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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal:

The Clash of Blue and Green

Issues and Ideas Papers


Presented During a
PERI Internet Symposium
January 2008

Public Entity Risk Institute


On the Web at www.riskinstitute.org
This material is provided free of charge, as a public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute
(PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd., Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Phone (703) 352-1846.
Web: www.riskinstitute.org.
The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) provides these materials “as is,” for educational and
informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind,
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PERI 2008 Symposium: CONTENTS

Infrastructure Risk and Renewal – The Clash of Blue and Green

About the Symposium i


Summary and Conclusions iii
About PERI v

1. INTRODUCTION: THE CLASH OF BLUE AND GREEN


….. Dr. Lewis J. Perelman, Consultant and Symposium Moderator. (7 pp)

Monday 1/14

2. BLUE VERSUS GREEN: CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION


….. Eric Holdeman, Principal, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and Melinda Harris, Senior
Economist, ICF International. (6 pp)

3. PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND SECURITY AT THE US-MEXICO BORDER


….. Elaine Koerner, Senior Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (9 pp)

Tuesday 1/15

4. TRADE-OFFS OF WATER AND POWER: ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF THE ELECTRIC GRID
UNDER WATER SUBSTITUTION DRIVERS
….. Dr. Steven Fernandez, Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, G. Loren Toole and Marvin L.
Salazar, Los Alamos National Laboratory. (14 pp)

5. TELEWORK: A WIN-WIN SOLUTION TO THE BLUE AND GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES


….. Chuck Wilsker, President/CEO, and Jack Heacock, Senior Vice President, The Telework Coalition. (8 pp)

Wednesday 1/16

6. MAKING RATIONAL CHOICES IN IRRATIONAL TIMES: ARE SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY


MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?
….. Richard Little, AICP, Director, The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, School of
Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California. (11 pp)

7. SUSTAINABILITY AND SAFETY OF LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES


….. John Berenyi, Managing Director, EcoCité Developments. (4 pp)

Thursday 1/17

8. NEW PARADIGMS TO SIMULTANEOUSLY ACHIEVE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND


SECURITY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
….. Rae Zimmerman, Professor of Planning and Public Administration and the Director of the Institute for Civil
Infrastructure Systems at Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. (8 pp)

9. NEW AND INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT: SEEKING


SUSTAINABILITY
….. Gary Hamer, AICP, Capital Planning and Research Analyst, City of Tulsa, Oklahoma. (7 pp)

Friday 1/18

10. “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” VERSUS “SUSTAINABILITY”: IS THERE A CONFLICT?


….. C. Richard Baker, PhD, CPA, Professor and Chair, Accounting, Finance and Economics, Adelphi
University. (5 pp)

11. THE RESILIENCE IMPERATIVE


….. Jeff Gaynor (Colonel, U.S. Army, ret'd), Chief Operating Officer, Entegriti Inc., and former Director, Critical
Infrastructure Task Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (8 pp)
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

The PERI Virtual Symposium on Infrastructure Risk


and Renewal

Exploring Infrastructure Policy and the Conflicts Between


Homeland Security and Environmental Sustainability
Neglect of our nation’s infrastructure is making America ever
more vulnerable to man-made and natural disasters warns
author Stephen Flynn, senior fellow of the Council on Foreign
Relations, in The Edge of Disaster. Meanwhile, a recent United
Nations conference in Bali initiated an international effort to
impose stringent and costly new measures to protect the planet
from the long-range threat of climate change. These urgent
imperatives prompt public demand that government, business,
and community organizations “do something”—even as the
national price tag for the recommended solutions is measured in
trillions of dollars.

As a result, government, business, and civic leaders are


confronted with troubling questions: Can we afford to make our
communities safe? Can we afford not to?

In search of practical answers to these challenging questions,


the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit research
institute, hosted a week-long, Virtual Symposium on
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green,
during the week of January 14-18, 2008. The free, publicly open
program was conducted entirely online on the PERI Website,
www.riskinstitute.org, and engaged several hundred particiants
from throughout the United States as well as Canada and
several other countries.

The Symposium attempted to find practical steps to reconcile


the demands of two largely independent but increasingly
competitive infrastructure policy movements:

 the “sustainability” movement, aimed at environmental


protection and resource efficiency and particularly
concerned with “green” designs for buildings and other
infrastructure; and
 the homeland/national security movement, focused on
responding to the threats of attack or disaster and
particularly concerned with infrastructure security—which
we identified with the color “blue” (a common symbol of
reliability, security, trust, etc.).

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

The introductory concept paper by Symposium Moderator Dr.


Lewis Perelman provides further background on the issues
raised by these competing demands. The ten authors who
contributed discussion papers for the Symposium represent
diverse disciplinary, professional, and geographic interests.

This collection of Symposium papers will be of particular interest


to those involved in public or private infrastructure policy,
planning, design, architecture, construction, or operations;
individuals concerned with safety, security energy/resource
efficiency, environmental protection, economics, finance, and
other pertinent topics; and policymakers at all levels of
government.

The individual papers also are available and may be


downloaded from the Symposium Center on PERI’s Website
(www.riskinstitute.org). Further information about this or other
PERI Symposiums may be obtained from symposium
coordinator Jessica Hubbard at: jhubbard@riskinstitute.org, or
(703) 352-1846.

About the Moderator

This PERI Symposium was planned and moderated by Dr.


Lewis J. Perelman. Dr. Perelman is a policy and management
consultant in the Washington, DC area. He has over thirty years
of professional experience focused on the processes of
innovation, transformation, and sustainability; including strategic
intelligence, policy development, planning, and assessment—as
a consultant, analyst, author, publisher, and teacher. In the
past, Dr. Perelman worked on federal renewable energy
programs at the Solar Energy Research Institute and the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory. More recently he has been a Fellow at
the federal Homeland Security Institute and a Senior Fellow of
the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington
University. Contact: kanbrain@post.harvard.edu or phone
(703) 490-4030.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Summary and Conclusions

In reviewing the results of the PERI Symposium, I want first to


thank PERI for hosting the Symposium as well as all the authors
who contributed this collection of insightful and provocative
papers. Thanks too go to participants who added comments
and feedback, and to all who registered for the symposium and
invested their time to read and ponder this discussion of critical,
emerging policy issues.

I see some general lessons that can be drawn from the analysis
and discussions that have been contributed to this Symposium:
 The conflicts between blue and green—security and
sustainability—infrastructure demands are not just
hypothetical. They are real, immediate, tangible, and
already having important practical and financial impacts.

 “Dual-benefit,” synergetic solutions are at least


sometimes possible. Some, such as telework, are
immediately available, while others can be foreseen
through further research, development, and
implementation efforts.

 However, tradeoffs between competing blue and green


infrastructure imperatives cannot be always or even
generally avoided—especially in light of budget limits.
Often these require making difficult, emotionally charged
choices between long-term and short-term risks, benefits,
and costs. In the absence of effective mechanisms to
resolve these dilemmas we now commonly observe in
many locales a stalemate of contending political and
economic interests—perpetuating the slide toward
infrastructure decay and rising vulnerability.

 Despite insightful analysis and a number of valuable,


practical suggestions, I think all of our authors would
agree that we have raised more questions than answers.
The highly complex, difficult, and urgent issues this
Syposium has illuminated clearly warrant more extensive
analysis to understand and more substantial effort to
resolve.
When I moved to Washington 25 years ago, a friend warned that

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

I was moving to a city where "the important is chronically


sacrificed to the urgent." The same could be said of many state
capitals and city halls. I thought of that lately as the news was
filled with urgent demands and proposals to salvage a US
economy, already afflicted with financial crises, that seems to be
sliding toward recession.

The fiscal constraints on governments at all levels that we noted


in the introduction to this Symposium now are rapidly getting
even harsher. Private investment is being choked by tightening
credit and market anxiety. Budgets once again are likely to shift
toward immediate pain and away from the strategic, potential, or
long-term risks of disaster, attack, or environmental decay.

Investments can be deferred. But consequences cannot be


avoided.

— Dr. Lewis J. Perelman, Moderator

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About Public Entity Risk Institute

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) is a nonprofit research


institute that develops risk management education and training
resources for local governments, school districts, small
businesses, nonprofits and others. PERI’s website serves as a
clearinghouse and library with information on a wide range of
topics including disaster management and hazard mitigation,
environmental liability, risk financing and insurance, education,
safety and health protection, workers’ compensation and
technology risks. PERI also operates a national performance
measurement and benchmarking database known as the PERI
Data Exchange, which allows local governments to compare
liability and workers’ compensation data with their peers and
identify strategies to reduce losses and control costs. To learn
more about publications and services available from PERI, go to
www.riskinstitute.org.

Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI)


11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 210
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 352-1846
Fax: (703) 352-6339

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

I N F R A S T R U C T U R E R I S K A N D R E N E WA L :
THE CLASH OF BLUE AND GREEN

SYMPOSIUM INTRODUCTION

BY: DR. LEWIS J. PERELMAN

More of the
Security
Same

Sustainability Resilience

Remarkably, between chapters of the ongoing saga of Britney Spears’


collapse and deconstructions of the latest election campaign debate, the once
blah topic of infrastructure increasingly has been wedging itself into the news.
An admittedly simplistic but still indicative measure of this trend, the number of
Web pages listed in a Google News search on the term “infrastructure,” has
mushroomed from 181,000 in 2002 to 553,000 in 2006.

Bomb blasts, falling bridges, bursting steam pipes, crumbling levees,


massive power grid outages, tsunami devastation, reservoirs emptied by searing
drought, whole towns razed by brush fire conflagrations, chlorine tankers spilled
by train derailments—all feed the rising stream of spectacle that galvanizes
media attention. The cascade of such teachable moments has stoked public
awareness that the fabric of America’s economy and society, whose threads
increasingly stretch across the globe, is progressively unraveling under the
combined assault of attacks, disasters, accidents, and the grinding rot of
obsolescence and neglect. And the gathering wave of public anxiety stirs
political demands to “do something.”

Overlaid on economic and cultural interests that traditionally have shaped


infrastructure development, the rising demand for sweeping infrastructure

Symposium Introduction 1
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

renewal—even reinvention—is being driven by the risk management agendas


coming now from two, largely independent policy movements:

• the “sustainability” movement, aiming at environmental protection and


resource efficiency and particularly concerned with “green” designs for
buildings and other infrastructure; and

• the homeland/national security movement, responding to the threats of


attack or disaster and particularly concerned with infrastructure
security—which I’ll identify with the color “blue” for contrast. *

While spawned by largely separate political interests, and although there is


potential synergy between the two, the demands of the blue and green agendas
are substantially competitive and dissonant. In the practice of risk management
in infrastructure development and management, the friction between the two
agendas bodes to become increasingly costly, even counterproductive. Yet the
relationship between these agendas, the conflicts and costs they create, and the
possibilities to reconcile their competing demands, to date have gotten little
attention from either policymakers or infrastructure professions.

The aim of this PERI symposium, then, is to begin illuminating the conflicts
and contradictions between the blue and green infrastructure agendas, as well as
the potential opportunities for positive synergies that might be realized through
better collaboration. The ultimate objective, beyond this initial forum, is to begin
developing a new infrastructure doctrine that can integrate the positive features
of the green and blue architectural agendas while pragmatically resolving
necessary tradeoffs between the two—hence getting to something like a
“turquoise” design theory.

THE CLASH
As I write, the governors of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama are enmeshed in
an increasingly nasty, drought-induced fight over water. The city of Atlanta faces
the dire prospect of its water supplies running dry in less than three months
unless rains return to the parched Southeast. Yet the Army Corps of Engineers
continues to drain a billion gallons of water a day from the city’s main Lanier
reservoir—complying with environmental regulations aimed at protecting
endangered species of mussels and fish downstream in Florida. Compounding
this disastrous clash between urban survival and environmental protection, the
governor of Alabama claims that keeping the water in Georgia will force him to
shut down the Farley nuclear power plant in his state for lack of cooling water—

* While color symbolism varies across cultures and contexts, the color blue—particularly in Western society and as a
corporate color—commonly is identified with trustworthiness, security, safety, law, reliability and such. The contemporary
identification of the color green with environmental and resource conservation interests is, of course, well established.

Symposium Introduction 2
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

thus either cutting off power to 800,000 homes or shifting their load to an
overburdened power grid.

Patrick Moore, co-founder of the Greenpeace environmental advocacy


organization, is one of a number of environmental activists who now advocates
nuclear energy as necessary to supply electric power while reducing the “carbon
footprint” in the name of climate protection. Other green advocates continue to
oppose nuclear power as too risky.

Coming from a blue perspective, authors Stephen Flynn and Charles Perrow,
in two recent books on infrastructure security, * also worry about the dire risks
posed to national/homeland security by nuclear power—particularly the threat
from an attack or accidental dispersal of its growing, dubiously secure pools of
acutely radioactive wastes.

Also in service of national security, the U.S. and its allies are pressing Iran to
prevent the development of nuclear energy and the potential production of
nuclear weapons in that country. Yet an expatriate Iranian engineering professor
argues that Iran will need nuclear power to reduce its carbon footprint.
Meanwhile, a pending agreement between the U.S., its allies, and North Korea
would reward the latter for dismantling its nuclear energy facilities by
guaranteeing a supply of oil to power Korean electric plants—the parties
evidently willing to trade increased carbon emission to reduce the risk of nuclear
warfare.

Columnist and author Thomas Friedman and former CIA director James
Woolsey are among those who present a case for reducing consumption of
petroleum and natural gas that commingles climate concerns with national
security interests. That is, replacing oil and gas consumption with “renewable” or
nuclear energy could cut the immense flow of money going to countries—in the
Middle East, and perhaps also including Venezuela and Russia—that use their
income from selling these fossil energy sources to threaten American security
interests.

The list of cases in which the blue, security agenda and the green,
environmental agenda entangle, abrade, and often confound can be extended
indefinitely:

• In order to make defense workers more secure, in 2005 the Base


Realignment and Closing Commission ordered over 20,000 Defense
Department jobs relocated from leased offices in Northern Virginia’s
Crystal City (easily accessible by mass transit) to the Army’s Fort
Belvoir, several miles to the south. Citizens and public officials in

* Stephen Flynn, The Edge of Disaster (New York, Random House, 2007); Charles Perrow, The Next Catastrophe (Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 2007).

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Fairfax County, where the fort is located, protested vigorously that the
move would gridlock the area’s already snarled highways with massive
traffic, wasting energy and polluting air already on the bubble of EPA
violations.

• A new high school in New Haven, Connecticut, was planned to be a


“green” building according to the LEED certification standards of the
U.S. Green Building Council. But the site planned for the school was
in the middle of the intersection of five busy highways, a location with
some of the worst air pollution in the region. To satisfy LEED
requirements, the school was to have a heavily filtered indoor
ventilation system that required keeping all windows sealed. And
students would not be permitted to play or exercise outdoors. At a
public hearing, citizens, parents, and environmental scientists from
nearby Yale University decried the plan as irrational, complaining that
students would be isolated from the community, deprived of normal
recreation, and might be trapped in the sealed building in event of fire
or other emergency.

• A civil engineer in the Bostitch division of Stanley Tools developed the


Hurriquake® nail after observing that wooden houses and other
buildings destroyed during a windstorm or earthquake usually
collapsed because of nails that pulled loose or sheared off under
stress. Tests show that structures constructed with the new nail are
twice as resistant to wind damage and 50% more capable of surviving
earthquake. Yet an architecture professor known as a proponent of
“sustainable” design, and who was leading a team building a “green”
house to replace a home in the Gulf coast region that was destroyed
by Hurricane Katrina, decried the Hurriquake® nail as environmentally
unacceptable—because it would make it more difficult to recycle the
materials of collapsed buildings.

• The Environmental Protection Agency has a Smart Growth program


aimed at encouraging community developments that have reduced
environmental impact and higher resource efficiency. But because the
designs of such developments often feature compact density with
narrow streets, police, fire, and other public safety officials often
oppose them because they constrain access and delay response of
emergency vehicles.

