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Federal Appellate Court Temporarily Holds EPA Cybersecurity Assessment Rule for Water Systems

Legal action

Federal Appellate Court Temporarily Holds EPA Cybersecurity Assessment Rule for Water Systems

The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized a federal appellate court’s decision to temporarily stop a new rule that would add cybersecurity assessments to public water system auditing.

The EPA issued a rule in March expanding Sanitary Survey Programs by adding cybersecurity assessments of water systems. The rule was subsequently challenged by lawsuits from the attorneys general of several states who said the proposal would result in costs that would end up being passed to customers.

The lawsuits were supported by the American Water Works Association and the National Rural Water Association. The temporary halt order was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, The Record reported.

An EPA spokesperson said the agency will remain committed to the rule as it protects critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

The EPA also noted that dangers like ransomware have become a significant concern for critical infrastructure owners because of their potential to shut down operations and disable communications.

Critical infrastructure cybersecurity is a key focus area for the U.S. government. In March, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency‘s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee started looking for new systems and reviewing the agency’s joint collaborative environment plan to help both private and public organizations improve cyber-related information exchange and data analysis.

In February, the Government Accountability Office flagged several cybersecurity gaps across several federal government agencies and recommended ways on mitigating damages.

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Category: Cybersecurity