States will share about $5 million in additional grant funding from EPA to coordinate and deliver security training and technical assistance to water systems serving fewer than 100,000 people, the agency recently announced.
The agency will divide nearly $5 million in FY2003 state and tribal assistance grants among the 50 states and several territories to sustain water security programs started in FY2002 with a $17 million grant award. No match for these grant funds is required.
To be administered by EPA regions, the grants are to be used by states and territories to coordinate activities for critical water infrastructure protection efforts, including coordinating and providing technical assistance, training and education to state officials (particularly with homeland security offices and emergency response officials) relating to ensuring the quality vulnerability assessments (VAs), and associated security enhancements and developing and overseeing emergency response plans.
Activities under these grants will include the implementation of a communications strategy to inform and interact with water systems.
In addition, the agency's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program this month will begin the first round of verification testing of several combined reverse osmosis/point-of-use (RP/POU) treatment systems as part of an earlier $2 million funding agreement to have several ETV centers verify the performance of innovative water security protocols and technologies.
To be conducted by the NSF International-administered Drinking Water Systems Center , the verification testing program will first focus on the three commercially available RO/POU systems.
The bulk of the $2 million grant went to the Battelle-administered Advanced Monitoring Systems Center to assess homeland security water monitoring technologies (the center recently released verification reports on six portable units for detecting cyanide in water).
The NSF-administered ETV Water Quality Protection Center, meanwhile, is using some of the funds to evaluate performance of decontamination technologies. All three centers are seeking such technologies for verification testing.