Date: Aug. 19, 2008
Contacts: Rebecca Alvania, Media Relations Officer
Alison Burnette, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <email@example.com>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Federally Managed Dams Need Better Security
There are approximately 80,000 dams in the
The decentralized operations of BOR mean that the first responders to a security incident are local law enforcement, although Hoover Dam has an on-site police department and Grand Coulee Dam has a security force trained as first reponders. The chain of command during a security-related incident is unclear, says the report, and the proper procedures for security response are not well understood by BOR's regional and area office staff. In addition, the distinction between security and law enforcement is unclear, resulting in ambiguities regarding the use of deadly force during a security-related incident.
Since 2001, BOR has installed cameras, fences, and other design measures; hired security guards at some facilities; closed certain roads that cross dams; and formulated security and threat assessments. However, BOR security has evaluated only a limited number of standard threat scenarios to date. Because BOR's dams are in different settings, the types of threats that facilities can encounter are various. The report says that in the future, BOR should use intelligence-based information to develop site-specific and realistic scenarios for individual facilities.
BOR also has not adequately addressed the threat posed by insiders, including its own staff, facility operators, and contractors. The committee said that security defenses appear "brittle" and "lacking in depth" and could be overridden, allowing an intruder to take control of dam operations. To improve security, BOR needs to implement bureauwide policies regarding site access and the safeguarding of project plans and drawings. The agency also needs to streamline the identity verification process for employees and contractors; regional staff reported that identity checks can take as long as six to eight months.
To create an effective and sustainable security program at BOR, increased staff, expertise, and funding are needed. Folsom Dam, which sits outside of
The report identifies an uneven commitment within BOR to the development of an effective security program (see finding 22). BOR senior management needs to communicate a consistent commitment to security by incorporating it into the organization's mission and vision statements, and by developing and communicating a plan for a sustainable security program with clear objectives and goals.
The study was requested and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,
Copies of Assessment of the Bureau of Reclamation's Security Program are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).
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[ This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org ]
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment
Committee on Assessment of the Bureau of Reclamation's Security Program
John T. Christian* (chair)
Bilal M. Ayyub
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and
Center for Technology and Systems Management
George H. Baker
Associate Professor, and
Dwight A. Beranek
Vice President and Operations Manager
Michael Baker Jr. Inc.
Mark M. Hankewycz
The Protection Engineering Group PC
Former President and CEO
Weidlinger Associates Inc.
L. Michael Kaas
Office of Managing Risk and Public Safety
David A. Klinger
Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Richard G. Little
Keston Institute for Infrastructure
John A. McCarthy
Kamal Advisory Services LLC
Charles I. McGinnis
Karlene H. Roberts
Professor of Psychology
Institute for Business and Economics Research
Randy L. Rossman
Bureau of Homeland Security
Miami-Dade Police Department
Craig D. Uchida
Justice & Security Strategies
RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
Lynda L. Stanley