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EPA COVID-19 Incident Action Checklist - Pandemic Incidents

April 3, 2020 - 09:40:43 AM

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging, rapidly evolving incident. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a website that provides key EPA resources and general information on COVID-19, including a March 27, 2020, letter from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to Governors in all 50 states, territories, and Washington, DC, requesting that water and wastewater workers, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers who provide vital services and materials to the water sector, are considered essential workers and businesses by state authorities when enacting restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Access information on COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater here.

Find Additional EPA COVID-19 Resources Here

Increase Pandemic Preparedness

Access EPA's recently released Incident Action Checklist for Pandemic Incidents to enhance your utility's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from a pandemic. 

This Incident Action Checklist addresses potential impacts of COVID-19 to drinking water and wastewater utilities, including:

·    Staff shortages due to absenteeism;

·    Supply chain disruptions (chemicals, materials, personal protective equipment);

·    Field operations interruptions (repairs, meter reading, sampling); and

·    Inability to maintain all operations.

Access the Checklist Here

 

Essential Water and Wastewater Workforce During the COVID-19 Response

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on March 28, 2020 released an updated memorandum identifying workers in several critical infrastructure sectors as essential for ensuring security and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic response. 

This document, available at www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce, gives guidance to state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions and the private sector on defining essential critical infrastructure workers and promoting the ability of such workers to continue to work during periods of community restriction, access management, social distancing, or closure orders and directives. 

The memorandum specifies the following Water and Wastewater sector employees as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers":

·    Operational staff at water authorities

·    Operational staff at community water systems

·    Operational staff at wastewater treatment facilities

·    Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring, including field staff

·    Operational staff for water distribution and testing

·    Operational staff at wastewater collection facilities

·    Operational staff and technical support for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Control systems

·    Chemical and equipment suppliers to water and wastewater systems and personnel protection

·    Workers who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater operations

Water utilities are encouraged to use this memorandum to engage their local emergency management agency and access planners to ensure that their water responders have access to their water system assets and sampling points during emergencies.

 
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