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.

Ransomware Response Recommendations

Our colleagues at DHS recommend that if any of your water systems are victims of a ransomware attack, they should take the following steps:

  1. Please contact your FBI Field Office Cyber Task Force (fbi.gov/contact-us/field/field-offices) immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. These professionals work with state and local law enforcement and other federal and international partners to pursue cyber criminals globally and to assist victims of cyber-crime.
  2. Please report cyber incidents to the US-CERT (us-cert.gov/ncas) and FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).

For more information on cyber protections and the WannaCry Ransomware:

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

Don’t Forget! Sign Up for Resilience Webinar Series


EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a three-part webinar series for drinking water and wastewater utilities and emergency management agencies to learn how to increase resilience and improve emergency response efforts.  The focus will be on improving resilience through collaboration.

Webinar 1:  Why Should I Care About Collaboration?

DATE:                  May 10, 2017

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

REGISTER:         https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-water-and-emergency-services-webinar-1-why-should-i-coordinate-tickets-33213400174


Webinar 2:  What Have Others Done?

DATE:                  May 24, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-water-and-emergency-services-webinar-2-what-have-others-done-tickets-33215084211


Webinar 3:  Confronting Challenges – Access and Fuel Supply Planning

DATE:                  June 14, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-water-and-emergency-services-webinar-3-addressing-challenges-tickets-33215629843


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).

EPA’s Regional Water Teams

Did you know that EPA has a dedicated “Water Team” for each Region to provide support to states and utilities in times of emergency?

Regional Water Teams (RWTs) consist of trained EPA Regional staff from the drinking water, wastewater, and emergency response programs. RWT members have a background and specialized training in relevant EPA roles and authorities, drinking water and wastewater systems, the Incident Command System (ICS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS), and field health and safety considerations.  RWTs can serve as a liaison with the state primacy agency and Federal Agencies such as FEMA; assist with sampling and analyses; and conduct needs assessments among a wide array of support tasks.

The list below identifies the Water Team Lead for each of EPA’s 10 Regions (use the arrow keys at the bottom to scroll over to email addresses).

Water Team Leads

Region      Name      Phone      e-mail
1 Jane Downing 617-918-1571 downing.jane@epa.gov
2 Arlene Anderson 212-637-3879 anderson.arlene@epa.gov
3 Patti-Kay Wisniewski 215-814-5668 wisniewski.patti-kay@epa.gov
4 David Apanian 404-562-9477 apanian.david@epa.gov
5 Alicia Brown 312-886-4443 brown.alicia@epa.gov
6 Mark McCasland 214-665-8088 mccasland.mark@epa.gov
7 Ken Deason 913-551-7585 deason.ken@epa.gov
8 Michael Copeland 303-312-6010 copeland.michael@epa.gov
9 Bruce Macler 415 972-3569 macler.bruce@epa.gov
10 Johnny Clark 206-553-6904 clark.johnny@epa.gov


WaterISAC Shares Updated Cyber Measures

Our colleagues at the WaterISAC have recently updated their 10 Basic Cybersecurity Measures:  Best Practices to Reduce Exploitable Weaknesses and Attacks.  It was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ICS-CERT, the FBI, and the Information Technology ISAC.  As you read through, note that each recommendation is accompanied by links to corresponding technical resources.   The updated guide is available here https://www.waterisac.org/sites/default/files/public/10_Basic_Cybersecurity_Measures-WaterISAC_Oct2016%5B2%5D.pdf


US-CERT Shares Ways to Avoid Cyber Incidents

The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Team (US-CERT) has just released a new cyber alert called, The Increasing Threat to Network Infrastructure Devices and Recommended Mitigations (September 28, 2016).  In plain English, the document outlines consequences for three different types of attacks:

  • If your computer network infrastructure is compromised, malicious hackers or adversaries can gain full control of the network infrastructure; compromise your SCADA or business records; publish confidential information; and even prevent you from using your own data (denial of service).
  • Intruders with infrastructure privilege and access can impede productivity and severely hinder re-establishing network connectivity. Even if other compromised devices are detected, tracking back to a compromised infrastructure device is often difficult.
  • Malicious actors with persistent access to network (disgruntled employees, unhappy vendors).

In the new alert, US-CERT offers six practical ways to enhance the integrity and security of your computer infrastructure.

  1. Segregate Networks and Functions
  2. Limit Unnecessary Lateral Communications
  3. Harden Network Devices
  4. Secure Access to Infrastructure Devices
  5. Perform Out-of-Band Management
  6. Validate Integrity of Hardware and Software

The full document can be downloaded here https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-250A and covers each of the items above in greater detail and with recommended actions.


National Preparedness Month – Weekly Focus on Climate Change

Participate in National Preparedness Month to Improve Water Resilience

Water Utilities: Take Action During

Week 4: Climate

This week’s focus is Climate Change. Drinking water and wastewater utilities can take steps to adapt to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) is a climate risk assessment and planning application for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. Use CREAT to understand the impacts of climate change, assess adaptation options, and conduct cost-benefit analyses of risk reduction strategies.

Click Here to Access CREAT

Building Water Resilience
Together, we can prepare America’s drinking water and wastewater utilities for natural disasters, accidents, and intentional acts.

Discover preparedness tools and resources at epa.gov/waterresilience.

Learn about new preparedness tools and resources at our November 9 Webinar.