Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector [March 16, 2010]   [open pdf - 237KB]

"Damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack or natural disaster 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 greatly since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. [...] Recent congressional interest has focused on two legislative issues: (1) security of wastewater utilities, and (2) whether to include water utilities in chemical plant security regulations implemented by DHS. In the 109th Congress, a Senate committee approved legislation to encourage wastewater treatment works to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop site security plans. Similar legislation was introduced in the 110th Congress, and has been introduced in the 111th Congress (H.R. 2883). Congress also has turned attention to legislation to extend DHS's [Department of Homeland Security] Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (H.R. 2868) and as part of that debate has been considering whether to preserve an existing exemption for water utilities from chemical facility standards or to include them in the scope of DHS security rules. Continuing attention to these issues in the 111th Congress is likely."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32189
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