WEF announces collaborative effort to provide free security training and technical assistance for community water systems

WEF has announced a collaborative effort with the USEPA and the International City/County Management Association to provide free security training and technical assistance for community water systems.

Alexandria, Va., July 10, 2003 -- The Water Environment Federation (WEF), in partnership with The International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), announces free vulnerability assessment (VA), emergency response planning (ERP) training, and technical assistance for medium-sized community water systems (CWS).

This program will help CWSs serving between 50,000 to 99,999 people meet a statutory requirement to conduct a VA of their facility and develop or update their emergency response plan (ERP). To accomplish this objective, this innovative program includes a series of hands-on workshops, webcasts, and technical support.

"WEF is pleased to continue our relationship with EPA in providing free security training to the nation's water and wastewater utilities, and we look forward to partnering with the ICMA in this particular endeavor to assist the nearly 500 medium sized community water systems across the country", said WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera.

As part of this collaborative effort, WEF will be conducting 10 two-day workshops from August to October, 2003 (see schedule below) featuring the Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT(tm)). VSAT(tm)water was developed by the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), in collaboration with PA Consulting Group and SCIENTECH, Inc. specifically for medium and small sized water utilities.

The software tool was developed with funding from EPA and adheres to the six guidance criteria for developing a VA that was released by EPA in January 2003. It provides a comprehensive, intuitive system for water utilities seeking to analyze their vulnerabilities to both man-made threats and natural disasters and is available free of charge to public entities via http://www.vsatusers.net

Utilities may send two representatives to a workshop and partial travel scholarships are available for utilities located more than 100 miles from a workshop site. Each participating CWS is entitled to receive up to eight hours of free follow up technical assistance on conducting a VA or updating an ERP. Technical assistance appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-866-372-6368.

More information on the program can be obtained by participating in an introductory web cast offered on July 15 and 23. Additional web casts scheduled for later in the year will focus on ERP development.

Further information and registration for the workshops, web casts, and technical assistance are available through www.lgean.org/watersecurity/ For more details on WEF and the VSAT(tm)water training go to www.wef.org/watersecurity or call James K. Sullivan at 703/684-2436 or email jsullivan@wef.org.

WEF VSAT(tm)water Vulnerability Assessment and ERP Training Dates and Locations:

Philadelphia, PA - August 21-22
Sacramento, CA - September 4-5
Chicago, IL - September 11-12
Dallas, TX - September 18-19
Jacksonville, FL - September 25-26
Minneapolis, MN - October 2-3
Nashville, TN - October 9-10
Los Angeles, CA - October 16-17
Cleveland, OH - October 23-24
Spokane, WA - October 30-31

Note: All Trainings Are Free of Charge for Staff of CWS Serving 50K to 100K people

Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 79 Member Associations in over 30 countries.

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