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News & Press: COVID-19

EPA Offers COVID-19 Planning & Response Webinar for Utilities

Tuesday, April 7, 2020  
Posted by: Jenny Craft
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In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar for small and medium-sized water systems on the recently released Pandemic Incident Action Checklist (IAC). The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) and will be recorded for those that cannot attend. The webinar will include:

  • An overview of the recently released Pandemic Incident Action Checklist (IAC);

  • A case study from Todd Brown, the Town of Marbleton, Wyoming Public Works Director, who will talk about the actions his small system has taken in response to COVID-19;

  • A Q&A session.

  • Webinar’s registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6290760526788207374

     

    EPA Water Utility Template: COVID-19 Pandemic (DOCX) April 3, 2020

    Most emergency shelter-in-place declarations have exemptions that allow the critical infrastructure utilities to continue with operations. The scope/extent of the exemptions for the water sector, i.e., the inclusion of field personnel; IT workforce; chemical and equipment suppliers, etc., may not be fully known or communicated with local emergency managers and law enforcement. EPA produced a “template” as guidance for states/tribes/counties/utilities to use to document essential workers, vendors, and suppliers.

    The template can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater or download the MS Word document directly from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-04/water_utility_template_covid19.docx.

       

      Incident Action Checklist

      EPA’s Incident Action Checklist is comprised of three different “rip & run” checklists that can help water utilities prepare for, respond to, and recover from a pandemic. Each checklist provides examples of actions that drinking water and wastewater systems can take.

         

        Laboratory Capacity

        Staffing may impact ability for laboratories to conduct compliance sample analysis.

        • Mutual Aid: Encourage your Utilities/Labs to join mutual aid networks (e.g. – WARNs; RWAs). Laboratory support may be available via WARN.
        • WLA: Encourage your Utilities/Labs to join theWater Laboratory Alliance (WLA). The WLA is a nationwide network of laboratories that serves the water sector, and is a part of the Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN). WLA membership provides:
                • Basic Ordering Agreements: EPA’s Office of Acquisition Solutions (OAS) announced an opportunity for ERLN members (i.e. – WLA members) to establish new or updated Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs) that could be used as a vehicle to reimburse labs for assistance rendered under the WLA umbrella. A BOA is not a contract, as referenced in FAR Part 16.703; it is a written instrument of understanding, negotiated between an agency (e.g. – EPA)  and a contractor (e.g. – WLA lab).
                • WLA Liaison: We encourage State primacy agencies to register as a WLA “Liaison” for their state. To becoming a WLA Liaison, or nominate a colleague, please get in touch with EPA WLA representative via either: WLA@epa.gov or (703) 461-2400.
                • Compendium of Environmental Testing Laboratories (Laboratory Compendium): The Laboratory Compendium is a secure web-based network which identifies laboratories with the capability and capacity to analyze chemical, biological, and radiochemical agents. This network has been established to provide emergency responders with an efficient mechanism to obtain essential laboratory capability and capacity information during emergency situations, such as response to acts of terrorism.

                   

                  Additional information can be found at www.epa.gov/coronavirus and www.epa.gov/waterresilience


                     
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