Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions [September 30, 2010]   [open pdf - 259KB]

"The events of September 11, 2001, focused heightened attention on the security status of the nation's drinking water supplies and the vulnerability of this critical infrastructure sector to attack. Congress since has enacted security requirements for public water systems and has provided funding for vulnerability assessments, emergency planning, and drinking water research. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the lead federal agency for the water sector, has worked with water utilities, state and local governments, and federal agencies to improve the drinking water security. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107- 188) amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require some 8,400 community water systems to assess vulnerabilities and prepare emergency response plans. It authorized funding for these activities and for emergency grants to states and utilities, and it directed EPA to review methods to prevent, detect, and respond to threats to water safety and infrastructure security. The act did not require water systems to make security upgrades to address potential vulnerabilities. In most years since FY2002, Congress appropriated roughly $5 million annually for EPA to work with states and the water sector to improve the security of drinking water supplies."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31294
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