EPA WSD Invites Your Participation

There are several water resilience opportunities – tool reviews, webinars, workshops – available for primacy agencies and utilities in the near future.  Take a look and sign up today.

Stakeholder Review of VSAT Web

EPA is asking stakeholders to review a new water sector risk assessment application-VSAT Web. The application has been redesigned and formatted into a web-based easy-to-use version. Drinking water, wastewater, primacy agencies, water sector associations and others in the Water Sector are encouraged to review the new version of VSAT and provide feedback on the beta version no later than May 26 using the “feedback” link at https://vsatval.42six.com/vsat/

U.S. EPA: Free Preparedness Resources for Water Utilities |June 7, 2017 @1:00 PM ET

WSD is hosting another preparedness webinar introducing the new Route to Resilience Tool to drinking water and wastewater utilities. Drinking water and wastewater utilities in 38 states will receive continuing education units for participating. Register for the webinar here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-free-preparedness-resources-for-water-utilities-webinar-tickets-34318437370?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=eventcard

Hosting Healthcare/Public Health and Water Interdependencies Workshops

WSD is coordinating a series of Healthcare/Public Health and Water workshops throughout the Continental US.  The workshops consist of presentations from Healthcare and Public Health Sector organizations, along with area water utilities.  The afternoon portion of the workshop is a tabletop exercise designed to be relevant to the workshop location.  If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your area, please contact Chrissy Dangel at dangel.chrissy@epa.gov no later than June 30.

Interested in Proposing Locations for Incident Command System (ICS) Training?

WSD is offering a few in-person ICS trainings including ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS 300/400 and IS-700 NIMS and IS-800 NRF. We have tentative plans to schedule ICS trainings in Indiana, Northeast Wyoming, and Region 1. We are open to proposed locations for a few more trainings. Please contact David Goldbloom-Helzner at Goldbloom-Helzner.David@epa.gov with a suggestion location and a local/state contact no later than June 15.

Interested in Proposing Locations for Flood Resilience Training?

WSD is offering a couple one-day Flood Resilience Trainings for Water and Wastewater Utilities. The topics covered including understanding the flooding threat, identifying vulnerable assets, evaluating mitigation options, and accessing funding. We want to conduct the trainings by July 31, 2017 if possible and we already have some interest in North Carolina. It is key that we have state trainers (e.g., state Rural Water Association or AWWA Section) that can co-teach the class with EPA and plan to offer additional training at other times in the future. Please contact David Goldbloom-Helzner at Goldbloom-Helzner.David@epa.gov with a suggestion and a local/state contact no later than June 15.

WSD Webinar Materials Available for a Limited Time

If you were not able to participate in EPA WSD’s May 10 webinar on “Why Should I Care About Collaboration?” you can still view the materials – but only for the next two weeks.  Go to https://www.sendthisfile.com/FbHVMOrWloJ6IfTxHxyAb5DV and see:

  • A recorded copy of the webinar, and
  • Presentation slides from the three speakers – Lauren Wisniewski (EPA WSD), Benjamin Ruppert (Hopewell, VA Fire & Rescue), and Jaimie Foreman (City of Carmel, IN).

Please also consider registering for the second and third webinars in this three part series:

Are You Ready for a Tornado?

As part of the month-long PrepareAthon! effort, EPA’s Water Security Division invites you to take a look at their Tornado Incident Action Checklist.  Do take that look.  Don’t presume that just because you don’t live in Tornado Alley that it won’t happen to you.  About two weeks ago, a small tornado tore through Northern Virginia taking down trees and taking off roofs.  This happened less than a mile from the Pentagon.  And, although the Commonwealth of Virginia is well known for many things, tornado activity is not among them!  It happened anyway!

The eight page doc includes links to numerous resources, a step-wise walk through activities related to planning, response and recovery, and thought provoking considerations for how to think about coordination, communication with customers, water system personnel concerns, and power, energy, and fuel needs.  There are also contact and checklists that water systems can complete.  Here’s the link to a downloadable version of the Incident Action Checklist for Tornadoes.  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/tornado.pdf

EPA ORD Tackles Water Security

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Water Security and Resiliency.

DATE:              Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/287664509489298691

The webinar will cover two different new tools designed to meet water utility needs.  The first is the Route to Resilience tool designed to help small and medium sized drinking water utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all hazards.  The second featured tool is the Water Network Tool for Resilience that should be released later this year.  This tool will help water utilities investigate the resilience of their systems to a wide range of hazardous scenarios and evaluate emergency response actions and long term resilience-enhancing strategies.

More information on both of these presentations is available when you click the registration link above.

EPA Shares PrepareAthon! Information and Resources

America’s PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience.  This year’s PrepareAthon! Takes place throughout the month of April.  This link https://community.fema.gov/news?lang=en_US will take you to more information about preparedness and the PrepareAthon! Initiative.

In support of PrepareAthon!, EPA’s Water Security Division has also been working on preparedness and resiliency for the Water Sector.  Take a look at the materials that they have prepared and shared (including helpful case studies) on flooding, drought, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  The tips found in these materials can be just what a water utility needs to get started or expand an effort that they already have underway to enhance their resiliency.  Click https://www.epa.gov/waterresilience/water-utilities-take-part-americas-prepareathon to learn more about EPA’s resources.  This link also has registration information for the May 3 Route to Resilience webinar for utilities.  You may recall that the state-focused webinar on this subject was held February 28.

EPA WSD Hosts 3-Part Webinar Series on Improving Response

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a three part webinar series for water and wastewater utilities and emergency management agencies to learn how to increase resilience and improve emergency response efforts.

ASDWA encourages you to participate and also share this learning opportunity with your water systems as well as with your own emergency management counterparts.

Webinar 1: Why should I care about collaboration?

DATE:                  May 10, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar1.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide an overview of the critical interdependencies between the water and emergency services sectors.  It will include speakers from an emergency management agency and a water utility to discuss how their organizations have benefitted from mutual collaboration.

 

Webinar 2: What have others done?

DATE:                  May 24, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar2.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide in-depth discussions of how two drinking water and wastewater utilities have worked with their local emergency management agencies, to their mutual benefit.

 

Webinar 3: Confronting Challenges – Access and Fuel Supply Planning

DATE:                  June 14, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar3.eventbrite.com

In this webinar, speakers from both sectors will discuss how they approached resolving access issues to disaster sites (credentialing) and what efforts they have undertaken to create a more resilient fuel supply.

All three webinars are free but each requires a separate registration in advance of the event.  Webinar links will be shared approximately one week prior to the event.

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.

 

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.

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.