ABSTRACT

Critical Infrastructure Protection: Preliminary Observations on DHS Efforts to Address Electromagnetic Threats to the Electric Grid, Statement of Christopher P. Currie, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Testimony Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 244KB]

"The threat posed by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or solar weather event could have a debilitating impact on the nation's critical electrical infrastructure, as well as other key assets that depend on electricity. These events could lead to power outages over broad geographic areas for extended durations. Addressing these risks requires collaboration among multiple government and industry stakeholders; with DHS in the lead role for overall infrastructure protection efforts, working in coordination with DOE [Department of Energy]. The EMP Commission, established by statute and comprised of subject matter experts, issued recommendations in 2008 addressing the preparation, protection and recovery of critical infrastructures against a possible EMP attack. The majority of these recommendations were made to DHS and DOE. This testimony is based on preliminary observations from GAO's [Government Accountability Office] ongoing review of DHS's efforts to address electromagnetic threats. Specifically, this testimony addresses the extent to which DHS has: (1) taken action to address recommendations from the 2008 EMP Commission Report and (2) coordinated with other principal federal agencies, such as DOE and industry stakeholders to mitigate risks to the electric grid from electromagnetic threats. GAO reviewed EMP Commission recommendations and DHS program documents, and interviewed relevant stakeholders who provided insights on key issues and coordination activities with the federal government to address these threats."

Report Number:
GAO-15-692T
Publisher:
Date:
2015-07-22
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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