America's Water Infrastructure Act: Risk and Resilience Assessments and Emergency Response Plans
On October 23, 2018, America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law. AWIA Section 2013 requires community (drinking) water systems (CWSs) serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk and resilience assessments (RRAs) and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law specifies the components that the RRAs and ERPs must address, and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to EPA completion of the RRA and ERP. The Federal Register Notice for New Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans for Community Water Systems is available.
AWIA Section 2013 also states that EPA should provide guidance and technical assistance to water systems that serve less than 3,301 people on how to conduct RRAs and ERPs, though these systems are not required to certify completion to EPA.
For more information concerning America's Water Infrastructure Act, please see
On this page:
- Certification Deadlines
- RRA Requirements and Assistance Resources for CWSs that Serve More than 3,300
- ERP Requirements and Assistance Resources for CWSs that Serve More than 3,300
- Recursos de AWIA en Español
- Certification Process
- Compliance Data
- Third-Party Standards
- Resources to Promote RRAs and ERPs for CWSs that Serve Less than 3,301, non-CWSs, and Wastewater Systems
- Final Disposition of Bioterrorism Act Vulnerability Assessments
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Fact Sheet
- Resources for Technical Assistance Providers
- Five-year Review, Revision and Certification Requirements
Risk and Resilience
Next 5-Year Cycle
|March 31, 2020||March 31, 2025|
|December 31, 2020||December 31, 2025|
|June 30, 2021||June 30, 2026|
Next 5-Year Cycle
|≥100,000||September 30, 2020||September 30, 2025|
|50,000-99,999||June 30, 2021||June 30, 2026|
|3,301-49,999||December 31, 2021||December 31, 2026|
*Emergency response plan certifications are due six months from the date of the risk assessment certification. The dates shown above are certification dates based on a utility submitting a risk assessment on the final due date.
Each community water system serving a population of greater than 3,300 persons shall assess the risks to, and resilience of, its system. Such an assessment shall include:
- the risk to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards;
- the resilience of the pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, source water, water collection and intake, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities, electronic, computer, or other automated systems (including the security of such systems) which are utilized by the system;
- the monitoring practices of the system;
- the financial infrastructure of the system;
- the use, storage, or handling of various chemicals by the system; and
- the operation and maintenance of the system.
The assessment may include an evaluation of capital and operational needs for risk and resilience management for the system.
Risk and Resilience Assessment Assistance Resources
No later than six months after certifying completion of its risk and resilience assessment, each system must prepare or revise, where necessary, an emergency response plan that incorporates the findings of the assessment. The plan shall include:
- strategies and resources to improve the resilience of the system, including the physical security and cybersecurity of the system;
- plans and procedures that can be implemented, and identification of equipment that can be utilized, in the event of a malevolent act or natural hazard that threatens the ability of the community water system to deliver safe drinking water;
- actions, procedures and equipment which can obviate or significantly lessen the impact of a malevolent act or natural hazard on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water provided to communities and individuals, including the development of alternative source water options, relocation of water intakes and construction of flood protection barriers; and
- strategies that can be used to aid in the detection of malevolent acts or natural hazards that threaten the security or resilience of the system.
Community water systems shall to the extent possible coordinate with local emergency planning committees established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986 when preparing or revising an assessment or emergency response plan under the AWIA. Further, systems must maintain a copy of the assessment and emergency response plan for five years after certifying the plan to the EPA.
Emergency Response Plan Guidance
Visite esta página web para obtener recursos en español.
Each community water system serving a population of 3,301 people or greater, must certify the completion of its risk and resilience assessment or emergency response plan for every individual PWSID number. Your PWSID number should be nine characters with no spaces.
When determining population served in relationship to risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan certification statement submittal dates, community water system wholesalers should account for the entire population(s) served of the community or communities to which they sell or provide water. The risk and resilience assessment or emergency response plan certification requirements of this law also applies to those community water systems with consecutive connections that individually serve less than 3,301 people, but their aggregate population served is greater than 3,300 people due to the additional populations that the system sells to.
Three options are available for risk assessment and emergency response plan certification submittals:
Certify your Risk and Resilience Assessment and/or Emergency Response Plan
The link below lists the community drinking water systems covered by the risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan certification requirements under Section 2013 of AWIA, as well as data on the community drinking water systems that have complied with the law.
The EPA does not require water systems to use any designated standards, methods or tools to conduct the risk and resilience assessments or to prepare the emergency response plans required under AWIA Section 2013. Rather, community water systems must conduct risk and resilience assessments and prepare emergency response plans that meet the specific requirements outlined under AWIA Section 2013.
Community water systems may use any standards, methods or tools that aid the system in meeting the requirements of AWIA Sections 2013(a) and (b). However, regardless of the use of any standard, method or tool, the community water system is responsible for ensuring that its risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan fully address all AWIA requirements.
