The Drinking Water Security and Safety Amendments of 2002: Is America's Drinking Water Infrastructure Safer Four Years Later?

By Shermer, Steven D. | UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

The Drinking Water Security and Safety Amendments of 2002: Is America's Drinking Water Infrastructure Safer Four Years Later?


Shermer, Steven D., UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy


INTRODUCTION
     I. WHAT'S AT STAKE? EVERYBODY DRINKS BOTTLED
        WATER THESE DAYS ANYHOW
        A. The Importance of Water
        B. What Are We Trying to Protect?
    II. WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO PROTECT OURSELVES
        FROM?
        A. Biological Weapons:
        B. Chemical Weapons:
        C. Nuclear/Radiological Weapons:
        D. Cyber Attack:
        E. Conventional Weapons:
        F. Other Drinking Water Security Threats:
   III. IT'S BEEN TRIED BEFORE
    IV. WAS ANYONE THINKING ABOUT DRINKING WATER
        SECURITY BEFORE THE SDWA AMENDMENTS?
        A. Drinking Water Infrastructure Security Before
           September 11th
           1. Presidential Decision Directive 63
           2. Other Past Efforts Benefiting Drinking
              Water Security
        B. Criticisms of Prior Drinking Water Security
           Practices
     V. THE CURRENT LEGAL RESPONSE TO SECURING
        DRINKING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: THE DRINKING
        WATER SECURITY AND SAFETY AMENDMENTS OF
        THE PUBLIC HEALTH SECURITY AND BIOTERRORISM
        PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE ACT OF 2002
        A. SDWA Amendment Provisions
           1. Vulnerability Assessments and Emergency
              Response Plans:
              a. Vulnerability Assessments
              b. ERPs
           2. EPA's Regulatory and Enforcement
              Authority Under the SDWA
              Amendments
           3. Research Requirements
    VI. ARE THE SDWA AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO
        PROTECT OUR DRINKING WATER?
        A. Is Drinking Water Infrastructure Facing a
           Likely Threat?
           1. There are Many Viable Threats to
              Drinking Water Security
              a.   NBC, Conventional, and Cyber-Based
                   Attacks
              i.   Conventional Weapons
              ii.  Cyber-Based Attacks
              iii. CBW
              iv.  Radiological Contaminants
              b.   Historical Trends
           2. Better Safe Than Sorry
              a.   Nobody Knows What the Likely
                   Threats Are
              b.   Severe Consequences Warrant a
                   Conservative Approach
              c.   Consumers May Not Care About the
                   Actual Likelihood
           3. Catastrophic Contamination or Disruption
              is Unlikely
              a.   Technical Challenges of NBC
                   Weapons
              i.   Radiological and Nuclear Weapons
              ii.  Chemical Weapons
              iii. Biological Weapons
              iv.  Conventional Weapons
              b.   Drinking Water Infrastructure
                   Vulnerability is Limited
              i.   Distribution Networks
              ii.  Sourcewater and supply
              iii. Current System Protections
           4. We Can Contaminate Our Own Drinking
              Water, Thank You
          B. Do Other Environmental Laws Already
          Adequately Protect Us?
          1. Existing Emergency Planning
             Requirements
             a.   CAA [section] l12(r)
             b.   EPCRA
          2. CAA [section] 112(r) and EPCRA Do Not
             Adequately Protect Drinking Water
             Infrastructure
          3. Contaminating or Disrupting Drinking
             Water Systems is Already Illegal
   VII. ARE WE ADDRESSING THE LIKELY THREATS?
        A. Critical Threat Information Was Not Provided
           to Drinking Water Utilities
          1. The Consequences of Inadequate Baseline
             Threat Information
             a. Vulnerability Assessments and ERPs
             b. Implementation of Security
                Enhancements
             c. Response Actions
             d. Funding Decisions
             e. Drinking Water Security Program
                Performance Goals
          2. Requiring Updates Under the SDWA
             Amendments
             a. Updating Baseline Threat
                Information
             b. … 

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