Homeland Security completes dams sector protection plan

The Department of Homeland Security announced May 21 it completed a dams sector-specific protection plan and 16 other sector-specific plans in support of its National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).

Issued in June 2006, the NIPP defines critical infrastructure protection roles for government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. It also called for development of sector-specific plans addressing unique characteristics and risk landscapes.

The NIPP and the sector-specific plans were developed through a collaborative process involving federal agencies, private sector owners and operators, state, local, and tribal entities, and other security partners. For the dams sector, two councils established by Homeland Security — the Dams Sector Coordinating Council and Dams Government Coordinating Council — worked with the department to prepare the dams plan.

While the dams sector plan is restricted and classified �for official use only,� the federal government agency said each sector-specific plan defines roles and responsibilities, catalogues security authorities, institutionalizes existing security partnerships, and establishes strategic objectives.

Homeland Security said it seeks to balance the information needs of its security partners while ensuring sensitive information is protected. By designating some of the sector-specific plans �for official use only,� such as that for dams, the department said it allows for distribution on a need-to-know basis. That designation also is intended to discourage what it considers to be inappropriate sharing of sensitive security information.

Homeland Security said representatives of the dams sector who want access to the dams sector-specific plan should contact the NIPP program office by e-mail at NIPP@dhs.gov for more information.

Additionally, Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection offers Internet-based training to introduce key NIPP concepts. (HNN 3/28/07) Work on the overall plan began following terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which raised awareness of the potential vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure.

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