The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be directed to establish risk-based performance standards for public water systems that serve all but the smallest communities under legislation just introduced.

The "Drinking Water System Security Act of 2009" (H.R. 3258) from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., would require the development of such standards for public water systems that serve communities that have more than 3,300 people or that are considered "security risks" by the EPA.

The bill would:

  • require the EPA to classify covered water systems in one of four risk-based tiers;
  • require water systems to develop site security plans and meet risk-based security standards; and
  • provide at least $315 million in EPA grants to states to implement the requirements.

The bill has been endorsed by several groups, including the Sierra Club, United Steelworkers and Greenpeace.

Security Industry Association (SIA) does not have a position on the bill at this time. The legislation will, however, be the subject of a member briefing after Labor Day. For more information, contact Don Erickson, SIA's director of government relations, at (703) 647-8484 or