• A federal homeland security plan to construct fences along the U.S.


border with Mexico—to thwart the entrance of illegal immigrants and
potential terrorists—has been challenged by litigation from
environmental organizations who claim the barrier will damage a
vulnerable environment and obstruct the natural movement of wildlife,
while doing little to solve the immigration problem.

Symposium Introduction 4
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

The clash of such competing interests is not the only dynamic that
undermines the ability of the blue and green agendas to achieve their espoused
goals. In several, often common ways, they tend also to be self-defeating.

First, the ambitions of each agenda’s most dogmatic proponents can be


utopian in the impracticality of their uncompromising requirements. Their truest
believers also are prone to distorted perceptions of risks, and of the costs and
benefits of defending against them—focusing on one or a few presumed
apocalyptic threats to the neglect of a broad “all hazards” perspective in which
other dangers might loom larger or alternate mitigation measures seem more
beneficial.

Most disabling is the determination of current leaders of both the national


security and the environmental sustainability agendas to resist and prevent the
occurrence of their respective nightmare scenarios. This is despite broad
agreement among sober analysts across both fields that dire risks, either to or
from the environment, never can be completely resisted or entirely prevented.
Instead, pragmatists advocate systematic design solutions that are sufficiently
adaptive to adjust to a variety of stresses and that are resilient enough to endure
diverse, sometimes surprising disasters.

Still, the dissonance and competition between the blue and green agendas
only amplifies these self-inflicted liabilities and deters the analysis and dialogue
needed to resolve them.

SYNERGY
The green and blue agendas do not always need to be in conflict. There
even are opportunities for positive synergy. For example, zero-energy
buildings—which generate their own power from sun, wind, or geothermal
sources—could enable police or fire stations, shelters, hospitals,
communications facilities, embassies, and such to keep functioning in the wake
of a disaster even when electrical or fuel supplies are interrupted. “Green
roofs”—composed of soil and vegetation—might, when properly maintained,
make buildings less vulnerable to fire.

Green solutions even may aid military missions. According to recent reports,
U.S. Marine units operating in Anbar province in Iraq are looking to apply solar,
renewable, and recycling technologies on site, to reduce the need for vulnerable
truck convoys to supply fuel and water.

Moreover, green infrastructure investments can offer near-term, tangible


returns from efficiencies in energy and resource use that just-in-case
investments in hazard risk mitigation often do not. To the extent that the design
features of both can be integrated, the economics of hazard mitigation could

Symposium Introduction 5
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

become more attractive while sustainability could become more truly equivalent
to survivability.

But to realize that potential, the “sustainability” agenda needs to become a


“resilience” agenda, by adding a fourth element to its “triple bottom line”—to
incorporate the requirements of security and survivability. *

FUTURES
Playing out the churn of security and sustainability imperatives into the future
points to four possible, alternative scenarios, summarized in the chart.

More of the
Security
Same

Sustainability Resilience

The most ambiguous, and likely, is the gray scenario of more of the same
business as usual. Increasingly contentious security, environmental, economic
and cultural demands will produce stalemate, sluggish development,
compromised suboptimal designs, progressive decay, occasional marquee
projects, and periodic disasters followed by ad-hoc responses, proclamations of
ambitious goals, and faltering follow-through.

The most zealous green scenario would sacrifice human security, safety,
prosperity, and even life in pursuit of a bucolic, agrarian, global society subsisting
solely on solar energy and renewable resources. Ultimately, green zealotry will
ruin the environment to protect it—as is happening in Brazil now, where forests
are being cleared to grow “renewable” biofuel to feed engines, ostensibly to help
prevent climate change.

The most ruthless blue scenario would plunder resources, environment, and
human rights in pursuit of a global fortress impervious to attack, disaster, or
human error, and purged of any threat from the darker spirits of human nature.
Blue zealotry already has shown a proclivity to erode democracy to protect it and
to destroy not only villages but whole countries to save them.

The fourth scenario challenges pragmatists to design and build practical


solutions that balance security, environmental, economic, and cultural needs in
* The triple bottom line is generally construed as a way of reporting corporate or organizational value in terms of (a)

economic benefit, (b) environmental benefit, and (c) the broad umbrella of “social responsibility.” The equation of this
metric with “sustainability” is in the sense that the organization protects or at leasts does not degrade the sustainability of its
external environment; not necessarily the sustainability of its own infrastructure, assets, or operations.

Symposium Introduction 6
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

harmonious architectures that have the resilience to endure a wide range of


stresses and shocks.

ISSUES
To begin working toward reconciling blue and green infrastructure
imperatives, the PERI Symposium will address several initial, core issues:

1. Tradeoffs in practice. How do planners, architects, or engineers resolve


conflicts and establish priorities between demands for security/safety and
demands for environmental efficiency within budget limitations?

2. Potential for synergy. What design elements or solutions produce, or


could produce, benefits that simultaneously serve both security/safety and
environmental efficiency demands, again within budget limitations?

3. Economics. What are the relative risks, costs, and benefits of competing
blue and green agendas for infrastructure renewal? What capital
resources are available to meet either or both demands? How reliable is
the accounting for the risks, costs, and benefits of each? What accounting
improvements are needed?

4. Real politics. What are the actual political interests and conflicts
surrounding the blue and green policy agendas? What specific initiatives
are most likely and least likely to be politically do-able?

5. To Do. Beyond this symposium, what further should be done to resolve


intersecting blue and green infrastructure development issues by (a) the
public sector? (b) the private sector? (c) philanthropy? (d) academia? (e)
nongovernmental organizations?

THE BOTTOM LINE


The costs of meeting the demands of either the blue or green infrastructure
separately loom large. Both Flynn and Perrow cite an estimate from the
American Society of Civil Engineers that $1.6 trillion needs to be spent over a
span of five years just to moderately mitigate the danger to public safety posed
by America’s crumbling, brittle, and hazardous infrastructure.

While the real costs and potential benefits of the green agenda just for
“climate protection”—mitigating the expected future impacts of global warming—
are debated, even the more modest estimates imply infrastructure renovation
costs to the U.S. on a similar scale of hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

All this comes at a time when David Walker, Comptroller General of the
United States (the nation’s chief financial officer), warns that America now stands

Symposium Introduction 7
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

at the edge of a fiscal cliff, beyond which stretches an abyss of economic


disaster. In short, as the first of America’s 70 million baby boomers is about to
start retiring, the country faces the prospect that 70% of the federal budget by
2030 will be spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other entitlement
programs. By 2034 those programs will consume 20% of the nation’s entire
gross domestic product. Add in the cost of servicing the trillions of dollars of debt
the U.S. government has already racked up and there will be virtually no money
left to pay for defense, education, public health, transportation, environmental
protection, law enforcement, or any of the myriad other things citizens expect the
government to do. Other analysts point out that, if the federal government had to
adhere to the same Generally Accepted Accounting Principles followed by
business and other organizations, and thus had to include the costs of such
“unfunded liabilities,” the real current federal deficit would be measured in
trillions, not billions of dollars.

Walker and others explain that closing the gap between inadequate revenues
and the cost of existing government commitments will require some combination
of massive tax increases and drastic reductions in promised benefits. And the
burden of federal insolvency is bound not just to trickle but cascade down to state
and local governments and ultimately all taxpayers.

Blue and green optimists would like to believe that America is rich enough to
pay the price tag for each of their agendas simultaneously—and that there is no
“zero-sum game” between the demands for greater security and sustainability.
But the warnings from Walker and others suggest that the country may be hard
pressed to pay for either. It clearly cannot afford duplicative, contradictory, or
wasteful efforts.

All of which underscores the urgency to come up with a new doctrine of


infrastructure renewal that is effective, efficient, affordable and politically realistic.

Symposium Introduction 8
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the author


Dr. Lewis J. Perelman is a policy and management consultant in the
Washington, DC area. In the past, he worked on federal renewable energy
programs at the Solar Energy Research Institute and the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. More recently he has been a Fellow at the federal Homeland
Security Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at
George Washington University. Contact: kanbrain@post.harvard.edu.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

Symposium Introduction 9
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Blue versus Green: Conflict and Resolution


By: Eric Holdeman and Melinda Harris

While two wrongs rarely make something right, two rights may in fact be in
conflict with one another. Taken to their extreme, each may counter the positive
impacts of the other.
Such is the debate that is coming to life as individual communities and regions
start to grapple with issues of environmental sustainability (the “green” agenda)
alongside issues of security from all forms of disasters or attacks (the “blue”
agenda).
For most of the existence of the United States we have lived a life of plenty.
Our natural resources seemed inexhaustible: abundant forests, plentiful water
and land that literally does stretch from sea to shining sea. It is only in the last
fifty years or so that our consumption of resources and expansion of our
population began to come in conflict with one another. Even the oceans, which
seemed to take everything we could toss into them, do not appear to be as
resilient as we once thought.
There are limits to everything and today we appear to be straining to find the
resources not only for today, but are becoming worried about tomorrow. Some
are concerned about the ability of future generations of Americans to enjoy life,
with economic vitality and a land that was once plentiful, but may be stretched to
provide even the very basics of what we need to survive—clean, drinkable water,
and air that is safe to breathe.
As one of the primary roles of any government is to protect its citizens, a new
urgency emerged after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to take measures to better
protect our nation. Given the openness of our society the potential for terrorists
to do harm to people and infrastructure is significant in the United States.
Since 2003, billions of dollars have been spent here in the United States on a
combination of measures to provide for a more secure America. A substantial
share of those expenditures has been focused on threats associated with
weapons of mass destruction (WMD). A significant amount of money has been
allocated to providing equipment for first responders at all levels of government
to manage WMD threats. While the allocation of funds between states and
jurisdictions has been hotly debated over the years, few question the
appropriateness of properly equipping our first responders to protect themselves
and to allow them to function in a WMD environment.
Advocates for Green and Blue each look at how funding is being spent in
various programs and question, “Is that the wisest use of the funds? Could we
not do more for our ‘_____’ if we had the funds being spent on ‘_____? How we

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

allocate time and resources to address Green versus Blue issues is the crux of
the matter.

Sustainability
Sustainability in another era might have been called maintenance. Today
sustainability evokes images of being environmentally friendly, going “green” and
all that it entails, from energy efficiency to recycling, and husbanding of our
natural resources.
The green movement has brought with it a recognition that our natural
resources are not unlimited. Yet another “green” category that is finite is the
amount of funding that is available for public and private projects.
Throughout the United States road and bridge systems are crumbling. In the
East, older infrastructure systems are nearing or have surpassed their average
life spans. With strong public pressure to keep taxes low, one easy and invisible
cut to public system budgets has been maintenance. In many cases, public
agencies and jurisdictions have deferred maintenance to the point where our
maintenance strategy appears to be fix or replace only on failure.
One challenge to this “fix-on-failure” strategy is that when the costs of deferred
maintenance come due, the substantial bill for repairs and reconstruction well
may be compounded by the potential loss of lives as well as the economic costs
of business interruption following infrastructure failures and through the period
needed to replace or restore these structures.
In replacing infrastructure there will be those arguing for it to be done in a
sustainable manner. And there will be those agreeing with the concept, but also
advocating a strategy to build the infrastructure to new standards to face natural
hazards that are better understood now than they were at the time of original
construction—seismic risk being but one example. (Modern seismic standards
for bridges, for instance, only date from the early 1970s.)
In the Seattle area, there is a classic confrontation that has been ongoing since
the Nisqually Earthquake of 2001 exposed the weakened condition of the
Alaskan Way Viaduct that runs north-south through the city and is one of only
three such north-south routes spanning the Central Puget Sound area. All of
these three routes are exceeding the traffic capacity for which they were
designed. Loss of any one of those routes will cause traffic congestion in the
region that exceeds the ability of people and business to function with any sense
of normality. The viaduct is an elevated structure which exists in a weakened
state that requires the Washington State Department of Transportation to close it
twice a year in order to assess its condition and make critical repairs.
How to replace the viaduct has been the topic of (so far) interminable debate.
The proposed alternatives have included: another elevated structure, a surface
solution, a dig and cover tunnel approach, eliminating the route all together, and
most recently a “deep” tunnel option has been proposed. While the estimated
costs of replacing the roadway is perhaps the most debated aspect of the entire
discussion, there are other forces at play.

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Green activists in the region have advocated an urban development strategy


aimed at opening up access to the Seattle waterfront and bringing the full force of
being a city “on the water” to bear. Closing the viaduct route would eliminate a
physical barrier and also promote a pedestrian-friendly environment; the resulting
congestion supposedly would be helped by forcing people to use the available
mass-transit alternatives. On the other hand, port- and marine-based industries,
along with general industrial companies, are advocates for keeping the route
intact, seeing it as critical for their business.
The “blue” aspect of the route is not being debated at all. Highway 99 is a vital
route both for the evacuation of people in the event of disaster and as a conduit
for incoming emergency supplies and equipment. While marine terminals also
could serve these purposes in case of disaster–for instance, should other land
routes not be available due to other bridge failures in a seismic event—
emergency transport by water generally would be slower than by land; and
marine facilities may be as prone to being damaged or disabled in a disaster as
ground, rail, or air transportation infrastructure. As it is, the Seattle area’s
transportation lifelines are barely able to cope with normal demands, much less
those of a catastrophic emergency.

Livable Communities
Making modern communities livable has been a major thrust of urban design.
There is a resurgence in our urban centers as large cities revitalize their urban
cores. People are once again living in urban villages that at their heart have
condos, and all the amenities of restaurants, shopping, and the arts. These
urban centers allow people to live near their places of employment and allow a
much higher density of people and services. The suburban sprawl is contained
and families can “survive” with only one car or even none because they have
access to mass transit for their transportation needs.
One’s carbon footprint is drastically reduced by living and working in such an
urban center when compared to the suburban dream that dominated our post-
World War II culture. There are no green lawns that must be mowed each week
with carbon polluting lawn mowers, the commute is reduced, single occupancy
vehicle commutes eliminated, heating and cooling larger buildings is more
efficient, etc.

Urbanization Brings Increased Risk


There is a continuing population shift from rural areas to urban zones. People
and families are migrating to the coasts and to areas of the nation that are seen
as offering more favorable climate conditions. Significant population gains are
being seen by coastal states. This movement will continue as the baby boomer
generation now entering retirement wants to live out their dream of sunshine,
golf, and warmer temperatures.
Unfortunately this “rush to sea” by people is taking place without regard for the
natural hazards that abound, or with little thought about the potential for their
urban center to be a target for terrorism. All coastal areas in the nation

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potentially have greater natural hazard risks that will impact larger segments of
populations and their infrastructure than most of the interior areas of the nation.
Hurricanes, earthquakes, and the associated tsunami waves are three of the
most devastating natural hazards our coastal communities face. With climate
change, rising sea levels will over time provide a multiplication factor to storm
surge brought on by hurricanes.
Scientists predict that a category four hurricane would cause a 20-foot storm
surge over John F. Kennedy airport in New York. A major hurricane that hit New
York City in 1938 caused damage valued at some $18 billion in today’s currency;
the loss from a similarly severe storm striking the city in the near future has been
estimated at close to $50 billion. The probability of such a disaster occurring in
New York sometime in the next 50 years is about 25 percent.
As we concentrate our populations into these dense urban areas, the impacts
of disasters will become much more severe. The modern infrastructure required
to support these urban centers is at its core the vulnerable aspect of the
economic well being of the city. Without a functioning transportation, water,
communications or electrical power system the economy of a region will grind to
a halt.
Additionally, we are building and maintaining systems that operate daily at or
near peak demand. The flexibility and adaptability of systems is being eroded as
public and private sectors cut costs in the attempt to become leaner and more
efficient.
Redundancy is not valued until there is a systems failure. When looking to cut
costs from a project the areas that are first to be sacrificed are excess capacity
and redundant systems—just those that provide flexibility to meet demands that
are outside the spectrum of “normal” daily operations.
As we continue to pile people and our economic eggs into larger economic
zones we are becoming a nation at risk of losing large urban areas to a future
catastrophe. What happened in New Orleans will be but a shadow of what is to
come when an urban center that is an economic engine to the nation takes a
serious natural disaster hit.
Urban centers are becoming geographically larger and are pushing out of their
traditional urban settings into suburban and even rural areas. A case in point
would be the development of the Kent-Auburn Valley in the Seattle metropolitan
area. These valley areas were once home to farms that sustained the region in
the first half of the last century. Now the farms are gone and large tilt-up
warehouses are being planted instead. Cheaper land values have led to an
economic boom in light industrial development in the region.
Being in a valley, farmers sought to protect their agricultural lands from
repeated flood events and over time built many miles of levees that line multiple
river systems in the region. These flood protection structures which were built 80
to 100 years ago were sufficient to protect agricultural lands, but are now in
danger of failing every year during flood events. They no longer protect crops

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worth thousands of dollars, but now protect business investments and critical
infrastructure worth tens of millions of dollars.
The “green” solution would be to eliminate the levee systems, releasing the
rivers and letting them return to their natural meandering ways—which would be
ideal for the protection of endangered salmon species that occupy the river
systems.
Given the development that has occurred over time this is not economically
possible. In fact, just finding the public funds to repair and maintain the existing
flood-control structures will prove difficult.
A new King County Flood Control District has been put in place to fix these
discrepancies. However, it will take ten years of funding to accomplish the work.
Timing repairs so as not to impact spawning fish species further limits the timely
repair of flood damaged levee systems from one year to the next.
Meanwhile the risks created by the flood hazard continue to escalate. The
estimates for global warming in the Northwest predict larger and more frequent
rain and substantial flood events of the type that puts increased strain on the
levees. Just this year, Lewis County, Washington, experienced a two-hundred-
year flood with levees failing and being overtopped. There were scenes
reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina, with people being rescued from their rooftops.
This followed a hundred-year flood 13 months ago.

