San Juan Water District first to be awarded federal grant for security assessment

June 4, 2002
The EPA is expected to name San Juan Water District among the first three water agencies in the country to receive a federal grant to help safeguard against terrorist attacks.

EPA announcement expected Friday

GRANITE BAY, Calif., June 4, 2002 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday is expected to name San Juan Water District (SJWD) among the first three water agencies in the country to receive a federal grant designed to help water providers safeguard themselves against terrorist attacks.

The district, which serves a retail population of 38,000 in Granite Bay and a wholesale population of 142,000 through Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights water districts and Orange Vale Water Company, will use the $115,000 grant to assess and address vulnerabilities in the district's water supply infrastructure.

"We're thrilled with the grant," said SJWD General Manager Jim English, who received a phone call from the EPA notifying him of the district's successful application. "Providing our customers with a safe, reliable water supply is our highest priority. Though the district already has a security and emergency response plan in place, this grant will allow us to take that to the next level--without asking our customers to pay for it."

English added, "EPA has been extremely responsive and efficient throughout the grant process. I have been very impressed with agency staff."

The grant is intended to help water providers reduce their vulnerability to terrorist attacks and enhance their security and ability to respond to emergency situations. It will be used internally to develop a vulnerability assessment, which will outline in detail potential areas that could be damaged in a terrorist attack. The grant will also go toward planning and designing cost-effective, balanced security enhancements that are recommended in the assessment. The district expects to complete the vulnerability assessment by December.

Grant funding was made available to the EPA following the events of September 11 when the federal agency received a supplemental appropriation to improve the safety and security of the nation's water supply. Only publicly owned water providers that serve 100,000 or more people were eligible to apply for the grant.

About San Juan Water District

San Juan Water District collects, stores and delivers treated surface water to Orange Vale Water Company, Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights water districts and San Juan's retail service area for distribution to their customers. San Juan Water District also provides water to a portion of the city of Folsom and treats and delivers Sacramento Suburban Water District's supply of surface water.

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