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National Research Council report on security at federally managed dams
Date:8/19/2008

urity-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 Sacramento, Calif., requires special consideration due to the level of devastation that would occur in the event of dam failure. The committee recognized, however, that increasing resources for security will need to be done in a way that does not compromise other activities that a
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Contact: Rebecca Alvania
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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