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The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require all community waterworks, serving populations over 3,300, to conduct vulnerability assesments.  The deadline for large waterworks has passed.  Medium-sized waterworks (serving populations 50,000-99,999) have until December 31, 2003, to submit their vulnerability assessments to the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Small waterworks (serving populations of 3,301 to 49,999) had until June 30, 2004.

The amended SDWA also requires emergency response plans to be prepared or revised.  A certifcation that this was accomplished is due six months after the vulnerability assessment was completed but no later than six months past the above dates by system size.

This National Response Framework (NRF) is a guide to how the nation conducts all-hazards
incident response. It is built upon flexible, scalable and adaptable coordinating structures to
align key roles and responsibilities across the nation, linking all levels of government and
private sector businesses and nongovernmental organizations. It is intended to capture
specific authorities and best practices for managing incidents that range from the serious
but purely local, to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters.
Based upon extensive outreach within the public and private sectors, this document
supersedes the National Response Plan (2004, with 2006 revisions).

Click here to visit the NRF Resource Center.

The Water Sector Speciffic Plan  contains four goals and supporting objectives that will drive development of protective programs and measure their success. These goals are:
The Water SSP includes information on identifying assets, assessing risk, prioritizing infrastructure, developing and implementing protective programs, measuring progress, research and development, and outlines EPA’s responsibilities as the Water Sector Specific Agency. The Water SSP is based on the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) risk management framework which establishes the process for combining consequence, vulnerability, and threat information to produce a comprehensive,systematic, and rational assessment of national or sector-specific risk that drives critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) protection.

Improving the security of our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructures has become a top priority since the events of 9/11. Significant actions are underway to assess and reduce vulnerabilities to potential terrorist attacks; to plan for and practice response to emergencies and incidents; and to develop new security technologies to detect and monitor contaminants and prevent security breaches.

This Web site provides resources for water utilities, state and local governments, public health officials, emergency responders and planners, assistance and training providers, environmental professionals, researchers and engineers, and law enforcement, among others. Includes useful tools, publications, emergency planning, security enhancements, research and product guides, and enabling legislation.

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Response Protocol Toolbox: Planning for and Responding to Contamination Threats to Drinking Water Systems
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The National Response Framework
Water Sector Specific Plan
EPA Water Security Division
VSAT version 6.0 vulnerability assessment and emergency planning software is now available.
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