Public Health Surveillance Webinar

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a webinar entitled, “Public Health Surveillance (PHS) for Determining Drinking Water Contamination.  PHS involves the analysis of public health data to detect and increase in disease or illness in a community and an investigation to determine whether the increase in illness may be due to drinking water contamination.

DATE:              April 19, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-public-health-surveillance-for-detecting-drinking-water-contamination-registration-32689843201

During the webinar participants will:

  • Learn about common public health partners and surveillance practices
  • Learn how to work with public health partners to leverage existing public health surveillance capabilities to monitor for possible drinking water contamination
  • Find out where to access resources to learn more about public health surveillance

Attendees may be eligible for one continuing education contact hour.

AWWA Cyber Risk Management Webinar

Our colleagues at AWWA are hosting a webinar to consider impacts and implications of cyber vulnerabilities at water utilities. This is a growing but often overlooked threat to the water community.  According to their webpage…This webinar is intended to alert water utility legal counsel, general managers, and C-Suite members to board/council responsibilities concerning cyber-risk vulnerabilities.  You are encouraged to register to learn more about cyber risks and to share this opportunity with your water utilities.

DATE:              March 30, 2017

TIME:               11:30AM-1:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Register Now!

 

There is a registration fee for AWWA members ($75) and nonmembers ($120).

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows Vista

Editor’s Note:  This information was provided by our colleagues at the WaterISAC.

If you know of any water systems still using the Windows Vista operating system, please let them know about the following ASAP.

“All software products have a lifecycle.  After April 11, 2017, Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Vista operating system.  After this date, this product will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft.  Computers running the Windows Vista operating system will continue to work even after support ends.  However, using unsupported software may increase the risks of viruses and other security threats.  Users and administrators are encouraged to upgrade to a currently supported operating system.  For more information, see Microsoft’s Vista support and product lifecycle articles.”

EPA WSD Shares Two New Products

Build Field Capabilities for Drinking Water Contamination

Be better prepared to perform field response activities in a drinking water contamination emergency. This document provides planning and implementation guidance, templates, customizable report forms, and other documentation for basic and advanced field response activities.

Guidance for Building Field Capabilities to Respond to Drinking Water Contamination

 

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How to Share Resources Across State Lines

 EMAC (the Emergency Management Assistance Compact) provides for assistance during Governor-declared states of emergency that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states.  EPA has developed a factsheet that provides information on the EMAC process and how water systems can participate.  Click here to access the fact sheet

In addition, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) maintains an EMAC eLearning portal http://www.emacweb.org/index.php/trainingeducation/interested-in-an-elearning-course that provides instruction in a self-paced, independent atmosphere. NEMA also offers training, workshops, and webinars upon reasonable request, if staffing allows.

New Water Resilience Tool Webinar

DATE:              May 3, 2017

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

REGISTER:      Click here to register

Tune in to hear more about EPA’s new tool, the Route to Resilience. The tool helps utilities become more resilient to all-hazards and is built around five stops; assess, plan, train, respond and recover. Join the webinar to hear more about how you can begin your journey on the Route to Resilience.

Water and wastewater operators may receive continuing education credit in some states.

 

DHS Hosts National Cyber Incident Response Plan Webinars

You are invited to attend any one of four webinars hosted by DHS to learn more about and share your thoughts on the newly released National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP).  This is an essential component of DHS’s mission to strengthen the security and resilience of the Nation by working to improve the ability of all to manage cyber incidents.

You do not need to register in advance, on the day of the event, just use the links provided in the information below.  Each one hour webinar session will cover the same information.

NCIRP Stakeholder Webinar #1

DATE:              Monday March 27, 2017

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

CONNECT:      https://share.dhs.gov/r3fctx11w2x/

DIAL:               1-800-320-4330/Passcode:  372094

 

NCIRP Stakeholder Webinar #2

 DATE:              Tuesday March 28, 2017

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

CONNECT:      https://share.dhs.gov/r8bvryj2nu9/

DIAL:               1-800-320-4330/Passcode: 372094

 

NCIRP Stakeholder Webinar #3

DATE:              Wednesday March 29, 2017

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

CONNECT:      https://share.dhs.gov/r6cmtu0qngo/

DIAL:               1-800-320-4330/Passcode 372094

 

NCIRP Stakeholder Webinar #4

DATE:              Thursday March 30, 2017

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

CONNECT:      https://share.dhs.gov/r22skziadr4/

DIAL:               1-800-320-4330/Passcode 372094

This Plan applies to cyber incidents and more specifically significant cyber incidents that are likely to result in demonstrable harm to the national security interests, foreign relations, or economy of the United States or to the public confidence, civil liberties, or public health and safety of the American people.  We plan to discuss how the NCIRP can be leveraged within your communities.

