Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Damage to or destruction of the nations water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack could disrupt the delivery of vital human services in this country, threatening public health and the environment, or possibly causing loss of life. Interest in such problems has increased since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Across the country, water infrastructure systems extend over vast areas, and ownership and operation responsibility are both public and private but are overwhelmingly nonfederal. Since the attacks, federal dam operators and water and wastewater utilities have been under heightened security conditions and are evaluating security plans and measures. Policy makers are considering a number of options, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how additional protections and resources directed at public and private sector priorities will be funded. In response, Congress has approved 410 million in funds for security at water infrastructure facilities P.L. 107-117, P.L. 108-7, and P.L. 108-11 and passed a bill requiring drinking water utilities to conduct security vulnerability assessments P.L. 107-188. Congress also created a Department of Homeland Security with responsibilities to coordinate information to secure the nation s critical infrastructure, including the water sector P.L. 107-297. Continuing attention to these issues in the 108th Congress is anticipated. Current interest is focusing on bills concerning security of wastewater utilities H.R. 866, S. 1039. This report will be updated as warranted.
- Civil Defense
- Unconventional Warfare
- Water Pollution and Control