EPA Awards Grant to AMWA to Enhance Water Security

EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt has awarded a $2 million grant to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA).

EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt has awarded a $2 million grant to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA). The grant will help support the on-going efforts of Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC), a secure information system that shares up-to-date threat and incident information between the intelligence community and the water sector.

For the second year, EPA has provided funding to the WaterISAC, which allows more water utilities throughout the country to receive critical water security information. AMWA has played an important role in developing the WaterISAC by providing America's drinking water and wastewater systems with a secure web-based environment for the early warning of potential physical, contamination and cyber threats.

WaterISAC analysts provide security information to the water sector from various sources, including: federal intelligence; law enforcement and utility security incident reports.

Information about water security including links to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and links to the WaterISAC is available at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/security/index.html

EPA Offers Security Products Guide

EPA has developed a series of Security Product Guides to assist treatment plant operators and utility managers in reducing risks from, and providing protection against, possible natural disasters and intentional terrorist attacks.

The guides provide information on a variety of products available to enhance physical security (such as walls, gates, and manhole locks to delay unauthorized entry into buildings or pipe systems) and electronic or cyber security (such as computer firewalls and remote monitoring systems that can report on outlying processes). Other guides present information on monitoring tools that can be used to identify anomalies in process streams or finished water that may represent potential threats.

Individual products evaluated in these guides will be applicable to distribution systems, wastewater collection systems, pumping stations, treatment processes, main plant and remote sites, personnel entry, chemical delivery and storage, SCADA, and control systems for water and wastewater treatment systems.

The guides can be found at: www.epa.gov/safewater/security/guide/index.html

EPA Issues Final Action On Construction Stormwater

EPA has decided not to impose new national effluent guidelines for the control of stormwater runoff from construction sites. Instead, the agency has issued a final action that relies on a broad range of existing programs and regulations at the federal, state and local level to control construction site runoff.

Almost every state and many local governments already implement requirements that are equivalent to or even more stringent than those contained in a regulation proposed in 2002. For example, all 50 states require sediment and erosion control measures at sites during construction. Additional regulations, as outlined in the 2002 proposal, would have limited states flexibility and resulted in very high costs with only minor reductions in pollution discharges.

The 2002 proposal would have also prescribed sediment basins of a particular size to apply nation-wide, where existing requirements allow states to set these technical requirements to meet regional differences in rainfall, seasonal weather patterns, soil types, slopes, and other considerations. In 2003 new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems regulations went into effect for stormwater discharges from construction sites that are one to five acres in size (larger sites were regulated previously).

Information about the EPA's decision is available at: http://www.epa.gov/guide/construction. Information about existing programs, requirements, and EPA support for state and local stormwater programs is available at: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater.

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