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.

EPA WSD Hosts Two Late July Training Opportunities

Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit Training

July 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

The Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit is an interactive resource that can help users to plan and conduct exercises that involve the coordination of analytical support. This training will cover: how participating in an AP-FSE can increase preparedness, how the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise, and how to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners.

Register:  https://us-epa-ap-fse.eventbrite.com

 

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

July 27, 2017 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.

Register:  https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

EPA WSD Releases New Response On-the-Go Mobile App

 

 

  EPA’s Response On-The-Go Mobile Application provides users with real-time access to valuable tools and response information including location-based hazardous weather updates, interactive maps and charts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and EPA Incident Action Checklists that outline disaster-specific response actions.

During hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages and other emergencies, water utility personnel and first line responders must ensure that they are coordinating closely with stakeholders, maintaining awareness of threats to the water system and surrounding community, and documenting response actions. The App can be downloaded for free for use on a variety mobile devices and tablets. For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-utility-response-go-mobile-application-and-website

New Water Quality Monitoring Stations Guidance

EPA’s Water Security Division has completed development of a new guidance document:  Guidance on Building Online Water Quality Monitoring Stations for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems.

This document:

(1) describes common types of monitoring stations,

(2) covers the types of basic equipment that should be included in all stations,

(3) covers accessories that can be added to a station to enhance its functionality, and

(4) discusses station fabrication and installation considerations.

If you’re interested in accessing this document prior to publication, please contact Matt Umberg at umberg.matt@epa.gov no later than June 27, 2017.  Otherwise, watch this space for a publication link as it becomes available.

 

What Have Others Done Webinar Now Available

If you were not able to participate in the May 24 EPA webinar that showcased “What Have Others Done” in the emergency services arena, you may now download a recording of the event as well as obtain copies of the presentations.  Click https://www.sendthisfile.com/8HAuEtbhOdt3Ys4E8jZ90W6z.  These materials are available only through June 7.

National Institute of Standards & Technology Releases Planning Guide Briefs

Communities striving to improve their resilience by better planning for and dealing with hazard events will want to review six new “Guide Briefs” issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The documents complement NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which lays out a six-step process to plan for resilience in the face of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards.

Each of the Guide Briefs is intended to be used in conjunction with the NIST Guide, although several can be used independently by any community interested in taking steps to improve its resilience. For example, Guide Brief 12, “Short-Term Implementation Tasks”(link is external), suggests ways that communities can shorten recovery time as longer-term solutions are being put in place. These short-term tasks could include:

  • Developing a post-event recovery plan that streamlines the permitting process, adds resilience during repairs, protects the natural environment, preserves the community voice in approval of construction projects, and handles and processes the increase in construction activities.
  • Developing processes and guidelines for post-event assessments to accelerate evaluation and designation of buildings that can be used while being repaired.
  • Adopting the latest building codes and enforcing design and inspection requirements.

This link https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2017/05/nist-releases-six-new-community-resilience-planning-guide-briefs contains additional information.

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

 

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:

Recording – EPA Public Health Surveillance Webinar

If you were not able to participate in the April 19th webinar on Public Health Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination, you may still view the informationThe recording of this webinar has been posted to EPA’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/E3WCAGq7Lmw