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Industrial Control Systems Security Initiative Plan Under Development

Dec 8, 2021

During its November meeting, the Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) was briefed on the Biden Administration’s plans to promote industrial control system (ICS) security in critical infrastructure sectors, including the water sector. 

The White House released its National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems in July, with the stated goal of urging the electricity, pipeline, water and wastewater, and chemical sectors to voluntarily deploy technologies to collect and share ICS monitoring data.

The WSCC is an advisory body consisting of representatives from the national water sector associations, including NACWA, which meets regularly with EPA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agencies.  The WSCC provided comments last week on the ICS monitoring plan for the water sector.  Although the Administration does not currently have a date for public release of the water sector plan, NACWA will inform its members when more information is available. 

The ICS initiative has already begun with the electricity and pipeline sectors, where providers are utilizing various devices and platforms for collecting and sharing their data.

The White House or DHS may reach out directly to water and wastewater utilities, especially large systems and those serving federal installations, about participation in the initiative.  Utilities contacted about the ICS initiative are asked to contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs. 

NACWA will continue to work with other water sector associations to evaluate the Administration’s plans and potential impacts to clean water utilities.

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