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EPA Issues Guidelines for Water Utilities on Guarding Against Terrorist and Security Threats

Release Date: 04/04/2003
Contact Information:

John Millett 202-564-7842/

(04/40/03) The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water recently announced that suggested measures for drinking water and wastewater systems to guard against terrorist and security threats have been issued. These measures are consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded advisory system beginning with green, which denotes low risk of terrorist/security threats and increasing in seriousness through blue, yellow, orange (current level) and red. Water utilities are included in the 13 critical sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security as potential targets of attack. The Agency took a two-pronged approach in disseminating these precautionary measures. First, through the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators each state’s drinking water program managers and staff will receive these guidelines and will determine how best to coordinate these measures with other instructions developed by the state. This EPA document is intended to be complementary and does not override or replace the states’ guidance. The states will distribute these water-related measures to the water utilities within their jurisdiction, either in the original form developed by EPA or revised to be consistent with states’ system. Second, these guidelines have been posted on the Internet at a secure, password-protected site, available to drinking water utilities only, that provides information to water utilities on a variety of critical water infrastructure protection activities.