The NCIRP:

  • Describes a national approach to dealing with cyber incidents, and the important role that the private sector, States, and multiple federal agencies play in responding to incidents and how the actions of all fit together for an integrated response;
  • Reflects and incorporates lessons learned from exercises and real U.S. incidents and policy updates, such as Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-41 on Cyber Incident Coordination Policy and the National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014; and
  • Reinforces and describes the roles of the lead Federal agencies during a significant cyber incident

To view the final NCIRP, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/ncirp

Montana DEQ List Still Holds Up

Back in the early days of drinking water security, Montana DEQ’s Public Water & Subdivision Bureau compiled a “Top Ten List for All Water Systems” for security-related incidents.  I came across a laminated wallet card earlier today that includes those action items.  I think they’re still pretty relevant all these years later…even for cyber security!  (See item 10).

  1. In case of an emergency – call “911” then use ERP
  2. Plan (update) & Prepare – Emergency Response Plan, NIMS command system, training courses, practice exercises, cross train staff, supply availability, employees’ families, alternate work sites, and post contact numbers
  3. Inspect facilities daily
  4. Make security & preparedness everyone’s job
  5. Limit & control access to facilities through identification
  6. Establish relationships with Emergency, Law & Health Officials
  7. Continue to assess threats & identify vulnerabilities
  8. Fence, lock, light, maintain, and secure all facilities
  9. Know, handle, and dispose of chemicals properly
  10. Use necessary computer software and access protection

Are your water systems doing all of the things listed here?  If not, this is a great place to begin!

EPA Releases Two New Contamination Guidance Documents

Late last week, EPA’s Water Security Division released two new documents – Sampling Guidance for Unknown Contaminants in Drinking Water and Sampling and Field Testing During Water Contamination Incidents.

The Sampling Guidance provides procedures for conducting routine and baseline monitoring in response to a triggered event and sampling procedures in support of remediation or decontamination efforts.  It offers recommendations for collecting, storing, preserving and transporting samples of potentially contaminated water as well as recommendations to support the detection and identification of many types of contaminants in drinking water.  None of these recommendations are mandatory; rather they are intended to aid coordination between the utility, emergency response and laboratory communities during the response to a contamination incident.

The Field Testing Guidance outlines basic and advanced field response activities and also provides information pertaining to staffing, quality assurance, and other procedures.  Additionally, the document contains useful resources; downloadable and customizable report forms and templates; supplemental information on the application; and relative costs of field testing instrumentation and test kits.

Watch WSD Webinars On Line

In case you missed them…EPA’s Water Security Division has hosted two webinars that are now available on line.  Recordings of the webinars on Disaster Recovery Financing and on Resilience Mitigation Financing and PDF copies of the presentation slides are now available on the EPA website.  See below for more information

November 22, 2016:  Disaster Recovery Financing for Water and Wastewater Utilities

This webinar describes how states and communities use SRF, FEMA, and other financing approaches to recover from a disaster. Utility and state speakers share their tips and examples.  Click this link to view

https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/disaster-recovery-financing-water-and-wastewater-utilities-webinar

December 7, 2016:  Resilience Mitigation Financing for Water and Wastewater Utilities

This webinar focuses on tools and financing resources to conduct resilience planning and to mitigate impacts before a disaster strikes. Utilities share stories about investing in resilient infrastructure.  Click

https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/resilience-mitigation-financing-water-and-wastewater-utilities-webinar

 

Still have questions?  Please contact either:

 

Kristyn Abhold, EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center at abhold.kristyn@epa.gov or

David Goldbloom-Helzner, EPA Water Security Division at Goldbloom-Helzner.David@epa.gov

DHS Shares Critical Infrastructure Framework

The DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection has announced publication of the Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework: A Reference Guide for the Critical Infrastructure Community.

The Framework is a resource for critical infrastructure owners and operators, as well as other private sector, Federal, and State, local, tribal and territorial government partners that share threat information.  The purpose of the Framework is to describe current processes used to facilitate the flow of threat information between and among all entities involved in the critical infrastructure security and resilience mission, and provide an overview of the key threat information-sharing entities which facilitate this process. The intention is to help critical infrastructure owners and operators and other entities better understand where and how to participate in receiving and sharing threat information with information-sharing hubs.

Please share this link critical-infrastructure-threat-information-sharing-framework-final-508 with your colleagues and water utilities.