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Filters Noteworthy only Clear. A thorough understanding and documentation of the consequences of physical or cyber attacks on the drinking water supply sources and infrastructure, including the evaluation and testing of computational models and decision science. A suite of countermeasures to prevent or mitigate the effects of physical and cyber attacks on water infrastructure, including improved design of supervisory control and data acquisition SCAT A and-water systems to reduce vulnerabilities.
An updated identification and prioritization of physical threats to, and vulnerabilities of, drinking water infrastructure taking into account information gained from vulnerability assessments and from other assessments of water systems and their cyber infrastructure. In response to the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act, EPA developed baseline threat information to support drinking water systems as they assessed their vulnerabilities. This baseline information outlines the major threats faced by water utilities as contemplated in early As community water systems complete individual vulnerability assessments and as law enforcement and intelligence agencies learn more about the capabilities of terrorists, the most likely threats compiled by the EPA should be reviewed and refined to reflect this additional crucial information.
Learning from the experiences gained by community water systems in assessing their vulnerabilities and building on EPA's assessment of baseline threat information under the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act, what are the key physical and cyber threats to drinking water infrastructure? What can be done to minimize the physical and cyber threats to drinking water systems, including the storage of hazardous materials used as part of treatment plant operations?
How can computer-based computational models and decision science help to improve decision making and assist water utility operators in understanding threats and managing consequences from attacks? As resources are limited for many water systems, especially small systems, what countermeasures will most effectively improve the physical and cyber security of drinking water supplies and systems?
What are the best ways to protect supervisory control and data acquisition and other computer systems used by drinking water utilities? How can security measures be incorporated into the design of the next generation of drinking water systems or retrofitted to existing systems? Physical and cyber threat scenarios and vulnerability assessments can be enhanced by using vulnerability information to answer questions such as: Which vulnerabilities are most apparent?
Which are catastrophic? Which can be easily mitigated by cost-effective strategies and which require longer term solutions? What are the most likely categories or groupings of physical and cyber vulnerabilities? The following projects will address this need: 1. Identification of physical and cyber threat scenarios facing the drinking water sector, including a comparison of their impacts. Examination and evaluation of lessons learned by drinking water utilities in assessing their vulnerabilities and in implementing countermeasures.
Refinement of the methodology for community water system vulnerability assessments, including evaluation of distribution systems. While the physical and cyber threats to drinking water systems are to some degree understood, the consequences of such attacks are challenging and difficult to envision. Water system components are extensively interconnected, so destruction of one component may cause a cascading effect [Ref. These consequences need to be more thoroughly understood in order for the most effective countermeasures to be employed.
In addition, disruption of water service may impact other critical community sectors, such as medical services, fire fighting capabilities, and the local economy. Computational models and decision science tools provide one method to explore possible consequences from attacks that cannot be simulated accurately in an experiment or in real life.
The following project will address this need: 1. Assessment of the consequences of physical and cyber attacks with an emphasis on the cascading consequences of such attacks on overall water system integrity, and compilation of technical information and tools for enhanced consequence analysis of physical and cyber threats to drinking water systems. A suite of countermeasures to prevent or mitigate the effects of physical and cyber attacks on water infrastructure, including improved design ofSCADA and water systems to reduce vulnerabilities.
An updated understanding of countermeasures to physical and cyber threats associated with the water infrastructure is needed.
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In the short term, this will help the water industry prevent or mitigate the effects of such attacks. Information is needed by small water systems that may not have the resources to employ extensive countermeasures. Over the longer term, information is needed on countermeasures that have multiple benefits e. Such standards would take into account the "multiple benefits" aspects of revised design features since many security enhancements may not be cost-effective otherwise.
Similarly, to improve security, water systems need to adopt security practices and integrate them with operational strategies as part of their routine. Working with standards-setting organizations, preparation of voluntary design standards and recommendations for new construction, reconstruction, and retrofitting with a focus on security in combination with operations.
Establishment of standards for minimum security protection of SCADA and other computer systems used in drinking water systems. Identification of physical countermeasures that could be used by a drinking water utility to minimize threats or mitigate the consequences of terrorist attacks, including disaster response and recovery plans e.
