Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Update: Coeur d'Alene Classified?

Give the City of Coeur d'Alene's Water Department an "A-plus." Give the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an "incomplete."

My January 18, 2005, post recounted E-mail correspondence with the regional EPA honcho. I asked if Coeur d'Alene had complied with the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act). The law required the City to conduct security assessments and prepare plans for the safety of the City's water supply. When I expressed dissatisfaction with his nonresponsive answers, the EPA representative "helpfully" suggested that I file a Freedom of Information Act request with EPA headquarters. I did. So far, no reply.

I contacted Coeur d'Alene Water Department Superintendent Jim Markley by E-mail today and asked him the same questions. He promptly replied, "Yes, we have complied with the requirements of the Bioterrorism Act and we met both of the deadlines."

The safety of the nation's drinking water greatly concerns Congress. On January 5, 2005, The Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, updated its report entitled Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector. This report update gives some valuable insight into the challenges posed and the issues Congress must address.


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