Balanced Approach
There has been a polarizing of American opinions and view points across the
spectrum of human activities. There are the economic haves and the have-nots,
people with healthcare and those without. Education is clearly a discriminator
within our society. Citizen and immigrant communities are seen as being in
conflict with one another. Even our states have been color coded into blue and
red when considering political party strengths. Which leads us to wonder: Is this
what must happen in the blue-green debate? In the future, will we have a map of
the United States with blue and green states categorized on how they are
perceived?
Do we have to resort to a polarization of opinions in how we approach our
collective future? Can we achieve a more coordinated and better future by
collaborating for the sake of our local communities and regions? Does it have to
come to a fight?
The first step in an amicable process will have to be the establishment of an
ongoing relationship between the two efforts to protect people and resources.
Both have admirable goals that do not have to be mutually exclusive. For
example, improving air traffic management infrastructure at the nation’s airports
will reduce delays, cut carbon emissions, and make it easier to respond to a
security crisis; thus serving both blue and green purposes. Finding similar
opportunities to simultaneously contribute to blue and green goals could provide
the basis for relationships that can lead to a true dialogue and potential
compromise and ultimately trust between proponents of the two philosophies.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Flexibility and leadership by both camps will be needed. Partnerships involve


participation by two or more parties. The definition of “winning” will need to be
redefined to mean that no single philosophy prevails. To achieve a new and
better America will require all of us to value the other person’s opinions and
values. Safety and security does not necessarily trump living in harmony with
our environment, and balancing human and nature’s needs is an appropriate
goal. One (blue) is more short term, and the other is multi-generational in its
impact (green).
Together we can find a way to live in harmony with our environment while
providing for our security. Conflict between the two views does not have to be
considered in opposition, rather in the end they can be complementary, but only
if their respective advocates make it so.

About the authors


Eric Holdeman joined ICF International www.icfi.com in 2007 and is a Principal,
serving in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Practice. His
areas of expertise include building regional coalitions between agencies,
governments, the private sector and non-profits. Regional planning, Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) design and construction, multi-media public education
programs, Joint Information Center (JIC) formation and operations, media relations,
and integration of technology into emergency management and homeland security
programs are just a few of the areas in which he has extensive experience.
Pandemic flu planning and exercises is another area in which he has experience.
In March 2007 he was recognized by Government Technology Magazine as one
of the Top 25 people in the nation who, “Challenge convention, confront
entrenched bureaucracy and promote innovation.” Eric has a blog at
www.disaster-zone.com

He has also authored numerous articles for professional journals and opinion
pieces for local, regional and national newspapers. An experienced and
accomplished public speaker he is sought after to present at national and regional
conferences.

Prior to joining ICF he was a local emergency management director for King
County Washington which is the metropolitan Seattle area. In this position he
established the King County Office of Emergency Management as a national leader
in many areas emergency management and homeland security. In 2005 King
County was given a national award by the National Association of Counties (NACo)
for establishing a “Regional Approach to Homeland Security.” Additionally, the 9/11
Commission recognized the King County Regional Disaster Response Plan as a
“Best Practice” for integrating the private business sector into community-wide
disaster planning.

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Melinda Harris is a senior economist and project manager with ICF Consulting.
Over the past 20 years, Ms. Harris has developed expertise in a broad range of
environmental and economic policy issues and has more than 10 years of
experience managing large scale projects and contracts for clients in the public
and private sectors. She has directed large teams of subject area experts drawn
from government, academia, research organization, and environmental NGOs.
Her background includes analyses of the impacts of global warming on important
sectors of the U.S. economy, including work in the areas of human health
impacts, impacts of climate change on the amenity value of climate, and sea
level rise implications for U.S. coastal communities. In the past three years, a
significant portion of her project work has entailed addressing issues relating to
adaptation to climate change. She directed and participated materially in several
global change related projects for USAID and was one of the primary authors of
GCRP’s synthesis report on the interim results of three place-based
assessments. Her project work has also included evaluating GHG mitigation and
stabilization policy, the use of market-based mechanisms in environmental
policy, and she is one of ICF International’s in-house experts on emissions
trading.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Protecting the Environment and Security at the U.S.-


Mexico Border
By: Elaine M. Koerner, M.A.

The U.S.-Mexico border region offers a particularly rich context in which to


probe the potential clash between homeland security activities and environmental
protection efforts. It also offers a compelling case in point for how “win-win”
scenarios for both types of initiatives can be created if everyone decides to work
a bit smarter.
Environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources remain
major challenges for the region despite steady progress in recent years,
according to The 2007 Mid-Term Report of the U.S.-Mexico Environmental
Program: Border 2012. 1 Sewage and other contaminants continue to pollute
both surface waters and underground aquifers. In addition, air quality is
compromised by pollutant sources such as aging cars, dust from unpaved roads,
and open burning of trash. Makeshift waste dumps, large piles of scrap tires, and
inadequate waste management infrastructure also remain a feature of the
environmental landscape.
These conditions can be linked to many factors, including rapid population
growth, increased industry, and a lack of municipal infrastructure. Since 1996,
the report says, the population of the 24 U.S. border counties has increased
nearly 30 percent. And by 2020, the population is expected to jump to
approximately 16.8 million, up from 11.8 million in the year 2000.
Alongside these environmental challenges are daunting security challenges.
The U.S.-Mexico border region has come under especially close national scrutiny
in recent years as pressure has mounted to make both the northern and southern
borders of the nation more secure. Several actions have been taken to address
these concerns, with attendant potentially negative effects on the environment.
One such action is the passage of the Real ID Act of 2005. 2 This Act allows the
Secretary of Homeland Security to waive all legal requirements determined
necessary to ensure expeditious construction of barriers and roads needed to
prevent illegal immigration. The waiver covers a host of legislation, including
NEPA, Endangered Species Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Clean Water
Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Migratory Bird Act, Clean Air Act, and
Administrative Procedures Act.
Another mechanism put into place is the Secure Border Initiative (SBI).
Launched by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in late 2005, SBI was
created to “secure the nation’s borders and reduce illegal migration.” 3 The
initiative has three primary goals: increase the number of Border Patrol agents in
the field, upgrade surveillance technology, and increase investment in
infrastructure such as fencing.

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Under the high-technology component of the initiative, called SBInet, DHS


awarded a contract the following year for installation of 1,800 high-tech towers. 4
And on December 12, 2007, DHS announced that SBI was moving forward
steadily to achieve its mission: First, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
had exceeded the initial goal of 145 miles of new fencing. Second, it had taken
conditional possession of nine towers equipped with radar and communications
systems and automated ground sensors linked to a command and control center
and Border Patrol vehicles. And finally, a new task order had been issued to
upgrade software for the systems, actions that would supplement the 284 miles
of pedestrian and vehicular fencing already in place, and also enable
construction of roughly 670 miles of additional fencing by the end of 2008. 5

Potential clashes between environmental protection work and homeland security work along
the U.S.-Mexico border have an added dimension -- the presence of an international boundary
line. Source: Environmental Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Tenth
Report of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board to the President and Congress of the United
States, March 2007 p.5.

■■■
The effects of such security measures on environmental quality in the border
region are analyzed in a March 2007 bilingual report titled “Environmental
Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border.” 6 Produced by a
Presidential advisory group called the Good Neighbor Environmental Board (the
GNEB), its Tenth Report is the latest of its annual reports to the President and
Congress on the status of environmental conditions in border communities. The
GNEB was created under federal legislation in 1992 to provide advice on how the

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

federal government can most effectively support U.S. residents of the border
region in their efforts to create a healthy environment in their communities.
In its report, the GNEB examines the intersection of environmental protection
work and border security work in two types of locations: isolated rural settings,
and congested urban border crossings. In each case, it identifies a specific set
of potential clashes as well as strategies to minimize the clashes and maximize
the collaboration.
According to the report’s findings, a significant portion of undocumented
migrants and smugglers now attempt to make their crossing in the more rural
portions of the region. This shift is the result of improved inspection technology at
the ports of entry and more effective enforcement strategies in cities. To address
this shift, border security activities in rural areas are intensifying dramatically.
Much of this phenomenon is occurring on public land managed by agencies such
as the Department of the Interior National Park Service and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture Forest Service. It also is occurring on private land and on tribal
land, including tribal land that spans both sides of the border. One such example
is the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona.
Within the rural scene, there are three primary groups of actors—
undocumented crossers; the security agencies charged with apprehending them;
and the environmental protection agencies that seek to mitigate damage from the
other two groups. And the nexus of these three groups produces mixed
environmental results, says the GNEB.
For instance, although the Border Patrol’s chase vehicles may create unofficial
paths and roads that are prone to erosion and may damage sensitive
ecosystems, undocumented migrants and smugglers also may cause
environmental damage. Under these circumstances, risks to the environment can
be reduced if undocumented crossers are apprehended quickly and, therefore,
prevented from leaving behind tons of trash and abandoned vehicles as well as
creating their own unofficial paths.
Another example of security work bringing about environmental benefits cited
by the GNEB is the story of the return of the endangered, lesser long-nosed bats:
Initially driven from their national wildlife refuge cave by smugglers who decided
to use it for themselves, the bats subsequently returned after border security was
tightened and the smugglers fled the scene.
In other cases, however, the potential negative environmental impacts of
security activities along the border are much more straightforward. One such
instance is the erection of physical barriers. “Fences may disrupt hydrologic
patterns, causing flooding and erosion,” says the GNEB. “Wildlife migration
routes and territories for some species may be truncated, fragmenting habitats
and causing declines in region populations of large animals such as deer, black
bear, pronghorn antelope, mountain lions, and jaguar, as well as small animals
such as snakes, lizards, turtles, and foxes. Migratory birds, as well as bird and
mammal breeding behavior, will be affected by lights associated with fences in
some areas.” 7

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To minimize risk both to the environment and to security, the GNEB calls for
several actions:
• Strengthen communication and collaboration between security agencies
and environmental protection agencies, including land management
agencies, on both sides of the border. Early and ongoing cooperation will
contribute to effective solutions that serve the core agency missions of
both types of agencies, while also addressing quality of life concerns. (For
instance, assembling border fencing in one location on a wildlife refuge
rather than another that is more ecologically sensitive can help to
minimize environmental damage.)
• Strategically employ a mix of technology and personnel to meet the
security and environmental needs of different sections of the border
region. Vehicle barriers (unlike solid fencing used as pedestrian barriers,
vehicle barriers are a series of intersecting struts that permit some wildlife
migration) and sensor technology (rather than physical fencing) are two
examples of employing a strategic approach. 8

Having provided recommendations for minimizing clashes between security


work and environmental protection work in rural border region settings, the
GNEB then turns to analyzing the dynamics at congested ports of entry. It is
quick to point out that there appears to be more of a natural dovetail effect
between border security work and environmental work at ports of entry than in
rural areas: “Proper handling of hazardous materials being transported in
commercial vehicles near and at official ports of entry is mission-relevant to both
types of agencies. Although border security officials are focused on accurate
materials identification and the potential terrorist threat should the materials get
into the wrong hands, they share with environmental officials the concern about
potential risk to human health and the environment through accidental releases
or explosions.” 9
Yet despite these somewhat related missions, says the GNEB, the potential for
clashes remains strong. Perhaps one of the most daunting problems is that
emergency responders are not able to easily cross the border at ports of entry to
respond to chemical spills or other environmental emergencies. And while some
of the barriers are not linked to security procedures – insurance coverage and
liability concerns are just two examples – others, such as protracted customs and
border crossing procedures, are. Here again, the GNEB calls for more problem-
solving dialogue between security and environmental agencies within the U.S. as
well as with their neighboring institutions across the border.

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Security within the U.S.-Mexico border region often takes the form of physical barriers. Source:
Environmental Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Tenth Report of the
Good Neighbor Environmental Board to the President and Congress of the United States, March
2007, p.4.
■■■

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The GNEB is not the only group that has delved into the U.S.-Mexico border
security/border environment conundrum. Defenders of Wildlife, a 500,000
member strong national environmental organization dedicated to preserving the
nation’s native wildlife species and habitats, released a report in 2006 called On
the Line: The Impacts of Immigration Policy on Wildlife and Habitat in the Arizona
Borderlands. 10 The document focuses largely on the Arizona borderlands, in
particular Arizona’s two largest wilderness areas: the Cabeza Prieta National
Wildlife Refuge and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The Defenders’
report found, too, that immigrant traffic and border patrol activities have severely
damaged these areas in ways that could take decades to repair. Besides
broadly recommending greater care for the environmental impacts of border
security activities, the report called for the use of advanced technology—such as
high-tech surveillance equipment—and innovative construction designs to
minimize environmental damage.
Academia also continues to weigh in on the topic, one example being the
Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP).
Founded in 1989, SCERP is a collaboration of five U.S. and five Mexican
universities located in all ten border states. The five U.S. universities are Arizona
State University, New Mexico State University, San Diego State University, the
University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of Utah. The Mexican
universities are El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad
Juárez, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey,
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad
Juárez.
In September 2007, SCERP hosted the latest in its series of think-tank-style
policy institutes, Border Institute IX. The theme was “Security, Development, and
the Environment in the Binational U.S.-Mexican Border Region.” Co-sponsors
included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; la Secretaría de Medio
Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de México (Mexico’s environmental agency), the
Border Trade Alliance, and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
The springboard for discussion was the following framework question: How can
security concerns at the border be harmonized with the transborder region’s
need for environmental quality and sustainable development? Draft proceedings
from the event suggest that forthcoming recommendations may include concepts
such as linking “green infrastructure” to security. Green infrastructure is defined
as the network of open space, woodlands, wildlife habitat, parks, and other
undeveloped areas that sustain clean air, water and natural resources and
provide a highly under-appreciated form of security that is vital to human life.
Earlier in the year, SCERP had laid the groundwork for Border Institute IX by
co-hosting a conference in Washington, D.C. on January 30th with the Center for
Strategic and International Studies titled, “Perspectives on Security and the
Environment in the Binational U.S.-Mexican Border Region.”
One of the more stimulating presentations was by Dr. Carlos de la Parra, a
professor at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. In his paper, “The

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Interdependency of Security and the Environment,” Dr. de la Parra asserts that


the relationship between security and the environment can be viewed from within
three frameworks: national security measures’ impact on the environment;
elements of the environment that contribute to national security such as energy
and water; and nature’s impact on national security such as environmental risk
and vulnerability. 11 In the first scenario, he maintains, security trumps
environment; in the second, security includes environment; and in the third, they
are co-dependent. The key environment-security challenge, he says, is how to
make the two converge.
■■■
Perhaps one of the greatest ironies of attempting to reconcile security concerns
and environmental concerns along the border is that the condition of security
infrastructure in the region stands out in sharp contrast to that of its municipal
environmental infrastructure, infrastructure such as wastewater treatment
facilities. If infrastructure in this instance is defined as any set of structural
elements that provide the framework for an operating system, then border
security infrastructure’s future looks very bright indeed. Funding for new physical
barriers, for the surveillance and communications technology used to create
“virtual” barriers, and for the personnel who build and operate the equipment as
well as patrol the land appears to be readily available.
By contrast, despite the municipal infrastructure improvements brought about
by groups such as the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC)
and the North American Development Bank (NADBank), environmental
infrastructure in the border region remains inadequate. In fact, in a white paper
published in April 2007, BECC conveyed that it had identified and documented
nearly $1 billion in additional drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs
in the region. 12
In order to right the imbalance, and thereby ensure that environmental
infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border receives its due alongside security
infrastructure, policymakers may be well served by referencing the definition of
border environmental security developed by the GNEB in its report mentioned
earlier:
“To encourage a productive national policy discussion …, the Board offers a
broad view of border environmental security as the mitigation and prevention
of potential threats at U.S. borders to public health, environmental quality, and
social infrastructure or economy. Border environmental security includes
eliminating threats from undocumented human crossings as well as improper,
unauthorized, or undocumented transport of hazardous, toxic, radiological, or
pathological materials that could potentially cause any harm to the public
and/or existing infrastructure or could potentially be used to threaten the
security of the United States or its border allies. In addition, border
environmental security involves ensuring the ability of communities to
respond to nearby and border emergencies involving those substances or any
other threat.” 13

Protecting the Environment and Security 7


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Endnotes

1
U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program: Border 2012 Implementation and Mid-Term Report: 2007, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, EPA-909-R-06-005.
2
P.L. 109-13, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and
Tsunami Relief, 2005.
3
Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet: Secure Border Initiative, Release Date: 11/02/05.

