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Critical Infrastructure Protection: Federal Agencies Have Taken Actions to Address Electromagnetic Risks, but Opportunities Exist to Further Assess Risks and Strengthen Collaboration

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Citation Edit

Government Accountability Office, Critical Infrastructure Protection: Federal Agencies Have Taken Actions to Address Electromagnetic Risks, but Opportunities Exist to Further Assess Risks and Strengthen Collaboration (GAO-16-243) (Mar. 24, 2016) (full-text).

Overview Edit

Electromagnetic risks caused by a man-made EMP or a naturally occurring solar weather event could have a significant impact on the nation's electric grid as well as other infrastructure sectors that depend on electricity, such as communications. These risks could lead to power outages over broad geographic areas for extended durations.

The GAO was asked to review federal efforts to address electromagnetic risks to the electric grid. This report examines (1) the extent to which key federal agencies have taken action to address electromagnetic risks and how these actions align with the 2008 EMP Commission report recommendations, and (2) what additional opportunities exist to enhance federal efforts to address electromagnetic risks to the electric grid.

The GAO recommends that DHS identify internal roles to address electromagnetic risks, and collect additional risk inputs to further inform assessment efforts; that DHS and DOE collaborate to ensure critical electrical infrastructure assets are identified; and engage with industry stakeholders to identify and prioritize risk-management activities, such as research and development efforts, to address EMP risks to the grid.

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