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RPTB Overview - Objectives. To provide a framework to identify credible incidents/dismiss hoaxes. To serve as a Planning Tool that can be adapted to a specific user’s needs To provide guidance from the time of discovery through remediation and return to normal operation.

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RPTB Overview - Objectives

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RPTB Overview - Objectives

  • To provide a framework to identify credible incidents/dismiss hoaxes.

  • To serve as a Planning Tool that can be adapted to a specific user’s needs

  • To provide guidance from the time of discovery through remediation and return to normal operation


RPTB Overview - Response Guidance

Offers guidance on…

  • Whom to notify

  • Actions to take

  • How to conduct a ‘Threat Evaluation’

  • How to collect samples

  • How to analyze samples

  • How to remediate and recover


RPTB Overview - Organization

Six modules:

1. Water Utility Planning Guide

2. Contamination Threat Management Guide

3. Site Characterization & Sampling Guide

4. Analytical Guide

5. Public Health Response Guide

6. Remediation and Recovery Guide

  • Module ‘0’ provides an Overview


Module Relationships


Potential Users

  • Drinking water utilities

  • Laboratories

  • Emergency responders

  • State drinking water programs

  • Technical assistance providers

  • Public health officials

  • EPA and other federal agencies

  • Law enforcement


Application of Modules


Module 1: Water Utility Planning Guide

Planning


Module 1: Water Utility Planning Guide

  • Overview of contamination threats and incidents:

    • Threat warning sources

    • Due Diligence – threat response

  • Preparing for contamination threats:

    • Updating ERPs

    • Establish ICS

    • Develop communication plan

    • Enhance physical security


Warnings of Potential Contamination

Security

Witness

Breach

Account

Public Health

Notification by

Notification

Perpetrator

THREAT

WARNING

Consumer

Notification by

Complaint

Law Enforcement

Unusual Water

Notification by

Quality

News Media


Contamination Threat vs. Incident

  • Contamination threat – an indication that a contaminant may have been introduced (not confirmed).

  • Contamination incident - the confirmed presence of a harmful substance (requires a response)


Module 2:Contamination Threat Management Guide


Module 2:Contamination Threat Management Guide

Module 2 provides:

  • A framework for decision-making

  • A threat evaluation and management process

  • Descriptions of response actions


Threat Evaluation and Management Process

  • Evaluation of all available information to determine if contamination is:

    • ‘Possible’

    • ‘Credible’

    • ‘Confirmed’

  • Work with minimal information

  • Iterative process that is updated as more information becomes available


Players in the Threat Management Process

  • Drinking water utilities (WUERM)

  • Drinking water primacy agency

  • Public health officials

  • Emergency responders

  • Local law enforcement

  • FBI


Is the Threat ‘Possible’?

  • A threat is deemed ‘possible’ if the circumstances indicate the opportunity for contamination

  • One-hour target for ‘possible’ stage


Is the Threat ‘Possible’?

  • Information available at ‘possible’ stage:

    • Details of the threat warning

  • If a threat is ‘possible’, potential response actions include:

    • Isolation and containment

    • Initiate site characterization and sampling


Is the Threat ‘Credible’?

  • A threat is deemed ‘credible’ if additional information corroborates the threat

  • 2 - 8 hour target for ‘credible’ stage.


Is the Threat ‘Credible’?

  • Information available at ‘credible’ stage:

    • Site characterization results.

    • Information from external resources

  • If a threat is ‘credible’, potential response actions include:

    • Public notification

    • Sample analysis & more site characterization


Is the Threat ‘Confirmed’?

  • A contamination incident is confirmed once conclusive evidence is obtained

  • May take several days to confirm


Confirmation of a threat through:

  • Results of Sample Analysis:

    • Advantage: provides definitive evidence

    • Disadvantage: may ‘miss’ contaminant during sampling or design of analytical approach

  • Preponderance of Evidence:

    • Results of site characterization

    • Assessment by law enforcement

    • Assessment by public health agencies

    • Additional factors and information


Is the Threat ‘Confirmed’?