4
DHS Press Briefing by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Boeing CEO of Integrated
Defense Systems Jim Albaugh on the Awarding of the SBInet Contract, Release Date: September 21, 2006

5
Fact Sheet: Select Department of Homeland Security 2007 Achievements, Release Date: December 12,
2007: “Protecting the Nation from Dangerous People.”

6
“Environmental Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Tenth Report of the Good
Neighbor Environmental Board to the President and Congress of the United States,”, EPA 130-R-07-003,
March 2007.

7
Ibid, p. 22.

8
Ibid, p.17.

9
Ibid, p.27.

10
"On the Line: The Impacts of Immigration Policy on Wildlife and Habitat in the Arizona Borderlands,"
Principal Author: Brian P. Segee, Staff Attorney, Defenders of Wildlife.

11
http://www.csis.org/images/stories/Americas/070130_border_parra.pdf.
12
United States-Mexico Border Program: An Analysis of Program Impacts and Pending Needs, Prepared
by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, April 2007, p.1

13
“Environmental Protection and Border Security on the U.S.-Mexico Border”, pp.9-10.

Protecting the Environment and Security 8


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the author


Elaine M. Koerner currently is employed as a Senior Environmental Protection
Specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington
D.C. She is the Designated Federal Officer for the Good Neighbor
Environmental Board, a Presidential advisory committee that provides
recommendations to the President and Congress on environmental and
infrastructure protection along the U.S. border with Mexico. The committee
includes senior officials from nine federal agencies as well as representatives
from state, local, and tribal government; academic; the private sector; and non-
governmental organizations. It forthcoming report, due to be released in March
2008, will focus on the effects of natural disasters on the environment along the
U.S.-Mexico border.
Prior to her career at EPA, Ms. Koerner worked as Staff Writer for Resources
for the Future, an environmental research think tank also located in Washington,
D.C. Other former employers include Engineering Index in New York and the
Institute of Petroleum in London. As a former member of the National Coalition
of Independent Scholars, she carried out research on the role of women’s clubs
in shaping early U.S. environmental history and presented her findings to the
American Society for Environmental History and the National Women’s Studies
Association. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of
Massachusetts.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

Protecting the Environment and Security 9


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Trade-offs of Water and Power:


Analysis of the Evolution of the Electric Grid under
Water Substitution Drivers

By: Dr. Steven Fernandez, Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
G. Loren Toole and Marvin L. Salazar, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Abstract
Fresh water and electric power supplies are connected in ways that make them
virtually substitutable commodities. Both water and energy are frequently
transported considerable distances, and their transport systems are integrally
connected. Power systems use fresh water in the course of electricity production,
and electric power is used for water delivery and management. Thus, the impact
on water resources and their quality by the evolution of the electric power grid is
a potential area for clashes between blue and green policies.
Proposals for the needed investment in the nation’s transmission corridors over
the next 20 years have long strived to assure the blue objectives that the national
electric grid is safe, reliable, resilient, and operated efficiently and economically.
These investments have been proposed based on (1) cost/benefit analyses and
(2) stability, reliability, and resilience of the resulting grid. However, only recently
have these blue considerations been balanced against the additional green
benefits that could arise from transporting high volumes of power from
geographic areas or generation locations that are not dependent on net fresh
water withdrawals.
Provided that power is produced either in areas of abundant water resources or
using generation technologies that are inherently low water consumers (wind,
solar, dry-cooled thermal), efficiently transmitting power to areas with limited
water resources and substituting for locally produced power can ease water
demand through long-distance, high-volume, power transmission.
However, the capacity of the current transmission grid to wheel this power to
chronically dry areas is limited by transmission system bottlenecks needed for
safety and reliability. These bottlenecks in the transmission system were
purposely designed to assure that disruptions and blackouts started in one part
of the grid do not spread throughout the other parts of the grid.
We will examine in this paper how the national grid might benefit from
investments that could efficiently ship power through the transmission system of
the Western Electric Coordinating Council under water-substitution drivers.

Trade – offs of Water and Power 1


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

A key finding of our analysis is that achieving “green” goals of reducing water
consumption and increasing reliance on renewable energy sources is likely to
conflict with the “blue” goals of improving the resilience and reliability of the
critical, power-transmission grid.

INTRODUCTION
By modifying and applying current infrastructure and system modeling and
simulation tools, one can provide science-based recommendations for future
U.S. electric power transmission upgrades. These improvements can increase
the availability of imported power to these areas without sacrificing energy
reliability and still reduce transmission costs. These tools have been used to
analyze the few known critical transmission bottlenecks in the absence of new
water-based requirements and to explore optimal configurations for transmission.

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To examine how the national grid might benefit from investments that could
efficiently ship power to water-constrained areas, we used a model of the
Western Electric Coordinating Council transmission system that is resident in a
suite of decision-support tools. This model contained more than 17,000 nodes
and links and identified the key power-import points to the electric grid (marked in
the figure above with green boxes).

Trade – offs of Water and Power 2


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

These import points intentionally have low transmission capacity, to promote grid
stability. They have served safety and reliability planners well over the years.
However, because these inter-ties are low-capacity connections, they would be
the first area to look for conflicts over balancing reliability against strengthening
the grid’s ability to transmit power to areas of water stress.
There is considerable controversy about whether imported power can be
increased without sacrificing electricity reliability or increasing transmission costs.
Our analysis of the grid attempted to determine if the increase in imported power
could be accomplished without sacrificing electricity reliability, and still reduce
transmission costs. The goal of this task was to analyze transmission
bottlenecks—currently known and likely to arise—in the Western Electric
Coordinating Council (WECC) system, and determine where improvements are
required as well as the investments needed to implement them.
We analyzed four scenarios, incorporating different green proposals related to
using power transmission as a factor for water management in the West. The
first scenario is the baseline case, where the growth of electric power demand
follows the WECC’s current projections through the year 2025. (Although
WECC currently projects only 10 years, we extrapolated from the WECC plan for
the subsequent decade.)
The second scenario places all new generation growth at the current location of
WECC nuclear generation plants. This corresponds to the addition of dry-cooling
nuclear generation and will identify those bottlenecks associated with moving the
power from these additional generation locations to the areas of increased
electrical demand.
The third scenario assumes that 25% of the required power is mandated to be
supplied by renewable generation technologies. Because the grid would be
required to transmit power generated from centralized power stations, it is likely
that the location of this additional generation will be in areas of maximum
potential for wind-driven power. So we analyzed the bottlenecks to shipping the
power from these areas of maximum wind potential to areas of increased
demand.
In the fourth scenario, we analyzed the ability to import electricity from areas
outside the WECC region to the areas of highest demand.

SCENARIO BASE CASE


In scenario 1 we analyzed the case of normal growth in the demand for electric
power in the western United States using WECC current projections. These
projections do not assume any increase in demand or changes in the demand
patterns caused by substituting electric power usage for fresh water usage.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2015 Scenario 1

Highlighted in blue are


the lines loaded over
150 percent (bold
blue color) for
scenario 1 (business
as usual) by the
Year 2015. The
major areas where
additional
investment is
required in the
transmission system
are in the areas
around Tucson and
Phoenix, Northern
New Mexico, and
Eastern Idaho.

Displayed above and highlighted in blue are the lines loaded to over 150 percent
of their rated capacity (bold blue color) for scenario 1 (business as usual) by the
Year 2015. The major areas where additional capacity is required in the
transmission system are in the areas around Tucson and Phoenix, Northern New
Mexico, and Eastern Idaho. These areas are in the vicinity of the power import
points that were illustrated earlier and these capacity limitations are well known
to power planners.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2025 Scenario 1
By 2025, the baseline
case develops additional
overloads extendind\g
along the North-South
New Mexico corridor,
West of Denver and in
the Pacific Northwest
West of Spokane.

By 2025, these overloaded lines further increase the need for additional capacity.
However, the lines are concentrated in about the same geographic locations. In
this baseline, the new investments will be required in the south and eastern
quadrants of the WECC service region.

SCENARIO NUCLEAR GENERATION WITH DRY COOLING


Dry cooling refers to the discharge of heat from the nuclear power plant by
substituting air for water in large cooling towers. While significantly reducing the
usage of water, the use of dry cooling reduces the efficiency and maximum
capacity of the generating station. Therefore, there is usually an economic
penalty to the power producer for using dry cooling.
The second scenario places all new generation growth at the current location of
WECC nuclear generation plants using only dry cooling. This corresponds to
major additions of dry-cooling nuclear generation and will identify those
bottlenecks associated with moving the power from these additional generation
locations to the areas of increased electrical demand.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2015 Scenario 2
By 2015 under this scenario,
additional congestion is
developed north of Phoenix, in
Eastern Wyoming, and the
corridor north of Idaho Falls
extending into Montana. In
this scenario, we begin to see
capacity limitations
transmitting power between
the Pacific Northwest and
Northern California.

The locations of these nuclear power generation stations are concentrated in the
Western ring of California, Oregon and Washington. By 2015 under this
scenario, additional congestion develops north of Phoenix, in Eastern Wyoming,
and the corridor north of Idaho Falls extending into Montana. In this scenario, we
begin to see capacity limitations to transmitting power between the Pacific
Northwest and Northern California. These represent the major lines for exporting
power out of California to the east.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2025 Scenario 2
By 2025 within this scenario,
Wyoming corridors, the
Phoenix and Tucson areas ,
and the Four Corners
generation areas have
increased capacity limitations.
In Eastern Idaho and the
Pacific Northwest corridors
continue to show additional
limitations.

By 2025 within this scenario, the Wyoming corridors, the Phoenix and Tucson
areas, and the Four Corners generation areas have increased capacity
limitations. In Eastern Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, corridors continue to
show additional limitations. Overall, the power that needs to be “wheeled” around
the transmission system from the Western area into the eastern half of the
WECC “loop” is greater than the capacity of the transmission system. By 2025,
additional investments would be required to strengthen almost all of the power
import points identified earlier.

SCENARIO OF MANDATED ALTERNATIVE GENERATION


This scenario represents the requirement that 25% of new power generation be
provided alternative or renewable energy sources. Although a portion of this
generation might be created through distributed sources, these distributed
sources typically do not significantly impact the transmission system. Even so,
significant centralized generation will still be required to fulfill the mandate. To
simplify this analysis, we considered only wind-generated renewable energy.
This allows existing wind farm sites in each WECC sub-region to serve as the
location for expansion, given that sufficient wind resources exist to support the
assumed expansion. The mapping below demonstrates the area of greatest
wind-power potential, which is the assumed generating area under this scenario.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Wind Power Potential

In contrast to the nuclear generation locations, which are concentrated in the


western half of the loop, the wind generation areas are concentrated in the
eastern portion of the WECC grid, with only a few potential sites in southern
California, and in the Pacific Northwest, extending south into northern California.
Under this assumption, the table shown below summarizes top-level allocation of
renewable energy production by sub-region and year.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Renewable Generation Required

The California sub-region is designated CAMX, the Arizona sub-region is


designated AZPP, the Pacific Northwest sub-region is designated NWPP, and
the Rocky Mountain Sub-region is designated RMPA. The results of this analysis
are shown below.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2015 Scenario 3

As shown in this case, the


transmission bottlenecks are
concentrated in the areas of the
maximum wind fields as placement of
this much generation in is a significant
shift in required transmission.

As shown in this case, the transmission bottlenecks are concentrated in the


same geographic areas of the maximum wind fields. This result is not surprising,
since placement of this much new generation in sparsely populated areas
constitutes a significant shift in required transmission patterns. It is an open
question whether the required generation exceeds the total that could be feasibly
delivered from these wind fields.
By 2025, the transmission bottlenecks under this scenario will be concentrated in
the same geographic area but the amount of transmission investment will be
significantly increased. The increased demand exacerbates the under-capacity
of the local transmission system.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

2025 Scenario 3

By 2025, the transmission


bottlenecks will be concentrated in
the same geographic area but the
amount of transmission investment
will be significantly increased.

SCENARIO MASSIVE EAST TO WEST TRANSMISSION


In the case of power shipments from points east of the WECC transmission grid
to southern California—aimed at reducing fresh water withdrawals—the main
bottlenecks include the northern plains inter-ties and the main north-south
corridors of the WECC region. Under this scenario, excess wind generation from
the Northern Plains, along with fossil generation, is marketed into the Southern
California area, replacing fresh-water-consuming generation.
The areas of the overloaded lines are shown below and the resulting case is
essentially identical to the results for scenario 1, the base case. This is because
the power still enters through the low-capacity import points and is distributed
according to existing WECC projections.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Case of Power Import to Southern


California
6.3 GW Import

DC Interties

Voltage (kV)

Area of Power
Generation
Decrease Overload

BLUE-GREEN TRADESPACE
As shown in the Table below, the estimated costs of making the investments in
the transmission system under the four scenarios vary between less than one
billion dollars in most cases to a little less than six billion dollars in the case of
upgrading the transmission system in the areas of maximum wind generation. In
any of the cases, these investments are quite modest compared to the
investments planned for the increased resilience and reliability of the electric grid.
However, the impacts of the clash between safety and reliability and water
substitutions will extend beyond the direct investment in the transmission grid.
On the electricity supply side, the examined changes will affect generation and
transmission costs resulting in changes in spot electricity prices that, in turn, will
affect wholesale and retail electricity rates.
These changes will also affect water costs in the western United States. As
transmission feasibility affects the choice of generation mode it will impact fuel
costs. Moving from water-intensive electricity generation will likely change the
fuel mix for electricity generation.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Line and Transformer Expenditure


Estimates in Millions of 2006 dollars
Year Scenario Line Cost Transformer Costs Total Costs

2015 1 185.0 145.8 330.8

2015 2 1265.6 83.3 1348.9

2015 3 5742.7 55.8 5798.5

2015 4 185.0 145.8 330.8

2025 1 209.0 122.7 331.7

2025 2 1982.0 78.1 2060.0

2025 3 5902.4 66.2 5968.6

2025 4 209.0 122.7 330.8

The shift towards less water-intensive electricity generation will also have
environmental impacts, including impacts on water quality and air quality. To the
extent that the proposed investments decrease demand for local hydroelectric
power generation, they could lead possibly to positive, downstream,
environmental and ecological impacts. To the extent that these changes affect
the regional distribution of hydroelectric power generation, changing dam
operations could have impacts on downstream water supply and quality, and
could have additional impacts on downstream ecosystems as well as impacts on
recreational uses of the downstream environment.
As we discussed earlier, these transmission investments will degrade the
inherent stability of the grid. Disturbances in one area of the grid will be much
more difficult to isolate now that the inter-ties are more robust. Once the inherent
passive stopgaps have been designed out of the system, there will need to be a
greater emphasis on the development and deployment of “smart” grid
technologies that allow system operators to use active measures to detect,
mitigate, and recover from disturbances.
The tradespace between blue and green solutions is sure to be played out
repeatedly as the electric transmission grid evolves over the next 20 years.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Telework: A Win-Win Solution to Blue and Green


Infrastructure Issues *
By: Chuck Wilsker and Jack Heacock

INTRODUCTION

This paper will address the roles of telework as a synergetic solution that can
contribute:
• environmental benefits—less pollution, saving energy, etc.;
• societal benefits—work/life balance, reduced stress, etc.;
• benefits for greater infrastructure resilience—better continuity of
operations (in the public sector), better business continuity (in the private
sector); and
• an overall reduced vulnerability to both naturally occurring disasters and
man-made incidents that affect large segments of the population.

