ROLES OF FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY
J. A. ROBERSON
American Water Works Association, Washington, D.C.
Response and recovery from any incident always starts at the local level, but in many cases, when local resources are inadequate, state and/or federal assistance is needed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now playing a more prominent role in national security and preparedness, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still plays a significant role as the Sector-Specific Agency (SSA) for the water sector. The federal role is still evolving based on 9/11, and Katrina and other natural disasters, and is not always clear. Much progress has been in clearly defining everyone's roles and responsibilities, but more work is needed to ensure appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities at all levels.
Similar to all other critical infrastructure (CI), security took on a whole new meaning for water and wastewater utilities after 9/11. These utilities now have to balance security along with all of their other competing priorities such as water quality, finances, efficiency, customer service, infrastructure investment, and others. Utilities have now taken a hard look at the vulnerabilities of the different facilities within their systems, and began to make the investments to lessen those vulnerabilities and to instill a culture of security in the daily operations of the utility. In many ...