  • Information available at ‘confirmed’ stage:

    • Results of sample analyses

    • Additional site characterization

    • Information from external resources

  • If a threat is ‘confirmed’, potential response actions include:

    • Revising of actions taken to protect public

    • Planning for remediation and recovery


Threat Management Process


Module 3: Site Characterization and Sampling Guide


Module 3: Site Characterization and Sampling Guide

  • Intended for water utility staff and first responders

  • Contains procedures for conducting site characterization activities

  • Implemented at ‘possible’ stage to establish ‘credible’ and ‘confirmed’ threat


Site Characterization Procedures

  • Planning by the WUERM and/or Incident Commander

  • Implementation by the Site Characterization Team

    • Site Evaluation

    • Field safety screening

    • Rapid field testing of the water

    • Sample collection


Site Characterization Process

Five Stages

  • Customizing the Plan

  • Approaching the Site

  • Characterizing the Site

  • Collecting Samples

  • Exiting the Site


1. Customizing the Plan

  • Site Characterization Plan customized based on nature of threat (4 hazard categories)

    • low, radiological, chemical, and/or biological

  • Site characterization team assembled based on type of threat and safety needs


2. Approaching the Site

  • Establishing site zones:

    • Site perimeter and staging area

    • Protective action zone where specialized PPE may be required

  • Conduct field safety screening:

    • Detect environmental hazards (air & surfaces).

  • Initial evaluation of site conditions

  • Determine if it is safe to proceed


3. Characterizing the Site

  • Repeat field safety screening

  • Evaluate site conditions:

    • Signs of intrusion or tampering

    • General signs of contamination

    • Indicators of chemical contamination

  • Rapid field testing of the water:

    • Additional information for the threat assessment

    • Tentative identification of contaminants

    • Determine if special precautions are required for sampling


3. Characterizing the Site – cont’d.

  • Currently Available Rapid Analytical Assessment Tools:

    • Acute Toxicity Testing

    • Rapid Immunoassays

    • Rapid Enzyme Test

    • Rapid PCR

    • Field Deployable GC/MS


3. Characterizing the Site – cont’d.

Rapid Analytical Methods

  • Technology is rapidly improving

  • Results are only presumptive

  • These methods are no substitute for standard laboratory analyses


4. Sample Collection

  • To follow rapid field testing

  • Samples to be collected and analyzed in accordance with State Primacy Agency/EPA/USGS guidelines


5. Exiting the Site

  • Initiated upon completion of site characterization

  • Confirm collection of appropriate samples

  • Properly document findings

  • Secure the site

  • Securing a site may involve multiple steps for higher hazard level sites and/or crime scenes


Module 4: Analytical Guide


Module 4: Analytical Guide

  • Intended for planners and labs that may provide support to the water utility during an event

  • Provides a general approach to the analysis of unknowns in water

  • Identifies analytical procedures for:

    • Chemicals

    • Radionuclides

    • Pathogens

  • Not intended as a ‘how to’ lab manual


Analytical Approach for Unknown Contaminants


Current Laboratory Infrastructure


Environmental Chemistry Labs

  • Labs suited to complete analyses for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water or Clean Water Acts

  • May require advance notice for analysis


Radiochemistry Labs

  • For analysis of a range of radionuclides

  • Include EPA, DOE, State and some commercial labs

    http://www.epa.gov/radiation/programs.htm-er

  • Federal Radiological Management Center (FRMAC) operated by FEMA

    http://www.fema.gov/rrr/rep/index.shtm


Biotoxin Labs

  • Currently few labs with this capability

  • Labs with this capability are listed in the Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/emcontact/index.asp


Chemical Weapons Labs

  • Chemicals placed on Chemical Weapons Convention (CSC) Schedule 1

  • Two labs in US qualified and permitted

    US Army Edgewood Laboratory

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories

  • Access through Federal Agencies


Microbiological Labs

  • For analysis of waterborne pathogens

  • May include hospital, medical, public health and/or environmental microbiology labs

  • Labs with this capability listed in Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/emcontact/index.asp


Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

  • Developed by CDC, Association of Public Health Labs and FBI

  • Designated to handle bioterrorism events

    • Pathogens

    • Biotoxins

  • Composed of City, County, State and Federal Public Health labs

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/emcontact/index.asp


  • Screening for Chemical Contaminants


    Module 5:Public Health Response Guide


    Module 5:Public Health Response Guide

    Five Public Health Response Actions:

    • Plan the public health response

    • Determine public health consequences

    • Implement appropriate operational responses 

    • Implement the public notification strategy

    • Make available a short term alternate water supply (if necessary)


    1. Plan the public health response

    Pre-Threat Planning:

    • Integrate Health Dept into Utility ERP

    • Identify agencies involved and roles

    • Develop communication strategy

    • Develop operational/health response plans


    2. Determine Public Health Consequences from Incident

    Post-Threat (contaminant identified)

    • Assess acute/chronic health effects

    • Determine exposure routes of concern

    • Determine stability of contaminant in water

    • Calculate ability to spread in distribution system


    3. Implement Appropriate Operational Responses

    • Isolation and containment of suspect water

    • Elevation of disinfection levels


    4. Public Notification Guidance

    • Content:

      • Specific instructions to consumers

      • Explanation of situation

      • What is being done to address it

    • Format:

      • Short and simple

      • In all common languages

    • Methods of delivery:

      • Broadcast media

      • Distribution through community centers


    5. Short-Term Alternate Water Supply

    • Water for consumption and sanitation:

      • Bottled water

      • Bulk water hauled to distribution center

    • Water for firefighting:

      • Pumper trucks filled from neighboring supply

      • Contaminated water if no other immediately available alternative


    Module 6:Remediation and Recovery Guide

    Recovery

    Plan


    Module 6:Remediation and Recovery Guide

    • Intended for entities involved in characterization, risk assessment and remediation

    • Designed to address incidents that pose immediate and/or long term risks

    • Overall objective – return water system to service ASAP


    Roles and Responsibilities

    • Recovery is coordinated under the Incident Command System

    • ‘No single agency (government or private sector) possesses the authority and expertise to unilaterally implement the remediation and recovery program.’


    Long term alt. water supply

    System Characterization / Feasibility study

    Risk Assessment

    Detailed analysis of alternatives

    Remediation technology selection

    Remedial Design

    Remedial Action

    Post Remediation Monitoring

    Communication to restore public confidence

    Steps to Remediation and Recovery


    1. Long Term Alternate Water Supply

    • Need depends on nature and severity of contamination

    • State and Federal assistance is likely to be required

      • EPA, FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers


    2. System Characterization / Feasibility Study

    • Detailed assessment of nature and extent of contamination

    • Preliminary feasibility study of treatment options


    3. Risk Assessment

    • Evaluate risk reduction achieved in immediate response actions

    • Establish preliminary remediation goals

    • Assess potential risk reduction from long-term remedial actions


    4. Detailed Analysis of Remedial Alternatives

    • Evaluation based on:

      • effectiveness

      • technical feasibility

      • treatability of contaminant


    5. Remediation Technology Selection

    Advantages/Disadvantages based on:

    • Protection of human health and the environment

    • Compliance with applicable regulations

    • Implementability

    • Cost


    6. Remedial Design

    • Lead agency (assisted by utility, etc.) responsible for design

    • Includes preparation of:

      • Specifications

      • Documentation

      • Detailed Drawings


    7. Remedial Action

    • Implementation of Remedial Design

    • Treatment system construction, operation and maintenance

    • Treatment of contaminated water AND rehabilitation of system components


    8. Post Remediation Monitoring

    Post-treatment Start-up monitoring:

    • Monitoring for contaminants of concern

    • Regular system performance inspections and maintenance

    • Regular water distribution system inspection and maintenance

    • Maintenance of security measures


    9. Communication to Restore Public Confidence

    • Public Outreach

    • Workshops

    • Meetings

    • Presentations

    • Information Repository

    • Revised Public Notifications


    Summary

    • The threat of contamination is a reality faced by drinking water systems

    • All threats should be evaluated to determine if they are “possible” or “credible”

    • Effective management of a contamination threat relies on:

      • Timely and relevant information

      • A systematic evaluation of the threat

      • Appropriate response decisions


    Summary (cont’d.)

    • Planning for an effective response to a contamination threat or incident may be the most efficient and effective defense

      http://www.epa.gov/watersecurity

      EPA RPTB download:

      • http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/home.cfm?program_id=8


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