Perhaps a background on the evolution of modern telework systems is in order


before we proceed. Although the term “telework” was coined in the 1970s, truly
efficient telework—and telecommuting—started to gain a wider acceptance in the
early to middle 1990s as more people had access to the Internet and more
sophisticated personal computers were developed. By the late 1990s these
computers became more affordable and, due to the Telecommunications Act of
1996, there was a proliferation of broadband Internet access offered by phone
companies, cable companies, and many independent Internet service providers.

An initial motivator on the corporate side was compliance with the Clean Air
Act—fewer cars on the roads meant less pollution. The reduction in traffic
congestion was seen as an added benefit. Then there was the realization by
employees that they were able to have more time for themselves and their
families because they no longer had to spend time sitting in their cars or on
public transportation. There was a better work/life balance. And their costs
relating to commuting were reduced: gas costs went down as they had to fill their
tanks less frequently, parking costs were eliminated on telecommuting days,
wear and tear on their vehicles was less, and even dry cleaning bills were
reduced.

Employers found bottom-line benefits, including: reduced real estate costs and
the ability to grow the business without the need for additional office space,
higher employee morale with increased retention, easier recruiting with the ability

*
©The Telework Coalition, 2008

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

to do so from a much wider field of applicants, and reduced costs relating to


absenteeism.

One point to note before proceeding: The benefits that have been mentioned and
those that will be discussed are cumulative. One benefit does not replace
another; they all come with the implementation of a well thought-out program
incorporating the necessary policies, processes and procedures.

Things progressed at a steady pace in the telework space until 9/11. Then, all of
a sudden, many people didn’t want to spend all of their time confined to a high-
rise office building; employers saw the necessity of distributing their intellectual
capital and divesting their personnel vulnerabilities, and there were new thoughts
concerning just what business continuity, continuity of operations, disaster
avoidance, and disaster recovery meant. Prior to 9/11 these were usually
thought of as what had to be done if there was a fire in the offices. Now terrorism
was included in the mix.

Over the following several years, additional factors added to this concern of
continuity and contingency planning. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed a
previously understated vulnerability to the affects of weather on the business
community; SARS and the possibility of a worldwide avian flu pandemic present
an entirely different yet even more frightening scenario. Events such as subway
bombings in Europe, a transit strike in New York, a collapsed bridge between
Minneapolis and St. Paul, and ever growing traffic congestion brought out even
more concerns.

Then there are increasing gas prices that are starting to affect the ability of many
workers to drive long distances to get to work. There are a growing number of
disabled workers, including troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that need
to be incorporated into the workforce. The graying of America is threatening to
create a skilled labor shortage as many of our brightest and smartest workers
from the baby-boom generation approach retirement. (The federal government
estimates that 40% of their workforce will be eligible to retire by 2010.) All of
these have a common thread: with new and ever more potent technologies, work
can be brought to people instead of people having to go to their jobs.

And, coming full circle, we are back to concerns for our environment including
global warming, melting ice caps, and air and water pollution. For the first time in
a long time, employers are looking at telework not just as something that might
increase bottom-line benefits, but as a way to address these concerns as well.

ONE SOLUTION, MANY BENEFITS


Whether it’s called telework, telecommuting, virtual work, mobile work, distributed
work, or ‘just work,’ the idea of people being able to work independently of

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

location is here to stay. From a distributed workforce serving as part of a


disaster avoidance program to the mobility we are now seeing as an integral part
of the growing global economy, to worldwide environmental concerns, it is both
the present and the future.

The Environment
It appears that a considerable share of the Earth’s environmental problems are a
direct result of the increased burning of carbon fuels with byproducts of carbon
dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other volatile organic compounds.

There are a couple of ways to address this problem. One is to immediately stop
driving cars with internal combustion engines. This is, of course, impractical. It
will be many years until there is an alternative that will be used by a majority of
drivers that will make a significant difference.

The other is simple, shows an excellent return on investment, and can be


implemented for a majority of knowledge workers—those who spend their days
working on computers, talking on the phone, etc.—in a relatively short period of
time. We estimate that of the 135 million employed in the US 65% are
knowledge workers and 75% of them could be potential teleworkers.

We are, of course, talking about telecommuting—using our existing technologies


to eliminate a physical drive to one’s primary place of employment and, instead,
working from home—or, in some cases, a satellite office or telework center close
to home. This can be done from one day a week to full time. Nothing will save
gas and reduce pollution from vehicular emissions more than leaving the car
parked.

Infrastructure Resilience
Whatever you call it, it’s needed if you want to have a comprehensive Continuity
of Operations (COOP) or Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Dealing with the
inability of personnel to access the workplace is an often neglected part of these
programs. Our informal surveys have found that less that half of the
organizations with whom we spoke had incorporated telework into their plans.
Employers go to great lengths to back up their data and infrastructure, but the
inability of workers to get to either their offices or other assigned, alternate work
locations—whether the offices are destroyed or rendered unusable, or the staff
itself might be quarantined—will have a devastating impact on an organization’s
ability to survive.

For example, a transit workers’ strike in New York City on December 20, 2005,
shut down service on all of the city’s subways and buses. Though the strike
lasted only two days, the local economy lost an estimated $400 million a day, in

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

addition to the cost to the city government of $22 million in lost tax revenue and
overtime pay for police. Investment Technology Group, Inc., a specialized
brokerage and technology firm headquartered in the city was able to endure the
strike at little cost by relying on its established telework infrastructure. ITG
employees who were unable to get to the office simply logged into the firm’s
virtual private network (VPN) and, using the tools and data accessible through
the VPN portal, continued to conduct business as usual.

Similarly, on June 30, 2006, a severe storm sent a wall of water up to four feet
high streaming down Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC, ultimately filling
the sub-basement and basement of the Internal Revenue Service’s
headquarters’ building with up to 24 feet of water. Although many computers and
files were destroyed, along with other office furnishings and equipment, the IRS’s
constellation of remote data servers was unaffected. Activating its Enterprise
Remote Access Project VPN, along with its business resumption plan, the IRS
maximized reliance on telework and telecommuting to allow its staff to continue
performing its duties during the nearly six months that its headquarters was
closed for repairs.

Attitudes towards telework need to change from regarding it as a “take it or leave


it,” flex-work type of employee benefit to, instead, embracing it as a survival tool.
Telework must no longer be used for employees and activities that have satisfied
a lengthy laundry list of criteria, but it must be assumed that all employees and
activities can be teleworked unless convincing reasons are provided as to why
not. In other words, turn present, commonly followed practice on its head.

We need to follow the lead of employers who have established a policy that
requires personnel from every department to regularly work from an alternate
location, whether from home, a supplier’s office, a library, or a telework center as
practice in case some event makes their traditional offices unusable or
inaccessible.

While telework is only a part of a COOP or BCP, it is invaluable on an ongoing


basis and has a positive affect on an organization’s bottom line. A telework
program usually pays for itself in reduced real estate needs, increased employee
productivity, improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism, and the
opportunity to recruit from a larger talent pool.

In 2004 at AT&T, for example, almost one third (30%) of all their management
employees worked full-time outside of the traditional office. The company
realized an estimated $180 million in bottom line benefits.

And those benefits clearly were “green” as well as “blue.” Just in the Atlanta
metropolitan area alone, AT&T estimated that telework reduced driving by half a
million miles over a 10-year period, saving some 500,000 gallons of fuel and
4,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Infrastructure Resilience: Suggested Guidelines

Buy-in from senior management is critical. They should take the lead by
appointing a working group to plan the telework program and put it into action,
develop policies, processes, and procedures for implementation, monitor and
evaluate progress, and assess the need for refinements that will make the
strategy more effective. Representatives from HR, IT, the Business Continuity
team, legal, real estate, senior management, and the employees themselves
should be included. The working group will then:
• Appoint a telework program manager.
• Screen potential teleworkers for their ‘Attributes of Telework Success.’
• Put together a written contract outlining the responsibilities of both the
organization and the employees.
• Establish a training program to help managers understand how to manage
a remote workforce, i.e. manage to objectives and by metrics—what is
actually being accomplished—not by how much time is spent in the office.
• Determine what, if any, equipment will be provided by the organization
and what, if any recurring expenses will be covered by the employer or the
employee such as broadband Internet access, a second phone line for
business calls, ergonomic furniture, lighting etc.
• Establish security levels that must be maintained such as virus protection,
firewalls, data backup, lockable file drawers, etc.
• With IT taking the lead, evaluate remote access systems and/or software.
Make sure you have capacity and/or licenses to accommodate all of the
users that might need to have simultaneous access to your network.
• Determine how voice communications will be handled. Calls to your office
may need to be rerouted in the event of a total system outage.
• Review other collaboration technologies such as web based file access,
spreadsheet and word document sharing, and web-based video
conferencing.
• Establish protocols on when and how to advise employees not to come to
the office and what alternative measures to take.
• Establish contact directories and systems, between colleagues and with
family members to ensure on-going communication between them,
wherever they are.
• Establish practice and simulation programs for both managers and
employees, and then practice, simulate, practice, simulate and practice
again.
• Provide and continually reinforce a home office health and safety
checklist. Issues to address should include proper seating, lighting,
electrical capacities, smoke detectors, etc. Include FEMA’s survival kit
guidelines that include supplies of water, canned and dried foods.
• Establish goals and objectives for both the program and its participants.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

• Maintain an internal communications plan so that all participants remain


engaged, informed, and enthusiastic.

With the flu season here, the capability to telework can eliminate another cause
of disruption within an organization—the rapid spread of infection throughout the
workforce. There is a term called ‘presenteeism.’ It is, in a sense, the opposite
of absenteeism, where an employee does not come to work when ill. With
presenteeism, an employee with an ailment such as the flu goes to the office and
spreads his or her infection among coworkers. Such employees should be
counseled to take advantage of the telework option and remain home. And, let
them know that they will not be charged sick leave when working from home in
this situation.

We cannot emphasize enough the need to practice. This is a key factor to


having a successful telework program available when needed. There is no better
way to do this than to have a program in place and use it regularly. Use it when
a family member is ill and needs care or a trip to the doctor, or you feel under the
weather, work from home instead of taking the whole day off. When a service call
is scheduled at home, do the same.

Summing Up
The Telework Coalition’s top 10 reasons for adoption of this alternative work
style:
1. Reduce carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Significantly reduce dependence on foreign energy, especially
petroleum products.
3. Decrease the impact of terrorist and natural ‘high-profile’ incidents
and/or events.
4. Emphasize the use of technology and promote innovation in the
workplace.
5. Minimize threats to and reliance upon expensive transportation
infrastructures.
6. Ease traffic congestion and improve highway safety (reduced
fatalities and injuries).
7. Improve recruiting and retention of skilled labor.
8. Enhance productivity and creativity.
9. Provide a means to enhance rural economic development.
10. Provide hope and economic opportunity for service-disabled
veterans, others with disabilities, both domestically and globally,
and for older workers who desire to remain in or reenter the
workforce.

Remember, as stated earlier, all of these are cumulative. An organization that


adopts a plan for telework, whatever the initial reason, will realize many benefits,

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

as have those TelCoa has recognized with its ‘Telework Hall of Fame Awards’:
http://www.telcoa.org/id223.htm .

If you have ever wondered what a state, commonwealth, or province can do to


encourage telework, consider ‘Leadership by Example’—the reason why TelCoa
recognized Governor Tim Kaine of the Commonwealth of Virginia for his bold
initiative to have 20% of his state’s employee’s teleworking by 2010!

Governor Tim Kaine Mr. Chuck Wilsker


Commonwealth of Virginia President & CEO, TelCoa

About the authors


Chuck Wilsker is the President and CEO of the Telework Coalition (TelCoa),
www.TelCoa.org, a not for profit association headquartered in Washington, DC. TelCoa
works to support and enable the advancement of Virtual, Mobile, and Distributed Work
through Research, Education, Technology, and Legislation. Chuck’s interests include
both promoting the benefits of Telework as a means of providing employment
opportunities for older, rural, and disabled workers, including service disabled veterans
returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and its use as a critical part of disaster avoidance,
business continuity, and Continuity of Operations programs. Promoting the bottom line
business benefits of Telework is also a primary initiative.

He is a member of the Internet Society, the Association of Contingency Planners, and


the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness. He was on the Transportation
and Environment Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade where he

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

chaired the Telework Task Force, was the Executive Director of ITAC, the International
Telework Association & Council, and is a member and Past President of MATAC, the
Mid Atlantic Telecommuting Advisory Council. Chuck is on the committee that
developed and promoted the Washington Area Conference on Telework, sat on both the
Metropolitan Washington, DC and National Telecommuting and Air Quality Act (TAQA)
Steering Committees of the e-Commute program run by the EPA and DOT and was its
Lead Consultant in the DC region. He is also a Project Team member of a group funded
by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that has developed a
program of Health, Safety, and Ergonomic training for Teleworkers.

Chuck has addressed diverse groups ranging from the National Institute of Science and
Technology and the Council of Scientific Society Presidents to the Association of
Contingency Planners and the Peace Corps. He has been the featured guest on many
radio interview shows, appeared on NBC Channel 4 in Washington, DC, was on Fox
News' Fox Magazine, ABC’s World News Tonight, and NBC’s Nightly News. He has
written many articles on Teleworking, and is often quoted in both local and National
press, including the Washington Post, USAToday, the Wall Street Journal, Financial
Week, Money Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Federal Computer Week,
GovExec.com, Government Computer News, NetworkWorld magazine, and
ABCNews.com.

Recently, Chuck was invited to participate in a program that is an initiative of the United
Nations to help promote “Accessible and Assistive Information and Communications
Technologies for Persons with Disabilities”.

Jack Heacock is Senior Vice President of the Telework Coalition (www.telcoa.org) a


Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization ‘Supporting and Enabling Virtual,
Mobile, and Distributed Work through Research, Education, Technology, and
Legislation’ He is recognized as ‘the premiere expert on home agents for contact
centers’ (Call Center Management Review’s 2006 Telework Report) and has received
Call Center Magazine’s ‘Pioneer Award’, Jack was interviewed in the November 2007
issue of HR Executive Magazine. He has advised Fortune 500 companies in the creation
and scaling of their distributed work programs, served as a call center general manager
and a nationwide customer service improvement program director, and served two terms
as the President of the Board of Directors of the International Telework Association &
Council.

Jack is a combat decorated and disabled former U.S. Army Signal Corps officer.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this

Telework: A win-win solution 8


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by


PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Making Rational Choices in Irrational Times:


Are Security and Sustainability Mutually Exclusive?
By: Richard G. Little, AICP

Introduction
Following the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the
civilian and military branches of the federal government accelerated on-going but
fragmented efforts to thwart future acts of terrorism in the United States. Among other
actions, this resulted in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),
the largest consolidation of federal agencies since the creation of the Department of
Defense in 1947. The mission of the DHS is to lead the unified national effort to secure
America by preventing and deterring terrorist attacks and protecting against and
responding to threats and hazards to the nation. 1 As a result of that mission, the way
Americans live, work, and travel has been changed, possibly forever. The form and
function of our cities and public spaces has been altered as well. This paper will briefly
explore how the concept of “homeland security” has evolved since 2001 and how the
policies developed and actions taken since that time have impacted the broader
objectives of a sustainable and civil society.

