EPA’s Cybersecurity Approach on Pause Following Court Order

Yesterday, July 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted a request from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) to pause the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretive action to include cybersecurity assessments as part of the existing sanitary survey program from going into effect until the current case challenging the rule has been decided.

AWWA and NRWA requested that the court stay (pause) any activity supporting the Agency interpretation during a legal challenge from three states until the court decides if the interpretative action is legally valid. The stay applies until further notice from the court.

AWWA and NRWA joined the States of Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa in a legal challenge to the Agency interpretation over concerns about the legal process and legality of the action, concerns that the approach may create additional cybersecurity vulnerabilities for the sector, as well as concerns that state primacy agencies do not have appropriate resources, laws, rules or procedures in place to adhere to the requirements.

It’s unclear how EPA plans to respond to this development. While the fate of the sanitary survey approach may ultimately be in question, cybersecurity remains a top priority for the water and wastewater sector.  In the meantime, ASDWA will continue to engage with EPA and our sector partners toward workable solutions to support PWSs in their efforts to address cybersecurity.

Attachment: AWWA NRWA Cybersecurity Rule Release