Resources to Promote RRAs and ERPs for CWS that Serve Less than 3,301, non-CWS, and Wastewater Systems
CWSs that serve less than 3,301 people, non-CWSs, and wastewater systems are not required to certify completion of a RRA or ERP to EPA. However, natural disasters and malevolent acts also occur at these facilities, therefore EPA encourages these systems to plan for disasters that could disrupt system operations by conducting RRAs and developing ERPs.
Title IV of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act) amended the Safe Water Drinking Act by adding new sections 1433 through 1435 pertaining to improving the security of the nation’s drinking water infrastructure. Section 1433 of the Bioterrorism Act required each community water system serving a population greater than 3,300 persons to conduct a vulnerability assessment, certify completion of its assessment and submit a written copy of the assessment to the EPA where it would be stored in a secure location. These assessments are now greater than 10 years old and therefore pursuant to EPA’s Records Management Policy, the EPA can dispose of (destroy) the certifications and assessments.
Community water systems had the option to have their vulnerability assessments returned to them prior to destruction by making a request to EPA no later than December 31, 2021. The deadline for this action has now passed and EPA is in the process of returning vulnerability assessments for community water systems that requested they be returned. After the return process is complete, EPA will destroy the remaining vulnerability assessments.
RRA and ERP Workshops for Water Systems that Serve Under 3,301 and Wastewater Systems
EPA is hosting a series of free, virtual workshops to assist community drinking water systems (CWSs) serving under 3,301 people, non-CWSs, and wastewater systems with developing or updating RRAs and ERPs, similar to those CWSs that were required to create RRAs and ERPs in accordance with America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) Section 2013. The workshop will provide information on EPA resources that can be used to help water systems create RRAs and ERPs. The workshop will also explain how a water system can participate in the new Very Small Drinking Water and Wastewater System Resilience Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Program.
Who Should Attend: This workshop is designed for community drinking water systems (CWSs) that serve less than 3,301 people, non-CWSs, and wastewater systems, however all water systems are invited to attend. In addition, vendors and consultants can attend as well. The workshops will be conducted for each EPA region. Please register to attend the workshop for your region to receive information that is most relevant to you.
EPA is in the process of obtaining state approvals for renewal training hours for participating in these virtual workshops. Please note, you are not guaranteed credits for attending while we wait for state approvals.
Participants can register for upcoming workshops at the following registration links:
|EPA Region||Date||Time||Register Below|
|TBD||TBD||TBD||Registration Link Coming Soon!|
For more information about EPA’s upcoming AWIA Workshops, please contact us at email@example.com.
Fall 2020-Spring 2021 AWIA Workshop Series Video
The fall 2020-spring 2021 AWIA Workshop Series is a three-module video from our most recent AWIA workshop series. The video provides information on AWIA Section 2013, with information that is geared towards small-sized community water systems (CWSs that serve 3,301 – 49,999 people).
- Module 1: AWIA Section 2013 Requirements, Certification, and AWIA Section 2018 Basics
- Module 2: AWIA Risk and Resilience Assessments: Malevolent Acts, Natural Hazards, and the Small Systems Checklist
- Module 3: AWIA Emergency Response Plan Template and Guidance
Spring 2020 AWIA Workshop Series Video
The Spring 2020 AWIA Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plan Training 101 is a four-part video from our spring 2020 workshop series. The video provides information on AWIA Section 2013, with information that is geared towards medium and large-sized CWSs (CWSs that serve over 50,000 people). Listeners will learn from EPA how various resources can assist water utilities in complying with AWIA Section 2013.
- Part 1: Requirements and Malevolent Acts Document
- Part 2: Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool Tutorial
- Part 3: Emergency Response Plan Template and Guidance
- Part 4: AWIA Certification and Section 2018
Fall 2019 AWIA Workshop Series Video
EPA began hosting workshops across the country in 2019 for community water systems complying with AWIA Section 2013. Follow the link below for the webinar-based version of EPA’s 2019 AWIA workshop series.
AWIA Section 2013 Overview Training Presentation
Please feel free to use the following presentation to share this information as broadly as possible. AWIA Overview Training Presentation (pptx)
Access the Frequently Asked Questions Document
AWIA Resources for technical assistance providers include the Technical Assistance Primer and AWIA workshop presentation materials. These resources can be used by technical assistance providers to help assist community water systems meet compliance with AWIA’s requirements to conduct or update a risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan. In addition, technical assistance providers can, lead their own AWIA trainings with the provided AWIA workshop presentation materials.
Each community water system serving more than 3,300 persons must review its risk and resilience assessment at least once every five years to determine if it should be revised. Upon completion of such a review, the system must submit to the EPA a certification that it has reviewed its assessment and revised it, if applicable.
Further, each community water system serving more than 3,300 persons must review and, if necessary, revise its emergency response plan at least once every five years after the system completes the required review of its risk and resilience assessment. The emergency response plan must incorporate any revisions to the risk and resilience assessment. Upon completion of such a review, but not later than six months after certifying the review of its risk and resilience assessment, the system must submit to the EPA a certification that it has reviewed its emergency response plan and revised it, if applicable.