Is It All About Risk?


The terrorist attacks of September 11th made us acutely aware that in addition to natural
hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, a threat also existed
from intelligent beings whose goal was to destroy and kill to further a cause in which
they believed. This was not new information. Terrorism had visited the United States
as recently as 1995 in Oklahoma City and 1993 during an earlier attack on the World
Trade Center in New York. Other parts of the world had long and bloody experience
with acts of political, social, or religious violence. However, September 11th confirmed
the reality that not even wide oceans, great wealth, and a powerful military could
forestall direct attacks on the United States by those not concerned with their own
safety and survival.
The response was immediate. Armed guards and concrete barriers appeared almost
overnight. Blast-resistant construction features, once the province of military
installations and critical government facilities, were increasingly applied in commercial
buildings, and changes to building codes to address terrorist threats were discussed
and implemented. Development of systems to detect and interdict chemical and
biological agents was also begun to protect cities and their occupants from the threat of
an attack utilizing these weapons.
Although the immediacy of the response to such frightening and unfamiliar events is
certainly understandable, it appears reasonable to reassess these actions in the context

1 Securing Our Homeland, U. S. Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan. p.4. 2004

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of other hazards and policy issues that compete both for the public’s attention and its
tax dollars. Risk management provides a useful basis for beginning this exercise.
Risk is a concept that gives meaning to those uncertainties of life that pose a danger
to people or what we value. 2 Risk is often expressed as a combination of the likelihood
of an adverse event, the vulnerability of people, places, and things to that event, and the
consequences should that event occur, i.e., the probability of an adverse event (threat
and vulnerability) multiplied by the consequences of that event, or R = T x V x C. For
example, if we consider the case of rising sea level, the risk is greater to people living in
coastal areas than to those at higher elevations because of their increased vulnerability
to lowland flooding and the greater consequences (to them) if flooding occurs.
One of the inherent shortcomings of this simplified approach to risk is that the laws of
multiplication can produce a similar value for risk for vastly different classes of events.
For example, from a mathematical standpoint, a catastrophic event with extremely low
probability can appear to carry the same “risk” as a relatively frequent event with far
lower consequences. Although it is compelling to plan for some “maximum probable
event” and believe that the issue has been addressed, the cost of doing this may be
prohibitive. In addition, addressing just the worst that could happen may actually
increase the vulnerability (and hence the risk) of more frequent but less damaging
events.
For this reason, a more formalized process of risk assessment has been developed.
Risk assessment has classically been defined by three questions: 3
1. What can go wrong?
2. What is the likelihood that it could go wrong?
3. What are the consequences of failure?

Closely related to risk assessment is risk management, the process by which the
results of risk assessment are integrated with other information—such as political,
social, economic, and engineering considerations—to arrive at decisions about the need
and methods for risk reduction. Risk management seeks answers to a second set of
questions: 4
4. What can be done and what options are available?
5. What are the associated trade-offs in terms of all costs, benefits, and risks?
6. What are the impacts of current management decisions on future options?

Limitations on Risk Assessment


The previous discussion tacitly assumes that the probabilities and consequences of
adverse events are produced by physical and natural processes that can be objectively
quantified by risk assessment. Slovic points out that much social science analysis
rejects this notion, arguing instead that human beings have invented the concept of risk
to help them understand and cope with the dangers and uncertainties of life. Although

2 National Research Council, 1996. Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society, National Research Council,
National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
3 Kaplan, S., and Garrick, B. J., 1981. "On the Quantitative Assessment of Risk," Risk Analysis, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 11–27.
4 Haimes, Y. Y., 1991. "Total Risk Management," Risk Analysis, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 169–171.

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these dangers are real, there is no such thing as “real risk” or “objective risk.” From his
perspective, the theoretical models used by risk analysts to quantify risk are just as
subjective and assumption-laden, and dependent on individual judgment, as the implicit
value judgments reached by lay persons. Defining risk has been described as an
exercise in power wherein whoever controls the definition of risk controls the risk
management solution. 5
Thus, if the “risk” is defined as vehicle bomb attacks against buildings or as satchel
charges on subways, the solutions will focus on the means to thwart that mode of
attack. Other hazards, not to mention other objectives will likely fall to the wayside. In
any event, there can be little question that current concerns about terrorism and the risk
it poses to individuals or society are shaped as much by perception as by objective risk
assessments.

Contemporary Urban Security


Current approaches to urban security as directed by U.S. government policy documents
(and increasingly specified by commercial building owners) place a great deal of
emphasis on reducing the risk of vehicle bomb attack by:
• maintaining safe separation of attackers and targets through vehicle control and
perimeter security;
• providing strong, resilient construction to protect people and key building assets.

Because of the basic physics of an explosion, standoff distance 6 is extremely


important. Despite the great strides that have been made in developing new materials
and innovative strengthening techniques that will reduce building damage and occupant
injury in the event of a bombing attack, the enormous amount of energy generated by
even modest amounts of high explosives will still cause extensive building damage and
personal injury if detonated at close range. As a result, armed security personnel
involved in active perimeter control, together with landscaping, earthworks, and
appropriately designed street furniture, planter boxes, bollards, and plinths to control
vehicular access, have become common urban features, particularly in cities such as
New York and Washington, DC. Blast-resistant features such as additional structural
reinforcing details, composite fiber wraps to strengthen columns and slabs, and high-
performance glazing materials which do not produce lethal shards have also become
more common.
These risk-reduction measures reduce vulnerability to bombing attacks by addressing
the basic physics of an explosion. They attempt to protect people and building assets
by keeping an attacker at bay through perimeter security and, if that fails, building
features that resist the energy released in an explosion. In essence, they are the
manifestation on the ground of the solution to a blast physics problem. Although these
measures are vitally important in reducing casualties and damage in the event of an
attack, their primary raison d’être is the threat of terrorism―they actually provide only
5 Slovic, P. 2003. Going Beyond the Red Book: The Sociopolitics of Risk. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 9: 1–10,
2003; Slovic, P and E. U. Weber. 2002. “Perception of Risk Posed by Extreme Events” presented at Risk Management
Strategies in an Uncertain World, Palisades, New York, April 12-13, 2002.
6 Standoff is the distance between a potential target and the closest point of approach of a potential attacker.

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marginal, ancillary benefit to guard against other hazards such as earthquakes or


extreme winds. In fact, security features that limit access can delay emergency
response and egress to non-terrorist events. If federal building location standards are
rigidly enforced, the result could force the exodus of federal workers and offices, as well
as the contractors who support them, from urban cores to suburban sites.
This is the actual situation emerging in Northern Virginia, where the federal
commission on Base Realignment and Closing recommended relocating some 20,000
defense-related jobs from urban office buildings near Washington, DC, to Fort Belvoir in
suburban Fairfax County. When questioned about this, a member of the government
panel that developed the facility guidelines for the Department of Defense admitted that
they were based solely on blast effects and that the panel was unaware of the
consequences for urban land use that the guidelines would have.
Sucking life from urban downtowns and generating additional air pollution and
congestion in an effort to protect potential targets from an undefined threat of terrorist
attack is the kind of drastic action that demands public discussion of the economic,
social, and environmental costs of reducing the risk to an acceptable level.
There are many other examples of these blue-green conflicts that come to mind. The
trend towards “green buildings” is bringing large, operable windows for day-lighting and
natural ventilation back into vogue. Unfortunately, this runs counter to security
requirements for small, sealed windows that resist blast energy and limit access by
intruders. Site vegetation can provide natural shade and cooling but is often cut back or
removed to improve sightlines for security cameras. A more serious example is the
environmental devastation that resulted from the illicit dumping of toxic and radioactive
waste from nuclear weapons production during the cold war. This egregious pollution
went unreported for decades because of “national security” concerns.
From a policy standpoint, such decisions must determine whether the total costs (and
not just the monetary outlays) to reduce the risk of a particular hazard are justified. In
addition to the overall effectiveness of physical protection measures as a risk reduction
option, their impact on other goals for the urban environment (e.g., urban design,
sustainability) must be carefully considered and evaluated.

Multi-Objective Decision Making


The risk management strategy described above is essentially an exercise in multi-
objective decision making. This field has been well explored from both a theoretical and
empirical standpoint, and many excellent references are available that venture far
beyond the basic concepts presented in this paper. 7 However, this work all supports a
general algorithm for decision making that incorporates the following five elements:
1. Define the problem.
2. Set objectives.
3. Develop a range of alternatives that meet the objectives.

7 Keeney, R., 1992. Value-Focused Thinking: A Path to Creative Decision Making, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.;

Keeney, R., and H. Raiffa, 1993. Decisions with Multiple Objectives: Preferences and Value Trade-offs, Cambridge University
Press: Cambridge, UK.; Hammond, K. R., 1996. Human Judgment and Social Policy: Irreducible Uncertainty, Inevitable Error,
Unavoidable Injustice, Oxford University Press, New York.

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4. Identify and understand the consequences of the competing alternatives.


5. Evaluate the alternatives giving consideration to the necessary trade-offs.

Although this algorithm appears to be relatively straightforward, in practice each step


must be undertaken thoughtfully, with extra care taken to include the input and values of
all stakeholders.
The importance of meaningful stakeholder involvement cannot be overemphasized. If
security is in fundamental conflict with sustainability or aesthetics it is most likely
because this issue has been cast as a binary problem―some believe that security must
be maximized regardless of the consequences for design, cost, or accessibility,
whereas others demand attractive, accessible, and “sustainable” architecture while
paying scant attention to real security issues.
This debate fails to recognize the distinct differences between the technical elements
of protecting buildings from hazards, (e.g., terrorist threat levels, tactics, bomb sizes and
delivery methods, building construction) and the community value judgments (e.g.,
architectural aesthetics, sustainable design features, freedom of movement) that must
be incorporated. A balance between technical elements and community values must be
achieved if workable strategies are to be developed and implemented.
Performance-based design may provide a framework for identifying and assessing the
trade-offs inherent in this complex and often emotionally charged issue. At the least, it
broadens the discussion to multiple stakeholders because questions of this import are
not for engineers to answer alone. 8

Performance-Based Design as an Integrating Approach


The building regulatory process offers a means of addressing competing objectives.
Building codes are increasingly moving toward a performance-based process that
states what is desired from a building rather than prescribing what is to be constructed
and how it is to be done. Performance-based design relates high-level societal goals to
specific design solutions and allows the unique circumstances of each building to shape
its design requirements—the multi-objective decision-making approach just described.
Figure 1 is a model of a pyramidal performance-based building code process. 9

8 National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1994. 1994 Northridge Earthquake: Performance of Structures, Lifelines, and

Fire Protection Systems, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD.

9Meacham, B.J., R. Bower, J. Traw, and A. Moore, 2005. “Performance-based building regulation: Current situation and
future needs,” Building Research and Information, 33(2):91-106.

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L ev e l I :
G o al

L e v el II : F u n c ti o n al
S t a te m e n t

L ev el II I: O p er a ti ve R eq u i re m e n t

L e ve l IV : P e r fo r m a n c e o r R is k G ro u p

L e ve l V : P e r fo r m a n ce o r R is k L ev el

L ev e l V I: P e rf o r m a nc e o r R is k C r it er i a ( M e as u r es )

L ev el V I Ia : D e em e d t o S a ti sf y L ev el V I Ib : P e rf o r m a n ce -B as e d
S o l u ti on s S o lu ti o n s

L ev e l V III : V er if ic a ti on M et h o d s

Figure 1: Elements of a performance-based building code process.


Performance goals for buildings are society’s value statements regarding acceptable
performance in terms of safety, security, sustainability, cost, and other factors. In the
case of buildings subject to various exogenous risks, goals may also include mitigating
the effects of the hazard while still providing desired performance in other categories.
Once goals that address multiple performance objectives have been established, and
related functional and operative requirements developed, they can be translated into
design criteria. It is during this process that trade-offs between competing objectives
can be identified and appropriate solutions developed. Success in this process depends
on understanding the relationships between the various objectives and how design
solutions can best implement them.

Learning from Failure


The design and performance of structures and other engineering works have improved
continuously from the observation of past failures, assessment of their causes, and
improvements in techniques and materials. 10 However, despite the value of this forensic
approach to the advancement of engineering practice, it has very real limits. This is
partially due to the emphasis on identifying causes and determining who was at fault
rather than on preventing future failures.

10Petroski, H., 1992. To engineer is human: The role of failure in successful design, Vintage, New York; Petroski, H., 1994. Design
paradigms: Case histories of error and judgment in engineering, Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K.

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In a study of errors in the healthcare industry, the Institute of Medicine 11 noted that
there are major conceptual concerns with commonly used forensic techniques in
medicine:
The people involved could rarely have foreseen the complex
coincidences that cause systems to fail. As a result, they are
reviewed only in hindsight; however, knowing the outcome of
an event influences how we assess past events. Hindsight
bias means that things that were not seen or understood at
the time of the accident seem obvious in retrospect.
Hindsight bias also misleads a reviewer into simplifying the
causes of an accident, highlighting a single element as the
cause and overlooking its multiple contributing factors. Given
that the information about an accident is spread over many
participants, none of whom may have complete information,
hindsight bias makes it easy to arrive at a simple solution or
to blame an individual, but difficult to determine what really
went wrong.
Kletz, 12 in a study of industrial accidents, also cautions about too much emphasis on
causes:
If we talk about causes we may be tempted to list those we
can do nothing about. For example, a source of ignition is
often said to be the cause of a fire. But when flammable
vapour and air are mixed in the flammable range, experience
shows that a source of ignition is liable to turn up, even
though we have done everything possible to remove known
sources of ignition. The only really effective way of
preventing an ignition is to prevent leaks of flammable
vapour. Instead of asking, ‘What is the cause of this fire?’ we
should ask ‘What is the most effective way of preventing
another similar fire?’ We may then think of ways of
preventing leaks.
This suggests that care needs to be taken in analyzing past failures so that proposed
solutions address the real issues, not merely the obvious ones.

Achieving Meaningful Risk Reduction


Reducing risk to acceptable levels can be accomplished through a four-step process:
1. Prevention/Interdiction (Can the event be avoided?)
2. Advance Warning (Can the event be predicted and a warning raised?)
3. Hazard-resistant Construction (Can fixed and immobile structures or
systems be designed with sufficient robustness to resist abnormal
loadings? Conversely, the risk might be avoided by locating

11 Institute of Medicine, 2000. To err is human: Building a safer health system, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
12 Kletz, T., 2001. Learning from accidents, Gulf Professional, Oxford, U.K.

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somewhere else but this is not always an option for many place-based
industries, iconic structures, or infrastructure networks. A more
resilient approach might be to spread the risk by choosing multiple
redundant locations for certain activities as the New York Stock
Exchange and many businesses in New York and elsewhere did
following the 9/11 attacks.)
4. Rapid Response and Recovery (Does the system possess sufficient
resilience to recover quickly?)

Steps 1-3 all address pre-event mitigation activities. Systems are designed and put in
place on the best assumptions regarding what is likely to happen.
However, history is littered with accounts of allegedly foolproof or failsafe protective
technologies that failed spectacularly when tested. The ‘‘impregnable’’ Maginot Line is a
good case in point. Designed after World War I to counter another German invasion of
France, it failed utterly in practice. Although its designers assumed what was believed to
be a rational threat scenario, then planned and designed for it, in World War II, the
Germans simply chose not to confront these extremely formidable defenses on the
French border and attacked through lightly defended Belgium instead.
Similarly, physical security, although a key component of a risk reduction strategy, is
only part of the solution. Improving the resilience of communities and systems may
provide the basis of a more holistic approach.

