Friday, March 24, 2023

S 660 Introduced – Water System Threats

Earlier this month, Sen Markey (D,MA) introduced S 660, the Water System Threat Preparedness and Resilience Act of 2023. This is a companion bill (identical wording) to HR 1367 that was introduced earlier this month in the House. The legislation would require the EPA to carry out a program to support, and encourage participation in, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (W-ISAC). The legislation would authorize $10-million for FY 2024 and FY 2025 to support this initiative.

Moving Forward

Markey is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be sufficient influence to see the bill considered in committee. I see nothing in this bill that would engender any organized opposition, and the spending issue is less of a problem in the Senate than in the House. At this point, this bill is more likely to move forward in committee than is the House bill.


While the undefined term ‘malevolent acts’ used in §2(b)(4)(B) would certainly seem to include cyber incursions or attacks, I would prefer to see cybersecurity specifically addressed. To that end, I would suggest changing subparagraph (B) to read:

“(B) enhancing the preparedness of community water systems and publicly owned treatment works to identify, protect against, detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity threats (as defined in 6 USC 1501), malevolent acts (within the meaning of section 1433 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300i–2)) or natural hazards.”


For more information about the provisions of this bill, see my article on HR 1367 at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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