Assessment of existing security measures for the storage and transport of hazardous materials at water utilities and ways to improve security. EPA has undertaken an extensive effort to identify the most likely contaminants and the situations in which those contaminants could be used. This is an evolving effort that will be updated and improved as information on human health and other factors that affect a contaminant's priority are developed or discovered. This information will support drinking water utilities, public health officials, and responder organizations faced with threats to or attacks on drinking water supplies and systems.
A manageable, prioritized list of threats, contaminants, and threat scenarios that might be used to destroy, disrupt, or disable drinking water supplies and systems. A contaminant identification tool for consultation by approved individuals and organizations that describes critically important information on contaminants with the potential to harm drinking water supplies and systems. A set of carefully selected surrogates or simulants for use in testing and evaluating fate and transport characteristics and treatment techn ologies for priority contaminants.
Methods and means to securely maintain and, when appropriate, transmit information on threats, contaminants, and threat scenarios applicable to drinking water supplies and systems. A frequently reviewed and updated list of likely drinking water contaminants and associated threat scenarios is needed. As a class of contaminants, biochemicals must be belter understood. Another important consideration is the potential for exposure to such contaminants through several routes, since drinking water is used for a variety of purposes in addition to consumption.
Most threat assessments consider ingestion as the primary exposure route for contaminants in drinking water. This may represent only a portion of the threat spectrum as inhalation, dermal, and ocular contact should be considered as well. Understanding exposures through such secondary routes will lead to a more robust and accurate prioritization of both contaminants and threats. This is further addressed in Section 3. The following projects will address this need: What contaminants - biological, chemical, or radiological - are threats to community drinking water systems and what is their priority in terms of health risks to drinking water consumers?
How do different contaminant-oriented threat scenarios for drinking water systems influence the health risks of these contaminants? In addition to health risks, what are the other characteristics of biological, chemical, or radiological contaminants that may make them threats to drinking water systems? For ensuring a safe water supply, how can water contaminants be evaluated with regard to both health e. Once information about the most likely contaminants has been developed, how can organizations needing the information gain appropriate access to it?
What are the surrogates and simulants that best represent the prioritized contaminants for use in testing, evaluation, and verification of technologies to protect drinking water supplies and systems? Identification and prioritization of contaminant threat scenarios facing the drinking water sector considering the various sizes, types, and geographic locations of utilities.
Review of the Epa Water Security Research and Technical Support Action
Development of an improved understanding of the role of biologically-produced toxins as a drinking water contaminant. After the preliminary list of contaminants is prepared and prioritized, a database of these contaminants will be developed and continually updated as new information becomes available. Databases of the effects and properties of many microbiological species and chemicals are common in the open literature. However, a database of all priority chemical, biological, biochemical, and radiological contaminants specific to water is very important, but not currently available.
This database will include information on the basic properties of priority contaminants, mixtures and formulations, co-contaminants and byproducts, toxicity and health effects, and sampling and analysis methodologies. For the database to be useful in the event of a response to an emergency, users must be systematically trained to find the necessary information and to query the database. Users also should be encouraged to practice database usage by the inclusion of database searching as part of emergency response training exercises.
Another important role of the database is to help the user decide if the presence of a contaminant at their location should cause a response action to be taken. In some cases, the contaminant may already be present in the background at detectable concentrations. Therefore, it is important for the database to include information on the natural background concentrations of priority contaminants for various locations. Development of a water contaminant information tool for use by individuals or organizations responding to a water contamination event.
Development of guidance on training approved individuals and organizations in effective use of the water contaminant information tool. Survey of information about background levels of priority contaminants known or suspected to occur in source or treated drinking waters. A set of carefully selected surrogates or simulants for use in testing and evaluating fate and transport characteristics and treatment technologies for priority contaminants.
This surrogate or simulant information resource is closely coupled to information in the water contaminant information system described above. While using an actual contaminant in conducting research is preferable, this is not always possible for some potential water contaminants.
Water Security Research and Technical Support Action Plan
In such cases, a surrogate or simulant may be used if it has properties similar to the actual contaminant relative to the specific application e. Information on surrogates and simulants that share some characteristics with priority contaminants, but are less hazardous to work with than the actual contaminants, are of particular interest. In order for the information gathered on the surrogate or simulant to be considered applicable to the actual contaminant, the relationship between the surrogate or simulant and the contaminant being tested must be understood with respect to the particular parameters being modeled.
Related Review of the Epa Water Security Research and Technical Support Action
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