Institutional and Systems Resilience


The recent events in New Orleans, both prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina and
following the breach of the levees, underscored serious deficiencies in our ability to
address the impacts of extreme natural events on developed urban areas. From
planning and preparedness through response and recovery, the process has proved to
be seriously flawed. It has been a basic tenet of our national preparedness that the
principles underlying emergency management for all types of hazards are similar and
that the response would be the same regardless of cause.
However, the facts on the ground in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast
suggest that this is not the case. A fundamental question that needs to be answered is
whether the ability of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to respond
to natural hazards has been compromised by its incorporation into the Department of
Homeland Security and the resultant intense focus on response to acts of terrorism.
The many difficulties experienced in delivering humanitarian services following
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 also demonstrates that the resilience of institutions and
systems have a critical role in emergency response. Much of the breakdown in aid
delivery was attributed to failures in the physical systems that disrupted power, water
supply, communications, and mobility.
However, the problem is not just one of technology. Although more robust and
resilient systems are certainly necessary to withstand the forces of extreme events, I

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have shown 13 that organizations and their internal cultures play a key role in the
reliability of civil infrastructure systems and the delivery of services dependent upon
them.
Building on the losses of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles, the August
2003 Northeast electrical blackout, and other less catastrophic and less known failures,
a strong case can be made that organizations respond to cultural cues provided by
upper management and peer groups. Even though public pronouncements and official
documents may suggest that certain behaviors are desired, unless such public
statements are nurtured and rewarded in practice, they are ultimately abandoned as
operational guidance in day-to-day workflow.
For example, despite ample experience with many previous hurricanes and tropical
storms, and many days advance warning of the path and size of Hurricane Katrina,
critical communication and coordination links failed when needed most. Whether these
failures were rooted in technology or organizational culture is a critical question that
must be answered if progress is to be made in dealing with future events. Replacing
communications equipment so that everyone can talk on a common frequency will have
little value if there are institutional obstacles to coordination that remain unaddressed.
Human capital and institutional culture can play a critical role in the delivery of
humanitarian aid in the hours and days immediately following an extreme event.
Isolating the causes of failure will help to design more robust and resilient institutional
arrangements that survive and function even if traditional physical systems become
unavailable.
O’Rourke, et. al. 14 found that New York City was able to recover relatively quickly
following the September 11th attacks not only because of the inherent redundancy of its
physical infrastructures (which is considerable) but because of its institutional resilience
as well. Many of the service providers involved in New York’s recovery possessed
considerable capacities in people who are considered international experts in their
fields; in state-of-the-art equipment and configuration management; as well as in other
physical and institutional resources necessary to assist in the recovery. Although the
event itself had not been anticipated and many physical systems were out of service,
strong cultural bonds and organizational ethos were able to offset the physical failures.
Improvements to the public health infrastructure since September 11th also play a role
in balanced mitigation and emergency response strategies. Although our public health
system had suffered from years of neglect and crisis, 15 recent efforts to combat bio-
terrorism and the well coordinated response to the SARS epidemic suggest that the
global public health networks are again becoming functional and effective. 16

13 Little, R., 2004. “The Role of Organizational Culture and Values in the Performance of Critical Infrastructure Systems.” Proceedings of
the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. October 10-13, 2004, The Hague, The Netherlands.
14 O’Rourke, T.D., A.J. Lembo, and L.K. Nozick. 2003. “Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Disaster About

Critical Utility Systems,” in Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research, M. F. Myers, Ed. Natural Hazards
Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO., pp. 269-290.
15 Garrett, L., 2000. Betrayal of trust: The collapse of global public health, Hyperion, New York.
16 Drazen, J. M.,2003. ‘‘SARS—Looking back over the first 100 days.’’ N.Eng.J.Med. 349(4), 319–320.

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Are Security and Sustainability Mutually Exclusive?


Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a time where former contexts of threat, vulnerability,
and targets have all changed and continue to do so. Threats are unpredictable and the
full range of threats probably unknowable. We will never be able to anticipate all
possible threats and even if we could, there is not enough money to deploy
technologies to address them.
Security in this situation needs to be flexible and agile and capable of addressing new
threats as they emerge. At the same time, it cannot be allowed to trump other
worthwhile societal objectives.
Protective technologies have a key role to play in making our cities safer, but only if
supported by the organizations and people who can develop holistic and sustainable
approaches to security, can provide the resilience to enable response to an attack, and
can hasten recovery from it. Investments in emergency response technologies,
strategies, and organizations have the potential to be particularly cost-effective because
they are not tied to a place or event. The ancillary benefits from investments in this type
of holistic approach are that these organizations and people will also be available to
deal with natural disasters or other, yet unanticipated, crises should they occur.
Single-purpose protective technologies will only be effective if the threat and design
intersect. Otherwise they will constitute a formidable but ineffective defense—a sort of
modern-day Maginot Line.
On the other hand, well-designed and maintained infrastructure systems are likely to
recover as quickly following an earthquake, landslide, or flood as a terrorist attack, as
well as providing better, and more sustainable service over their lifetimes.
In summary, security and sustainability need not be mutually exclusive. We possess
the knowledge and capability to do both, and to do them well. However, this will not
occur without a conscious and persistent effort to identify and achieve multiple
objectives.
The parts are all there, we just need the will to make them work.

About the author


Richard G. Little is Director of the Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure
Policy at the University of Southern California where he teaches, conducts research,
and develops policy studies aimed at informing the discussion of infrastructure issues
critical to California and the nation. In this role he interacts extensively with California’s
political, financial, and business leaders. Prior to joining USC he was Director of the
Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment of the National Research
Council (NRC). He has conducted numerous studies dealing with life-cycle
management and financing of infrastructure, project management, and hazard
preparedness and mitigation and has published extensively on risk management and
decision-making for critical infrastructure. Mr. Little has over thirty-five years
experience in planning, management, and policy development relating to infrastructure
and public facilities, including fifteen years with local government. He has been certified

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

by examination by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the


American Planning Association and the Society for Risk Analysis. He holds a B.S. in
Geology and an M.S. in Urban-Environmental Studies, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a public
service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd., Suite 210,
Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational and
informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or warranty of any
kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the accuracy, reliability,
completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this material. Publication and
distribution of this material is not an endorsement by PERI, its officers, directors or
employees of any opinions, conclusions or recommendations contained herein. PERI
will not be liable for any claims for damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions
or other inaccuracies in the information or material contained here.
***

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Sustainability and Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities


Possibilities, Risks, and Limits to Implementation
By: John A. Berenyi

Healthcare facilities can benefit from improving the efficiency with which
they use energy, water, and other resources, as well as from improving their
impact on environmental quality. At the same time, the safety and security of
these facilities—in terms of risks that are posed both internally and to their
surrounding communities—are of paramount importance to their mission. This is
particularly true for long-term care facilities, whose residents are generally more
vulnerable than the general population.
Most long-term care facilities in the United States are regulated by state
and local health departments, fire marshals, and by a variety of federal agencies.
For example, facilities whose residents are military veterans are also regulated
by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. One of the primary
objectives of the regulatory oversight imposed upon long-term care facilities by
governmental agencies is to establish the safety and security required for frail,
elderly persons who reside in private, non-profit, or publicly owned entities.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations also
demands that long-term care facilities, to obtain and maintain accreditation, must
have an emergency management program to assure that patient care is
sustained in the event of disaster.
Safety has many components: They range from the temperature of the
water for washing and bathing to alarm system reliability to emergency control
systems operating at all times in the event of fire or smoke emergency. With the
emphasis on safety and security as primary objectives in guarding the well-being
of elderly residents, innovative “sustainability” technology and systems must be
examined in light of these criteria.
While it is possible to improve the energy efficiency and environmental
efficacy of health-care facilities, a unique set of criteria must be developed which
reflect the operational issues connected with these types of organizations.

Safety Systems
The following list represents some of the critically important criteria
embedded in the operational management of long-term care facilities. In each
area below, I note both (a) the current system that is used, and (b) alternative
possible systems.

1) Alarms and Emergency Call Systems


These systems must work all times. Reliability and continuity are of critical

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importance. Alternative energy sources with questionable reliability will not be


accepted by the regulators.

2) Emergency Lighting and Signals


Exit lights and emergency evacuation signals must work at all times. The
criteria for this are similar to alarm systems.

3) Telephone
Hard-wire systems are preferred for reliability. Telephone systems using
cable or cell systems may be acceptable as long as the emergency alarm
signal travels through a highly reliable network.

4) Hot Water Provisions


Primary heating source is generally used for this service. Alternative
energy systems such as solar can be used to provide hot water at a facility in
the event the primary installation does not provide adequate supply of hot
water. The primary back-up system must work efficiently.

5) Heating
Primary heating source is generally utilized. Alternative systems can be
installed with a redundant back-up system.

6) Lighting for General Purposes


Primary electric source is used but alternative energy resources can be
implemented at the facility.

7) Transportation Services
Standard fuel services must be utilized since transportation is used to
transport residents to hospitals and doctors’ offices. Ethanol, diesel, and
electric vehicles with questionable reliability as to the source of the fuel limits
the value of alternative energy sources here.

8) Biohazard control and disposal systems


State health departments regulate and inspect the use of needles, narcotics
and other similar waste products used in healthcare facilities. In New York
State for example, facilities must obtain a special license to store and
dispense narcotics. Proper containers and "red bags" have to be used for the
disposal of these items. The garbage haulers that ordinarily serve most
communities are not permitted to take away these special waste items unless
specifically authorized by responsible governmental agencies. Issues of
recycling, eco-friendly garbage and resource-recovery systems have very
limited applicability to these operational requirements of healthcare facilities.

Sustainability and Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities 2


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Risk assessment and the limits of incorporating sustainability


programs within health facilities
In attempting to incorporate energy efficient and “green” designs,
organizations must understand the limits associated with some of the advanced
systems available in the marketplace.
In the topology of safety and security systems inherent in long-term care
facilities, there are several possible strategic options to consider.
1) Safety and security systems under the present conditions do not offer
opportunities for an advanced sustainability program. In this area of operations,
reliability is the most important criterion. Regardless of potential savings, an
energy-efficient module or control system whose reliability is questionable simply
will not be acceptable.
2) In taking risks with new systems, it may be possible to incorporate solar
and similar heating systems which could provide domestic hot water for a facility.
Even in this area, a fully operational back-up system must be in place for it to be
accepted by state and local government regulators.
3) In the field of transportation, there are some unique opportunities to use
ethanol-powered cars or bio diesel fuels for energy. Although these sources of
energy may contribute to the reduction of global warming, be eco-friendly, or
otherwise limit pollution, the ready availability of these fuel services is still a
problem in most jurisdictions. Hence, ambulances and other transportation
vehicles need to consider very carefully switching from a gasoline powered
engine to other systems described here.

Opportunities with new facilities in incorporating sustainability


programs
The previous discussion dealt for the most part with the modification and
improvement of existing facilities using new eco-friendly energy technologies.
Limitations imposed by governmental authorities to protect the safety and health
of residents have only permitted marginal change possibilities.
In designing new facilities, there are many alternative solutions which may
be incorporated using commercially available energy technologies. These
include but are not limited to:
a) Location of facility. Site selection of a facility could have a great deal of
impact on the feasibility of alternate energy sources. For example, geothermal
energy as a heating source may be available in one location and not another;
solar energy may be possible as an alternate source of energy depending on the
contour of the land and the property.
b) Building technologies. Construction of the foundation and the building
may incorporate the latest sustainable materials. Insulation and window
technologies could be developed appropriate for the location. The efficient use
of water through a variety of water saving systems may be possible.

Sustainability and Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities 3


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Economic and financial analysis of sustainability as it relates to


long-term care facilities
The cost of incorporating sustainable, eco-friendly features in facilities must be
evaluated prior to implementing a program either of renovation or new
construction. Initial costs, pay-back periods, tax benefits, and similar financial
factors must be weighed in conjunction with the reliability and technical
soundness of new technologies. In formulating an analytical framework for
determining trade-offs between various levels of risks, a project must be
evaluated within the real-world regulatory environment in which the facility
operates.

About the author

JOHN A. BERENYI
johnberenyi@yahoo.com

John Berenyi has over 25 years of experience as financial advisor, technology


and economic consultant and investment banker. His work has been at the
intersection of engineering, management, economics and finance.

Infrastructure Systems and Finance Background

Focus of his activities: alternative energy projects, power systems, solid waste
facilities, mass transit authorities, highways and bridges, affordable housing and
mortgage finance, water and sewer systems, long term care facilities, non profit
institutions such as universities, museums, stadiums, hospitals and nursing
homes. Currently his clients include an award winning Canadian-American
Eco Property Development Company which is developing “green building
projects” and sustainable facilities in North America and Europe—see:
www.ecocite.ca.

Sustainability and Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities 4


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org
.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational and
informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or warranty
of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the accuracy,
reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this material.
Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by PERI, its
officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

Sustainability and Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities 5


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

NEW PARADIGMS TO SIMULTANEOUSLY ACHIEVE


ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND SECURITY
FOR INFRASTRUCTURE *
By: Rae Zimmerman, Ph.D

Introduction
Security and environmental sustainability are not only compatible goals, but
security is also a critical component and integral part of sustainability.
Sustainability has been considered the broader, more encompassing category,
and the role and importance of security as an element of sustainability is often
not explicitly recognized. The two concepts, security and sustainability converge
specifically in the area of urban infrastructure. Society cannot financially afford to
consider these two important social goals separately.

First, I will explore the issues and solutions within each of the two areas –
security and sustainability – separately, and then evaluate how a more integrated
perspective provides reinforcement and synergy for the particular issues that
each area faces. I will review some illustrations of New York City’s reaction to the
security problems created by the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center
attacks as well as the emphasis on environmental sustainability as development
moves forward in New York.

Second, in the conclusion, I will identify key issues that need to be addressed in
implementing such new paradigms.

Security
Issues

Security connotes protection from harm, for example, from natural disasters,
terrorism or accidents, and though it is related to other concepts such as safety, it
is distinct from them (Zimmerman 2008, forthcoming).

Security issues arise with respect to infrastructure in part due to highly dispersed,
but interconnected facilities that are not easily amenable to surveillance.
Development patterns and economies of production of infrastructure services—
particularly in the provision of electric power that is utilized by other infrastructure
sectors—have resulted in large distances between consumers and producers of

*
© Rae Zimmerman, 2008

New Paradigms 1
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

the services that infrastructure provides, which makes these facilities difficult to
protect.

The larger metropolitan regions in the country now consume land at a faster rate
than the rate at which the population is growing (Yaro and Hiss 1986: Figure 34).
In other words, the per-capita consumption of land is increasing, yet many of the
production sites for conventional infrastructure services remain concentrated,
underscoring the increasing distances between infrastructure consumption and
production.

A few examples of the extensiveness of infrastructure distribution facilities are


noteworthy: The U.S. has over 4 million miles of highways in the interstate
system, 600,000 bridges, and 880,000 miles of major water distribution lines. On
the production side, the U.S. has 80,000 dams, 5,000 electric power production
facilities, 726 gas processing plants, and 121 oil refineries (NRC 2002). Many of
these facilities are concentrated in a relatively few locations, creating potential
security problems. For example, about half of the ridership on transit systems
(which are critical environmental sustainability infrastructure) is concentrated in
only two states (Zimmerman 2002, 2006).

Solutions

Truly (2002: 1, 2) has suggested the following general characteristics of secure


infrastructure:

• Independence from main systems (e.g., energy systems not connected to


the grid or easily disconnected from it);
• Mobility/portability;
• Flexibility in deployment;
• Small in size for ease of transport and deployment;
• More conservative of resource utilization;
• Close to users and less vulnerable to destruction by virtue of fewer
distribution lines;
• Reliance on less-vulnerable sources since they are ubiquitous or
abundant, and/or natural—e.g., the sun, wind, water, biological materials,
gases;
• Inaccessible to criminals (perpetrators, intruders).

The adaptability of physical systems in light of these attributes has been a


common focus of security. The manner in which infrastructure in New York City
responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001
illustrates many of the attributes cited above for secure infrastructure. Attempts to
provide water for fire fighting made use of fire boats and piping extending from
the Hudson River into the site; electric power lines were drawn over the streets in
order to tap substations that were still functioning for power to the affected area;
cell towers and electric generators were able to be brought into the area quickly

New Paradigms 2
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

from reserves throughout the country; the transit system was able to reroute
trains to continue service by bypassing the affected area (Zimmerman 2003b, c).

