EPA WSD Offers Three Different Decon Opportunities

For Water Utilities – May 7:

EPA’s Water Security Division will be conducting a half-day Workshop on the Decontamination Preparedness and Assessment Strategy for Water Utilities on May 7 at the at the EPA’s Research Triangle Park Campus, North Carolina. The workshop will focus on understanding the three phases of remediation (Characterization, Decontamination and Clearance) prior to a contamination event. The workshop includes interactive discussions that examine the simulated effect of a chemical release at drinking water and wastewater utilities of a fictitious community.

At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • Understand and become familiar with the steps of the remediation process.
  • Identify utility-specific actions to be taken prior to an incident.
  • Understand and know where to locate other resources and tools that may be helpful to prepare for and respond to an incident.
  • Be aware of public health and environmental safety considerations that apply to each phase of remediation.

For States and Water Utilities – May 7:

EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) will be conducting a panel discussion after the above workshop to introduce a State/Local Engagement Plan focusing on management of emergency contamination incidents regardless of cause. ORD is seeking feedback from state and local organizations, water utilities, and authorities on how best to optimize interactions.

For both the Workshop and Panel discussion, participants must RSVP by April 20 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-epa-international-decontamination-conference-water-utility-workshop-tickets-44158809187

For questions about this workshop, please contact Marissa Lynch at lynch.marissa@epa.gov. For more information about the panel discussion, please contact plotkin.viktoriya@epa.gov.

For States, Utilities and Researchers – May 8-10

EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) will be hosting their 10th International Conference on Decontamination Research and Development held at the EPA’s Research Triangle Park Campus, North Carolina, May 8-10. The conference is designed to facilitate presentation, discussion, and further collaboration on research and development focused on an all-hazards approach to cleaning up contaminated buildings (both interior and exterior), infrastructure, and other areas/materials. The conference continues to focus strongly on matters involving CBR threat agents, but also includes all hazard elements.

Topics for this conference include:

  • New chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) detection and decontamination research data or field activities and large scale demonstrations related to the detection and decontamination of biological (including agricultural threat agents and biotoxins), chemical, and radiological threat agents in indoor (in facilities) or outdoor areas/materials;
  • Cross-cutting topics related to restoration, including: clean-up levels/risk assessment, exposure assessment, sampling/analysis of threat agents, fate/transport/containment, material compatibility with decontamination processes, tool and guidance development, waste management of threat agent-contaminated materials, water/wastewater decontamination, and systems approach to response and regulatory issues;
  • Regional, state, and local initiatives highlighting local priorities, challenges, and science and technology developments related to response and recovery efforts from intentional or accidental environmental incidents; and
  • Special topics: new to this year’s conference is the introduction of a special topics category. These topics will address emerging issues as identified by the conference committee. This year’s special topics are:
    • Emerging threats: work addressing emerging threats (e.g., fentanyl, drug lab cleanup, etc.);
    • Recent disaster response: examples of work supporting large-scale natural disaster response efforts;
    • Research to response: best practices for bridging the gap between R&D and field operations; and
    • All Hazards Remediation (non-CBR): remediation efforts related to a variety of disasters/incidents outside of core homeland security responsibilities

Participant attending the decontamination workshop on May 7 are welcome to attend the 2018 EPA International Decontamination Research and Development Conference. Participants can register for the conference at this link: https://www.epa.gov/homeland-security-research/2018-epa-international-decontamination-research-and-development

For questions about the conference, please contact Susan Blaine at 703-225-2471 or EPA_Decon@icf.com

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The March ORD Monthly Webinar Series Features Water Security & Resiliency

DATE:              Tuesday, March 27

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

REGISTER:      Click here

In this webinar, EPA’s Office of Research and Development is exploring two aspects of water security and resilience – improving emergency response through the Water Lab Alliance (WLA) and sampling and analysis tools for water emergencies.

The Water Lab Alliance presentation will provide an overview of WLA, highlighting several of its available tools and resources that systems – including small systems – can use to improve emergency response.

The Sampling and Analysis Tools presentation will describe sampling and analysis tools that EPA provides to water utilities for improving drinking water and wastewater system resilience to disasters and to quickly recover from chem/bio/rad agents.

Please share this invitation with your state’s water systems and those in your program with an interest in security and resilience.

More WSD Webinars…

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Training

DATE:              March 22, 2018 and

April 19, 2018

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

                        11:00-Noon (eastern)-April

REGISTER:      Click Here for both events

This training is designed to introduce and refresh users on WCIT (water contaminant information tool), 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.

