DHS Completes National Infrastructure Protection Plan

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it has completed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), a comprehensive risk management framework that clearly defines critical infrastructure protection roles and responsibilities for all levels of government, private industry, nongovernmental agencies and tribal partners.

The NIPP builds on the principles of the president's National Strategy for Homeland Security and its companion strategies for the physical protection of critical infrastructure and key assets and the securing of cyberspace. It also fulfills requirements in Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 7 and the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

"The NIPP is the path forward on building and enhancing protective measures for the critical infrastructure assets and cyber systems that sustain commerce and communities throughout the United States," said DHS Under Secretary for Preparedness George Foresman. "The NIPP formalizes and strengthens existing critical infrastructure partnerships and creates the baseline for how the public and private sectors will work together to build a safer, more secure and resilient America."

The vast majority of the nation's critical infrastructure is owned and operated by private industry or state, tribal and local governments. The NIPP is an initiative to build an overarching structure that integrates critical infrastructure security efforts, sets protection goals and supporting objectives, and focuses resources according to risk.

HSPD 7 identified 17 critical infrastructure and key resource sectors that require protective actions for a terrorist attack or other hazards. Those sectors include: agriculture and food; energy; public health and healthcare; banking and finance; drinking waters and water treatment systems; information technology; telecommunications; postal and shipping; transportation systems including mass transit, aviation, maritime, ground or surface, and rail and pipeline systems; chemical; commercial facilities; government facilities; emergency services; dams; nuclear reactors, materials and waste; the defense industrial base; and national monuments and icons.

Sector-Specific Plans that complement the NIPP and detail the risk management framework will be released within 180 days. These plans will address unique characteristics and risk landscapes, and they will be developed in collaboration with sector specific security partners.

DHS received roughly 10,000 comments during two rounds of NIPP public review. In addition, the department closely collaborated with nearly 300 federal, state, local, tribal and private sector agencies and organizations to review and revise the NIPP as the document's policies and coordination procedures evolved.

The National Infrastructure Protection Plan is available online at www.dhs.gov/nipp.

Lieberman: DHS Infrastructure Plan Not Enough

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, claims the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), while "long-overdue" and "an important starting point for homeland security," does not do enough "to persuade or compel private industry to protect itself from terrorist attacks and natural disasters."

According to Lieberman, the Bush administration should provide adequate funding for port and transit security, and it should endorse - and push for immediate consideration on the Senate floor - the Collins/Lieberman chemical security bill, which was reported out of the Homeland Security Committee unanimously in June.

"Issuing a revised infrastructure protection plan alone won't make our country as secure as it should be," said Lieberman.

On June 27, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., and Lieberman sent a letter to Senators Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for greater funding to protect ports, rail and transit systems. Collins and Lieberman pointed to growing concerns over the vulnerability of U.S. ports, rail and transit systems to terrorist attack and urged the Appropriations Committee to increase dedicated funding for these potential targets.

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