Environmental Finance Center Network Hosts Two Useful Small System Webinars

EFCN Partners Host Several Useful Small Systems Webinars

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) receives funds from EPA to provide information and assistance for small systems.  While most of their efforts look within a system’s technical, managerial, or financial capabilities, the two webinars below look at planning and resilience efforts.

Managing Disasters Before Disasters Strike

DATE:              Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will explore emergency management and resilience strategies that can help small systems prepare for disasters. Discussions will cover trends in hazards, critical infrastructure stressors, and what steps small systems can take to adapt to an uncertain future.

Risk and Resilience: Assessing Vulnerability for Coastal Communities

DATE:              Friday, November 2, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

In light of an ever-changing climate and increasingly stressed infrastructure, we must take steps towards preventing and mitigating the duration and severity of water service interruptions. This webinar will discuss the importance of understanding risk, explore what it means to be a resilient coastal system, and suggest strategies for conducting basic vulnerability assessments.

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Quarterly Newsletter – EPA Water Security Division

Our EPA colleagues have several interactive opportunities that you may be interested in:

  1. Hurricane – Be Ready!

EPA has developed tools to help water utilities prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricane-related impacts. Check out our incident action checklist and other free resources…and remember to heed watches and warnings issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.  Want to know more?  Click here

  1. Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit

On September 19, EPA is hosting a one-day Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit in Herndon, VA to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long duration, widespread power outage.

There will be presentations and discussions on black sky threats, generators, alternative power options, microgrids, critical interdependencies, and communications. The focus will be on some of the challenges and potential solutions to a long duration power outage. The target audience is drinking water and wastewater utilities, water and energy associations, electric utilities, and local, state, and federal government agencies. To participate in person Register Here  If you are outside the DC metropolitan area and are interested in participating in a webcast of the event, please send an email to Lauren Wisniewski at wisniewski.lauren@epa.gov.

  1. Webinar – Customer Complaint Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

DATE:              September 11, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:  Register Here

This webinar will describe how water quality complaints from customers can be analyzed in real time to detect emerging water quality problems. It will describe methods and tools that can be used to analyze historical data to set thresholds that minimize the frequency of invalid alerts without compromising detection capabilities.

  1. Webinar – Public Health Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

 DATE:              October 9, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:           Register Here

This webinar will discuss the role that public health partners can play in detecting and responding to drinking water contamination incidents.  It will provide an overview of common public health partners as well as the types of surveillance they perform.  Examples of the application of public health surveillance to monitor for water contamination incidents will be presented.  There will also be a discussion of roles and responsibilities during a joint water utility/public health agency investigation of possible water contamination.

  1. Webinar – Response Planning for Distribution System Contamination Incidents

 DATE:              November 6, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:           Register Here

This webinar will provide an overview of the response to a distribution system contamination incident and the steps utilities can take to prepare their own response procedure. It will cover roles and responsibilities when working with response partners. The webinar will also discuss possible response actions that can be implemented to minimize consequences, such as operational changes to reduce the spread of contaminated water and public notification to minimize customers’ exposure to contaminated water.

AWWA Offers Emergency Preparedness & Response Video DVD

Our colleagues at AWWA have developed a DVD/video that covers key emergency preparedness requirements to help water utilities establish an acceptable level of emergency preparedness based on both identified and perceived risks.  It steps you through eight basic activities that include elements ranging from commitment to preparedness to risk assessments to training and partnerships.

This link takes you to the AWWA webpage that offers a preview of the video, information about its content, and an order form.  The cost is $199 (for AWWA members) and $285 for others.  States may find this useful as a training tool.

 

Free Water Security Webinars

EPA’s Water Security Division has scheduled several webinar information and training events during July and August.  There’s also an invitation to participate in a September Power and Resilience Black Sky Summit.  For more information, please read on.

Communication Systems for Smart Utility Infrastructure

DATE:              July 17, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will discuss considerations for evaluating and selecting data communications systems that meet the unique requirements of smart utility infrastructure, including remote water quality and security monitoring equipment. Also, the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati will present a case study about its smart sewer network.