Upcoming Decon R&D Conference

EPA is hosting the 2017 International Decontamination Research and Development Conference (May 8-10, 2018 at the US EPA Campus in Research Triangle Park, NC).  While the larger Conference focuses on R&D for a range of chemical, biological, and radiological contamination incidents; this year, there will be a particular emphasis on the Decontamination Preparedness and Assessment Strategy (DPAS) and its Preparedness Checklist.

During the Conference, participants will be able to start the planning process and to identify what they need to do when they return home. Each attendee could complete the Preparedness Checklist and other worksheets using a real-world system that they have knowledge of as either an operator, TA provider or consultant. An example utility will also be described that can be used to review the strategy.

For more information about the Conference, please review the proceedings from the 2016 event at this link 2016 DECON CONFERENCE REPORT

If you are interested in participating in this Conference, please contact Marissa Lynch Lynch.Marissa@epa.gov at EPA’s Water Security Division.

EPA Homeland Security Research Webinar on R&D Solutions to Water Emergencies

Our EPA Homeland Security R&D colleagues are hosting a webinar on “Research and Development Solutions to Water Emergencies.”  The webinar will describe tools and strategies that EPA provides water utilities to improve drinking water and wastewater system resiliency to disasters, and to quickly recover from contamination involving chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) agents

DATE:              August 17, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8046096733945995267

 

 

An overview of the following tools and methods will be presented:

  • EPANET-RTX (Real-Time eXtension) which are software libraries to support real-time modeling and real-time analytics of water distribution systems
  • Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR) which can be utilized to model and evaluate the resilience of specific water distribution systems
  • Riverine Spill Modeling System (RSMS) that supports emergency response decisions regarding drinking water plants intakes on the Ohio River. There are plans to expand this tool to other river systems
  • Decontamination methods for oil spills that impact water distribution systems, and treatment of contaminated water.

EPA’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery, that assists sampling and analytical method selection, also will be featured as will current research on potential exposure pathways related to high consequence pathogens (e.g., Ebola virus, Bacillus anthracis spores) in wastewater.

In Need of Analytical Support?

Access EPA’s Laboratory Compendium to view labs across the nation and their capabilities. The Lab Compendium is an online database of nationwide environmental laboratories available to EPA; Federal, state, and local emergency responders; laboratory personnel; and water utilities.  The database contains each laboratory’s capabilities to analyze chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants.  Click here to access

 

Protective Action Guide for Radiological Incidents

On June 6, EPA released a draft Protective Action Guide (PAG) and planning guidance for radiological incidents.  As you know, DHS and EPA have recommended that water systems be prepared for all types of incidents – chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.  To date, more focus has been given to chemical and biological incidents.  This PAG, however, is intended to guide water systems in protecting against short term health risks during response to radiological incidents.  It explains how to calculate Derived Response Levels (DRLs) for radionuclides likely to appear in drinking water following a radiological contamination incident.  DRLs are concentrations of radionuclides in drinking water that correspond to EPA’s proposed PAG of 100 mrem and 500 mrem.  It does not replace the radionuclide MCLs designed to protect public health over the long term.

 

A Federal Register notice and opportunity for comment on this draft should be published soon.  Meanwhile, use this link https://www.epa.gov/radiation/protective-action-guides-pags to learn more about the PAG.

 

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…

EPA Publishes Homeland Security Research Newsletter

Our colleagues at the EPA Homeland Security Research Program have shared their latest newsletter that includes information of interest to state drinking water programs.  You can download the entire newsletter at September2015.pdf.  Included are technical briefs that cover a range of topics such as computer tools; sampling and analysis; fate, transport & persistency; and decontamination studies.  You are encourage to share this information, as well, with your colleagues in the lab community.

 

Are You Familiar with WCIT?

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a series of hour-long web trainings on WCIT – the Water Contaminant Information Tool – designed both for the new user and users who would like a quick refresher on how it works.  There are numerous training dates between now and June 30.

For those not familiar with WCIT, it is “…a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern for the Water Sector. WCIT compiles drinking water- and wastewater-specific data in a one-stop, easy-to-use tool.”

So, bring your phone and your computer and learn about:

  • A comprehensive WCIT overview
  • The information WCIT contains
  • How the tool can be used
  • The benefits of use for different stakeholders

You will also receive include step-by-step instructions for tool functions such as contaminant search, finding and accessing field and confirmatory methods, generating public information reports and several other functions. The course will be limited to twenty participants per training, so sign up for your preferred date today.  Just click this link Register at U.S. EPA.

 

Still need help?  Send your question or request to WCIT@epa.gov