Helping Wastewater Treatment Agencies Assess Vulnerabilities, AMSA Releases Two Key Security/Crisis Management Publications

Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - February 4, 2002

For Immediate Release: February 4, 2002
Contact: Adam Krantz, 202/833-4651, AMSA

Helping Wastewater Treatment Agencies Assess Vulnerabilities,
AMSA Releases Two Key Security/Crisis Management Publications

AMSA announces its release of two highly anticipated publications to help wastewater treatment agencies assess and prioritize vulnerabilities to a host of crisis events, including potential terrorist threats.
In the wake of September 11th, there has been much discussion and media attention focusing on ensuring the security of our water and wastewater systems. Since these tragic events, the dangers of storing hazardous chemicals, such as chlorine, at wastewater treatment plants, and the potential misuse of the underground collection system tunnels as a means of access to critical commercial/industrial areas and their buildings, have become well-known.

To meet this key security assessment need, and the broader need of assessing vulnerabilities to crisis events in general, AMSA has released two important publications under the rubric Protecting Wastewater Infrastructure Assets. The first publication, the Asset Based Vulnerability Checklist for Wastewater Utilities (the Checklist), was a joint project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Checklist will help utilities effectively consider the potential threats to their systems from terrorist activity, as well as from a host of other, often more common, crisis events, such as natural disasters, aging infrastructure or vandalism. The Checklist itself is based on five key utility assets - physical plant, people, knowledge base, information technology and customers. Each vital asset category provides an overview of various risks to wastewater utilities, allowing the utility to consider and assess potential points of vulnerability.

The second publication is titled Legal Issues in a Time of Crisis Checklist (the "Legal Checklist"). The Legal Checklist assists wastewater treatment agencies identify the range of legal considerations public utility attorneys and managers should consider relative to potential acts of terrorism or other crisis situations. The Legal Checklist is designed to accompany AMSA's Asset-Based Vulnerability Checklist.
The Legal Checklist goes in depth into a number of important issues to public agencies, including maintaining confidentiality of a vulnerability assessment, employee background checks, screening, surveillance and other key issues in the post-September 11th world.

Both publications are available for purchase on AMSA's web site at

1816 Jefferson Place, Washington, DC 20036-2505 • 202.833.AMSA • 202.833.4657 FAX