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.

Homeland Security Research

EPA’s Office of Homeland Security Research has published a newsletter that contains information related to a variety of new and ongoing research initiatives.  Many of these initiatives also have application beyond the security or resiliency program.  If you are interest in learning about products that support or are related to sampling & analysis; waste management; decontamination; or fate, transport or persistence, please click this link Product Newsletter June 2016.pdf for more information.

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 Publishes CISR R&D Plan

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pleased to announce the release of the National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR) Research and Development (R&D) Plan. 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. The Plan and additional information are available at https://www.dhs.gov/blog/2015/12/02/protecting-our-nation%E2%80%99s-critical-infrastructure.

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.

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.

 

Paid Internship Opportunity at EPA

Do you (or do you know someone) want to explore issues related to climate change…and get paid for doing so?  We may have just the opportunity that you’ve been looking for!

A postgraduate internship is available at EPA’s Water Security Division in Washington, DC under the Division’s Climate Ready Water Utilities initiative. The internship is offered through EPA’s agreement with the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Environment (ORISE).  The appointment is full-time for a one-year period but may be renewed for an additional two years depending on the availability of funding and upon recommendation of EPA. The annual stipend will range from $43,057 to $63,722 depending on degree.

A more complete job description (reference EPA Water 2015-359) is available on the ORISE website at: http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/description.aspx?JobId=18561. An application for the position can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm.  More information about EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities project is at www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities.

Questions?  Please contact EPA’s Mike Maier at maier.michael@epa.gov.

 

Global Climate Group Wants Your Ideas

The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is seeking ideas from the public about:

  • what scientific information on climate change, impacts, and responses would be most valuable for future assessment activities;
  • how to more effectively communicate assessment findings; and
  • how the National Climate Assessment (NCA) can better connect with other assessment efforts, such as those at the regional, state, tribal, and local levels.

If you have a research need that you’d like to see in the next NCA, this is your opportunity to request it! Here is the link for more information: http://www.globalchange.gov/news/seeking-public-input-sustained-national-climate-assessment

Responses to these questions will be accepted until June 15, 2015.

FEMA Issues 2015 National Preparedness Report

On May 28, FEMA released the 2015 National Preparedness Report (NPR). The NPR is an annual status report summarizing the Nation’s progress toward reaching the 2011 National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. The 2015 NPR places particular emphasis on highlighting preparedness progress in implementing the National Planning Frameworks. The Frameworks describe how the whole community works together to achieve the Goal.

The 2015 report identifies 43 key findings across the Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery mission areas, in addition to six key overarching findings listed below:

  • Recent events, including the epidemic of Ebola virus disease, have highlighted challenges with coordinating the response to and recovery from complex incidents that do not receive Stafford Act declarations.
  • Businesses and public-private partnerships are increasingly incorporating emergency preparedness into technology platforms, such as Internet and social media tools and services.
  • Environmental Response/Health and Safety, Intelligence and Information Sharing, and Operational Coordination are additional core capabilities to sustain, which are capabilities in which the Nation has developed acceptable levels of performance for critical tasks, but which face potential performance declines if not maintained and updated to address new challenges.
  • Cybersecurity, Housing, Infrastructure Systems, and Long-term Vulnerability Reduction remained national areas for improvement, and Economic Recovery re-emerged as an area for improvement from 2012 and 2013. Access Control and Identity Verification is a newly identified national area for improvement.
  • Perspectives from states and territories on their current levels of preparedness were similar to previous years. All 10 core capabilities with the highest self-assessment results in 2012 and 2013 remained in the top-10 for 2014; Cybersecurity continues to be the lowest-rated core capability in state and territory self-assessments.
  • While Federal departments and agencies individually assess progress for corrective actions identified during national-level exercises and real-world incidents, challenges remain to comprehensively assess corrective actions with broad implications across the Federal Government.

The National Preparedness Report presents a national perspective, highlighting the contributions to preparedness made by the whole community—namely, Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals. The report also integrates data from the annual Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment process and State Preparedness Reports from the 56 states and territories.

For a copy of the full report go to:  https://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-report

NOAA Stands Up New National Water Center

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has officially opened its National Water Center on Tuesday at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  The Center houses a water resources forecasting operations center with situation rooms, an applied water resources research and development center, a geo-intelligence laboratory, a systems proving ground and an airborne snow and soil moisture observation analysis facility to monitor, measure, plan and manage water situations. Cutting edge technologies will allow more accurate forecasting extreme runoff, flooding, droughts and other types of water problems.  In fact, the expectation is that NOAA will now have the capability of predicting extreme water events up to 30 days in advance, which will allow communities to prepare and will help manage the economic impact.

NOAA has created a video that highlights the National Water Center, the value it brings to the water community, and speaks to the three principal water challenges – a growing population, a changing climate, and an aging infrastructure – facing the US today.  Click here to view the video.