Air Regulations for Generators at Water Utilities

DATE:              July 25, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will provide an overview of the air regulations for stationary generators including the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE).  It will outline the requirements for a water utility purchasing new diesel generators.  The presentation will also compare the requirements for emergency generators with the requirements for generators used for demand response/peak shaving. You will hear from speakers such as Melanie King, EPA Office of Air and Radiation and Sara Ayres, EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Puerto Rico Water and Sewer Authority’s Response to Hurricane Maria Webinar

DATE:              August 8, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Eli Diaz-Atienza, President of Puerto Rico’s Water and Sewer Authority (PRASA) will describe how the utility was impacted by the loss of power caused by Hurricane Maria.  At its peak, PRASA was utilizing 1610 generators at its 114 drinking water plants, 51 wastewater plants, and pump stations.  This presentation will discuss some of the challenges with operating, maintaining, and fueling the generators.  It will also summarize some of the lessons learned and plans for increasing its resilience.

Free Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit

Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit (September 19, 2018 in Herndon, VA)

EPA is hosting a one-day Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long duration, widespread power outage. There will be presentations and discussions on black sky threats, generators, alternative power options (e.g., combined heat and power, solar), critical interdependencies, and communications. The focus will be on some of the challenges and potential solutions to a long duration power outage.  The target audience is drinking water and wastewater utilities, water and energy associations, electric utilities, and local, state, and federal government agencies.  Register at: https://epa-black-sky-summit.eventbrite.com

Fuel Supply Planning Webinar Features Oregon

 

 

DATE:              June 28, 2018

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

REGISTER:      https://epa-fuel-planning-webinar.eventbrite.com

As a part of its Water and Power Resilience work, the U.S. EPA will be hosting a webinar on Fuel Supply Planning.  A catastrophic earthquake would devastate Oregon’s fuel supply and distribution. Oregon developed a Fuel Action Plan to address how the state would access and distribute fuel during a catastrophic event.

This webinar will provide an overview of Oregon’s Fuel Action Plan as well as Washington County’s corresponding county level plans. These plans address many of the issues that water utilities could face, such as prioritization, distribution, waivers and security, when trying to obtain fuel for generators during a long duration, widespread power outage.

FEMA Funds for Water

In the scramble to find out what funding is available for state drinking water programs from the FY 18 Omnibus Appropriations Act, ASDWA came across some new information about programs managed by FEMA that may have funds available for water utilities and state primacy agencies.

FEMA funding is captured in the Omnibus bill under Division F, Title IV, Protection, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.  In total, FEMA grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements are collectively funded at $3,293,932,000.  Of that amount, the following appropriations are included:

  • $507M for the State Homeland Security Grant Program to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies to obtain the resources required to support implementation of the National Preparedness System (NPS) and the Goal of a secure and resilient Nation.
  • $630M for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program to address the unique multi-discipline planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density Urban Areas.
  • $350M for the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program for states to assist state, local, territorial, and tribal governments in preparing for all hazards, as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and Section 662 of the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006.
  • $249M for the National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund to assist states, tribes, and territories to reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on Federal funding in future disasters. This program awards planning and project grants and provides opportunities for raising public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes.
  • $275M for Current Operations to sustain training, exercises, technical assistance and other programs.

You are encouraged to collaborate with your state’s emergency management agency to determine how best to take advantage of these programs and opportunities.

 

EPA WSD Offers Webinars, Workshops, and Requests for Input

Below are some upcoming resilience opportunities available to state drinking water programs as well as water and wastewater utilities. Please share these opportunities.

Webinars and Workshop 

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

February 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET

 

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on WCIT, a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern. The training will include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods and generating public information reports: https://usepa-wcit-training.eventbrite.com

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

February 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET

It is imperative that laboratories be able to continue their essential functions when incidents occur that disrupt normal operations. This webinar is designed as an introduction to the WLA COOP template, providing a basic overview of the COOP template contents and a demonstration on how to use the template’s fillable form:  https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

 

Nevada Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination Workshop

March 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The U.S. EPA Water Security Division and the Las Vegas Valley Water District will be hosting a Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination workshop on March 13, 2018. The free one-day workshop will include presentations from drinking water and wastewater utilities, as well as local, state and federal emergency response and law enforcement agencies.  It will also include a tabletop exercise involving a possible intentional water contamination incident that impacts water and wastewater services, law enforcement, local emergency management, public health, and local hospitals. The workshop aims to increase coordination and communication between water utilities, emergency management, and law enforcement.  It will also provide law enforcement personnel with a better understanding of water system infrastructure and operations.

