of decontaminating water distribution systems and safely disposing of high-volumes of contaminated water.

 

The WSTB replicates a section of a typical municipal drinking water system including a piping system with roughly 445 feet of pipe and two fire hydrants laid out in an “L” shape using 40-year-old, eight-inch cement mortar lined, ductile iron pipes, excavated after twenty years of use for water conveyance. Researchers built the WSTB above ground for easy access during experiments, and to facilitate fast leak detection.

 

Over the next several years, EPA and partner researchers will conduct experiments using simulants of various biological, chemical, and radioactive materials that simulate high toxic versions of these agents. At this “full” sized system, researchers will demonstrate approaches to contamination detection, sensor and model testing, infrastructure decontamination, water treatment and cyber testing developed at lab and pilot scale.

 

You may view a video that showcases the WSTB at https://youtu.be/olCs_kbegBA.  If you are interested in working with EPA researchers at the WSTB, please contact hsrp@epa.gov.  For more information on EPA’s homeland security efforts, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/homeland-security…

DHS Partnership Bulletin

Our Colleagues at DHS have published the latest edition of their Partnership Bulletin.  Below are excerpts that you may find interesting and of use.

Coming Soon: Enhanced Cybersecurity Services

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program will unveil a new service offering in early 2016. Be on the lookout for the January 2016 DHS announcement, which will include details on how the service works and how customers can subscribe. In the meantime, please visit the ECS Website or contact ECS_Program@hq.dhs.gov with questions.

Just Released: National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Research and Development Plan

DHS announced the release of the National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR) Research and Development (R&D) Plan earlier this month. The National CISR R&D Plan is one in a series of deliverables required by Presidential Policy Directive 21 and represents the culmination of a two-year, collaborative process involving public and private stakeholders from across the critical infrastructure sectors.

The purpose of the National CISR R&D Plan is to identify National CISR R&D priority areas that inform R&D investments, promote innovation, and guide research activities across the critical infrastructure community including within the Federal government. Completion of the National CISR R&D Plan represents a significant accomplishment and its public release sets the stage for Plan implementation.

If you have any questions about the Plan or would like to participate in the Implementation Roadmap process, please email CISR-R&D@hq.dhs.gov.

Secretary Johnson Announces Update to the National Terrorism Advisory System

On December 16, 2015, Secretary Johnson announced an update to the National Terrorism Advisory System. For more information view the fact sheet or visit the NTAS Webpage.

Planning and Response to an Active Shooter: Policy and Best Practices Guide

The second edition of the Planning and Response to an Active Shooter: Policy and Best Practices Guide is now available to the public. The publication, which has been divided into two parts, contains guidance to help people prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident. It is intended to be used by all who might be involved in an active shooter incident, including law enforcement agencies, facility tenants, and the public. For more information, please visit the DHS active shooter preparedness Webpage.

Dams Sector Releases Security Guidelines

The Dams Sector recently released a new publication, the Dams Sector Security Guidelines, that consolidates effective industry security practices into a voluntary framework for owners and operators to select and implement security activities and measures that promote the protection of personnel, public health, public safety, and public confidence. The Guidelines are intended as a valuable resource to security directors and facility managers with varying levels of security knowledge, particularly those employed by small- and medium-sized owners and operators.

The publication can be accessed through the HSIN-CI Dams Portal or by requesting a copy from the Dams Sector-Specific Agency at dams@hq.dhs.gov.

2016 National Homeland Security Conference

The National Homeland Security Association is hosting the 10th annual National Homeland Security Conference on June 28–30, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. The conference brings together more than 1,000 attendees from the homeland security and emergency management disciplines, representing local, state, and Federal government; military; and the private sector. Visit National Homeland Security Association for more information and to register.

DHS Modifies Threat Alert System

 

 

As many of you may recall, shortly after the World Trade Center attack, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designed a color-coded alert system that ran from blue to red to indicate the nation’s level of concern with terrorism threats.  In 2011, that system was simplified to employ only two threat levels – “elevated,” to warn of a credible threat, and “imminent,” to give notice of a specific impending threat.

Earlier this week, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the national threat characterization levels will now include a third component known as “bulletin level.”  This level is designed to share information that does not meet the thresholds described in the other characterizations but rather describes terrorism developments or general trends and provides suggestions about what the public can do – such as report suspicious behavior.

To read the bulletin, and for more threat advisory information, go to https://www.dhs.gov/ntas/advisory/ntas_15_1216_0001.

EPA’s Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training

EPA has released a new Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training, a computer-based training for water and wastewater utilities that focuses on emergency planning, response, and recovery activities and how they’re incorporated into a comprehensive all-hazard management program.  The interactive training includes testimonials from water utility professionals, as well as links to helpful tools and resources to give utilities a head start on building resilience to all hazards.  Many states have already pre-approved the course for continuing education hours for both water and wastewater personnel.

Use this link to review and/or download the training:  http://www2.epa.gov/waterresiliencetraining/waterwastewater-utility-all-hazards-bootcamp-training

Along with the Boot Camp Training, water utilities may also want to review EPA’s Don’t Get Soaked YouTube Video.  This video educates drinking water and wastewater utility managers, board members, and elected and appointed officials on the benefits of investing in preparedness, response and recovery activities.  The Boot Camp Training and other training resources from EPA (i.e., ICS/NIMS training webinars, tabletop exercises) can be accessed on EPA’s Water Resilience Training page.