The target audience is:

  • Drinking water and wastewater utilities
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement departments and agencies
  • Local, state, and federal emergency management agencies

To register, please visit:  https://epa-nv-water-ess-workshop.eventbrite.com

 

Requesting Partners Input

Water and Healthcare/Public Health Workshop.  The U.S. EPA Water Security Division plans to conduct a workshop in the western U.S. and is seeking interested stakeholders in the area.  The one-day workshop will comprise presentations discussing cross-sector communication between the local area water utility and healthcare/public health entities.  A water loss scenario in the afternoon provides the opportunity to discuss improvement to existing communication protocols between the water and health sectors. For more information, please contact Chrissy Dangel, 513-569-7821).

Water Sector Power Resilience Summit – To be held in September 2018

EPA plans to partner with water associations, state agencies, water utilities, energy providers, energy associations and other key partners to host a two-day Water Sector Power Resilience Summit.  The objective of the summit is to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long-duration, widespread power outage.  We are still in the early planning stages, but plan to host an event for 150-250 people in the DC-area in September 2018.  We are looking for volunteers to participate in a summit planning team that will help to develop the summit agenda, identify potential speakers, and share information about the summit to water sector stakeholders.  We anticipate that volunteers would participate in approximately six one-hour teleconferences between January and September 2018 and spend several hours reviewing documents or completing action items from the teleconferences during that eight-month time period.  For more information, please contact Lauren Wisniewski 202-564-2918.

 

 

Responding to a Water Contamination Event – Webinar Series

Please join EPA’s Water Security Division in recognizing the importance of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure during Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month for a webinar series on free tools you can use to respond to a water contamination emergency at your utility.

 

The webinar series will focus on the following topics:

Preparing Your Water Utility for an Emergency

DATE:              November 2, 2017

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

 

Responding to a Contamination Incident

DATE:              November 8, 2017

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

 

Recovering from a Contamination Incident

 DATE:              November 15, 2017

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

 

TO REGISTER FOR ONE OR MORE EVENTS:  Click this link and select the dates to register for the appropriate event.

Resilience Planning for Small Systems

Our Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) partners are hosting a webinar titled Resilience:  Planning on Disaster and Preparing for Disruption.  How do you prevent or mitigate the duration of severity of water service interruptions – especially if you’re a small system?

DATE:              Wednesday, September 20

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7020594331405763586

This event will outline a basic framework for small water systems to use in in their resilience planning.  It will also offer various tools and resources to help get plan implementation off the ground.

 

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN EARTH EX CROSS-SECTOR POWER OUTAGE EXERCISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical infrastructure owners/operators and government agencies have an opportunity to participate in a new exercise designed to let participants evaluate and improve restoration support, preparedness, response and recovery plans for severe hazards, using a long-term, widespread power outage as a test case.  A webinar about the exercise is planned for July 19 and you may register here.

Hosted by the Electric Infrastructure Reliability Council, which recently published a handbook on water sector resilience to long-term power outages, EARTH EX 2017 is a four-hour decentralized, international, multi-sector, self-assessed exercise that will consider the impact of a long-duration power outage on critical infrastructure.  The no cost exercise will take place on Wednesday, August 23.  Private sector and government organizations in the U.S. and around the world interested in participating in EARTH EX 2017 are invited to register online.

In recent years concerns have grown over the potential for severe malicious or natural “Black Sky” hazards that include long duration power outages and which could lead to cascading failures of water supply systems and other interdependent infrastructure.  To prepare for these risks, careful sector-by-sector resilience planning is crucial. Cross-sector exercises are an important component to understanding interdependencies and shared vulnerabilities.  As a “come as you are” exercise, EARTH EX will offer executive and senior level operational decision makers a unique opportunity to examine preparedness, response and restoration postures for severe hazard scenarios – all without extensive pre-exercise preparation.