Sustainability
General attributes for sustainability are very extensive and too numerous to list
here, as are the areas in which the natural environment has come into conflict
with infrastructure. General principles of sustainability, however, are noteworthy
as a context for an evaluation of infrastructure in light of sustainability.

Sustainability has been defined in a number of different ways that underscore


balancing the environment, development, and social equity goals. First, the
Brundtland Commission report, Our Common Future, defines it as: to ensure that
humanity “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs” (National Research Council 1999:
23, citing World Commission on Environment and Development 1987).

Second, over a decade later, the National Resource Council’s Board on


Sustainable Development defined it as “the reconciliation of society’s
developmental goals with its environmental limits over the long term” (National
Research Council 1999: 22), and emphasizes that the elements to be sustained
are in the areas of nature, life support systems, and community (National
Research Council 1999: 23).

Third, sustainability became the foundation for or was operationalized in a


number of accounting frameworks. “Ecological footprints” analysis has been an
important application area, defined as “the land (and water) area that would be
required to support a defined human population and material standard
indefinitely” (Wackernagel and Reis 1996: 158) and generally takes into account
“the flows of energy and matter to and from any defined economy and converts
these into the corresponding land/water area required from nature to support
these flows” (Wackernagel and Reis 1996: 3).

Similarly, sustainability has also been the foundation for reporting and accounting
frameworks in the business environment. The “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL)
standard was adopted in 2007 by the International Council for Local
Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), founded in 1990, and the origin of the term is
attributed to John Elkington in 1994 (Wikipedia). TBL is considered to be an
expansion of “traditional reporting framework to take into account environmental
and social performance in addition to financial performance,” and has been
abbreviated in terms of three concepts, “People (Human Capital), Planet (Natural
Capital) and Profit (Economic Benefit)” (Wikipedia).

Changing environmental conditions have a number of effects on vital public


services and the infrastructure that supports them, and potentially compromise
security if not addressed in the initial stages of planning infrastructure. Global

New Paradigms 3
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

warming is an important example that illustrates many of these threats, and has
produced changes or refinements in the application of principles of sustainability.

Issues

Areas in which infrastructure has affected the natural environment have been
known for a very long time and have been the centerpiece of U.S. environmental
legislation. However, the boomerang effects—those pertaining to the effects of
the environment on infrastructure—are less often noticed and articulated.

The issue of global warming has brought these issues to center stage. Effects
associated with global warming, such as temperature increases and sea-level
rise, pose a serious risk to the viability of infrastructure by straining the physical
properties of the infrastructure as well as altering its use. A number of effects
reviewed by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) (April 2007) include:

• Increasing severity and frequency of storms will compromise the physical


integrity of some infrastructure.
• Changes in the use of and demand for infrastructure will be generated by
changes in population location due to migrations, etc.
• Redistribution of water resources will occur due to rising temperatures and
sea levels, changes in precipitation, increased evaporation, and increased
droughts.

In addition, other factors associated with global warming will undermine


infrastructure (Zimmerman 1996): Infrastructure facilities such as pipes, bridges,
etc. are built with materials that withstand a certain temperature-tolerance limit—
higher temperatures of longer duration can cause material degradation such as
crumbling of concrete and melting of asphalt on road surfaces, reduced structural
integrity of steel over time, and changes in electrical conductivity of transmission
systems. Also, consistent with the work of CNA and the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, it is well known that the location of existing transportation
and electric power infrastructure, particularly in a large city such as New York
City, is often in areas potentially prone to flooding (Zimmerman 2003a,
Zimmerman and Cusker 2001).

Solutions

Placing infrastructure underground is a possible means of reducing exposure to


temperature extremes, reducing impacts on the surface environment, and useful
as a means to store and channelize floodwaters.

Temporary adaptation in the form of relocation of population and economic


activity and the infrastructure that supports them, can work over the long term, as
long as the adaptations take into account sea-level rise far into the future.

New Paradigms 4
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

The introduction of new temperature-tolerant materials could reduce the risk of


damage from extremes of heat.

Nanotechnologies may be applied in a variety of infrastructure sectors as


solutions for energy storage problems that have stood in the way of the
implementation of many renewable energy technologies.

Conventional water infrastructure has adapted to development patterns, and is


now changing dramatically to address problems of flooding and drought. Plants,
animals, and insects are cleverer than people in their ability to store and utilize
water when they need it, and some of the new, innovative mechanisms for storm
water capture are taking advantage of these mechanisms. In addition, water
systems—commonly dependent on power for pumping, treatment, etc.—may
benefit from use of renewable energy technologies.

A Comprehensive Metric for Infrastructure: Simultaneous


Optimization of Security and Sustainability
Strategies are emerging to simultaneously address sustainability and security.
Sustainability, especially environmental sustainability, takes the options for
security further, and vice versa. Mapping the two together specifically with
respect to infrastructure produces some noteworthy synergies that are described
below. This is particularly critical given that limited public resources are not likely
to be able to support both of these critical goals.

The key seems to be decentralization: distributed or dispersed, but non-


interconnected systems for the provision of infrastructure services. This is not to
be confused with the distributed nature of existing infrastructure utility distribution
lines that are geographically dispersed but interconnected through central
production locations.

In order for synergy to be realized, a stronger market potential for renewable


resources is needed. Great strides have been made in promoting these new
technologies. For example, according to the Energy Information Administration,
between 2004 and 2005, the consumption of renewable energy increased by 2%
and the number of alternative-fuel vehicles increased by about 20% between
2003 and 2005 (EIA 2007). In spite of these increases, the use of renewables still
accounts for only a small share of infrastructure – only 7% (EIA 2007), and most
of this is consumed in a limited number of sectors and in a limited number of
locations where renewable resources or the technologies to use them are
available.

In calculating common objectives, infrastructure interdependencies play a key


role that is often not obvious. There are many intricate interconnections among
infrastructure systems (Rinaldi, Peerenboom, and Kelly 2001) paralleled by an
equally intricate and diverse management structure. In order to approach

New Paradigms 5
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

infrastructure security and sustainability comprehensively, all of these


interdependencies and connections need to be considered. Alternatively,
generic, global or system-wide ways of measuring vulnerability must be sought to
identify and manage the potential adverse effects of interdependencies (e.g.,
drops in pressure in water and electrical lines).

Sustainable systems may reduce the complexity somewhat at the end points but
may be vulnerable at points of interconnection with more conventional
infrastructure (e.g., the case of wells and septic systems being operated via
electric pumps or the remote control of distributed communication systems).
Interdependencies occur both functionally and geographically. Co-location is a
common example of geographic proximity of infrastructure, bringing utility
distribution lines closer together, magnifying the impacts of a single failure of one
system, and hence, making them less secure.

Conclusions
Meeting the goals of both sustainability and security for infrastructure is possible
if planned at the outset. These are not inconsistent goals; in fact security is an
aspect of sustainability. Sustainable systems help achieve a certain amount of
decentralization that can harden infrastructure for security as well.

Sustainability and security of infrastructure share in common the fact that local
disturbances can have regional and even global impacts because of the symbolic
or cascading nature of highly localized events. Many of the same solutions can
meet both objectives, such as decentralization and undergrounding of
infrastructure and relying on resources that are ubiquitous and difficult to disable,
such as the sun and the wind for energy.

In order to achieve convergence for security and sustainability, substantial


institutional changes will be required, since each of these areas are within the
domain of very different government jurisdictions. Infrastructure providers
typically have a more unified approach, but tend to be still highly specialized in
their approaches to sustainability and security. At a governmental policy level,
homeland security directives can incorporate sustainability among the security
goals and strategies for their implementation. Likewise, environmental legislation
and regulations should incorporate security goals as criteria for environmental
protection.

With all of these technologies and the institutional mechanisms to implement


them, the accounting has to be undertaken. This will be quite a challenge, since
the results may vary geographically and for different types of urban development.

New Paradigms 6
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

References Cited
Center for Naval Analyses (CNA Corp.) National Security and the Threat of
Climate Change, April 2007.

Energy Information Administration (EIA), “Renewable Energy Trends,” July 2007.

National Research Council (NRC), Board on Sustainable Development. Our


Common Journey. A transition toward sustainability. Washington, DC: National
Academy Press, 1999.

National Research Council (NRC), Committee on Science and Technology for


Countering Terrorism. Making the Nation Safer. The Role of Science and
Technology in Countering Terrorism. Washington, DC: National Academy Press,
2002.

Rinaldi, S.M. Peerenboom, J.P. and Kelly T.K., “Identifying, Understanding, and
Analyzing Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies,” IEEE Control Systems.
December 2001.

Truly, R. 2002. “New Energy Systems Enhance National Security,” U.S.


Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, March 14.
http://www.nrel.gov/director/trulyspeech_031402.html. Accessed in 2002.

Wackernagel, M. and Rees, W. Our Ecological Footprint. Reducing Human


Impact on the Earth. Gabriola Island, BC and Stony Creek, CT: New Society
Publishers, 1996.

Wikipedia. Triple bottom line. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line.


Accessed January 1, 2008.

World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission).


Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Yaro, R. and Hiss, T. A Region at Risk. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1996.

References Cited to Author’s Works

Zimmerman, R. “Critical Infrastructure and Interdependency,” Chapter 35 in The


McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook, David G. Kamien, ed. NY, NY: The
McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2006, pp. 523-545.

New Paradigms 7
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Zimmerman, R. “Global Climate Change and Transportation Infrastructure:


Lessons from the New York Area,” in The Potential Impacts of Climate Change
on Transportation: Workshop Summary and Proceedings, Washington, DC: U.S.
DOT (Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting) in cooperation
with the U.S. EPA, U.S. DOE, U.S.GCRP, 2003a, pp. 91-101.

Zimmerman, R. “Global Warming, Infrastructure, and Land Use in the


Metropolitan New York Area: Prevention and Response,” in The Baked Apple?
Metropolitan New York in the Greenhouse, edited by Douglas Hill. New York:
New York Academy of Sciences, 1996, pp. 57-83.

Zimmerman, R. “Making Sustainability and Security Compatible: New


Approaches to Public Infrastructure Services for the 21st Century,” Invited
Presentation, Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth panel at the ASCE
2002 national conference, Washington, DC, November 3-6, 2002.

Zimmerman, R. “Managing Infrastructure Resiliency, Safety and Security,”


Encyclopedia of Quantitative Risk Assessment, edited by B. Everitt and E.
Melnick. New York, NY: John Wiley, accepted for publication, forthcoming 2008.

Zimmerman, R. “Public Infrastructure Service Flexibility for Response and


Recovery in the September 11th, 2001 Attacks at the World Trade Center,” in
Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center, Public Entity Risk
Institute, and Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, Beyond September 11th:
An Account of Post-Disaster Research. Special Publication #39. Boulder, CO:
University of Colorado, 2003b, pp. 241-268.

Zimmerman, R. “The Intersection of Sustainability and Security” with illustrations


from Response and Recovery in Lower Manhattan. Invited Presentation for the
Panel, Paradigm of Progress: Social Responsibility and Environmental
Strategies. New York, NY: NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies,
2003c (April 25).

Zimmerman, R. and Cusker, M. “Institutional Decision-making,” Chapter 9 and


Appendix 10 in Climate Change and a Global City: The Potential Consequences
of Climate Variability and Change. Metro East Coast, edited by C. Rosenzweig
and W. D. Solecki. New York, NY: Columbia Earth Institute and Goddard Institute
of Space Studies, 2001, pp. 9-1 to 9-25 and A11-A17.

Acknowledgements and Disclaimer


Part of this work was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
through the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events
(CREATE) under grant numbers N00014-05-0630 and 2007-ST-061-000001.
This work was also supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
through the NYU Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR)

New Paradigms 8
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

grant number 2004-GT-TX-0001. However, any opinions, findings, and


conclusions or recommendations in this document are those of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect views of the United States Department of Homeland
Security.

The use of this paper is limited to the PERI symposium (including subsequent
archival of symposium materials on the PERI website). For all other uses, please
contact the author at rae.zimmerman@nyu.edu.

About the author


Rae Zimmerman is Professor of Planning and Public Administration at the New
York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and since
1998, Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), initially
funded by the National Science Foundation for interdisciplinary research,
education and outreach. She has been leading research projects on the
protection and adaptability of critical infrastructures in the context of terrorism
and natural hazards through U.S. DHS funded centers including leading NYU's
co-partnership in CREATE, the first Science & Technology center of excellence
at the University of Southern California. Zimmerman is also co-principal
investigator of the "South Bronx Environmental Health & Policy Study," funded by
the U.S. EPA, a researcher for the World Trade Center Evacuation study led by
the Columbia University School of Public Health, and risk analyst for
infrastructure engineering for government infrastructure projects.
Her research and teaching areas incorporate urban infrastructure security,
sustainability and socioeconomic dimensions of environmental, energy, and
transportation infrastructure particularly in the context of extreme events, and risk
communication. Her publications have appeared in numerous edited books as
well as in planning, environmental and public administration journals including
the Journal of Urban Health; Energy Policy; Risk Analysis; International Journal
of Critical Infrastructures; Water Resources Research; Agriculture, Ecosystems
and Environment; the Journal of Urban Technology; Regulatory Toxicology and
Pharmacology; and the Policy Studies Journal. Under her direction ICIS co-
produced Beyond September 11th (Boulder, CO, University of Colorado, 2003)
and Zimmerman co-edited Digital Infrastructures (Routledge 2004) and
Sustaining Urban Networks (Routledge, 2005). She is a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science and past president and Fellow of the
Society for Risk Analysis, and is currently a member of the U.S. EPA Science
Advisory Board Homeland Security Advisory Committee. Former professional
appointments and memberships include the Committee on the Review and
Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (National Academy
of Sciences (NAS)), the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, the U.S. EPA
National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Working Group on Drinking
Water Research, the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment
(NAS), and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Comparative
Risk Committee. She holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California

New Paradigms 9
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

(Berkeley), a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a


Ph.D. in planning from Columbia University.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

New Paradigms 10
Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

New and Innovative Approaches To Infrastructure


Management: Seeking Sustainability
By: Gary G. Hamer, AICP

The recent Minneapolis bridge collapse and steam pipe explosion in New York
have put our nation’s aging infrastructure under scrutiny, and brought to light the
overwhelming backlog of needed capital maintenance across the country. The
American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the nation needs to spend
$1.6 trillion over the next five years just to maintain the current service level of
our existing infrastructure 1 . Cities across the country are grappling with the fiscal
realities of trying to address this mounting and never-ending cycle of construction
and maintenance.

Yet the issues that surround the debate on renewing our nation’s aging
infrastructure often pit public safety and security concerns against environmental
protection and conservation interests.

For example, in 1984, Tulsa, Oklahoma suffered one of the most devastating
floods in state history with resultant loss of life and costly structural damage. To
secure the city and prevent future disaster, an award-winning, comprehensive
stormwater management program was developed and several hundred million
dollars was invested in flood control infrastructure. Although there have been no
major flood events since program implementation, new flood control
improvements are required to continually maintain the system. However, despite
Tulsa’s success in flood hazard mitigation, some citizens question the need for
these improvements—and in some instances have opposed them—as a threat to
the region’s wildlife and natural environment.

Meanwhile, reduced federal funding, growing anti-tax movements, and escalating


energy costs have compounded local government efforts to improve their
deteriorating infrastructure. In response to these conditions, communities across
the country have begun to explore new and innovative strategies to generate
revenue to meet these challenges. The recent local government strategies of
leasing capital assets to private sector operators and the more radical alternative,
vacating or legally abandoning underutilized infrastructure, are two approaches
that have gained national attention and may prove to be useful case studies for
communities striving to sustain infrastructure.

Historic and Projected Levels of Federal Funding


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a study which
examines the level and types of infrastructure financing from 1956-2004. The

New and Innovative Approaches to Infrastructure Management 1


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

CBO data are telling and troubling for a number of reasons. The chart below
illustrates the historic level of federal funding dedicated to the nation’s
infrastructure as a percentage of total spending. As the chart demonstrates,
federal funding levels peaked in the mid 1960’s and then began to decline to the
present level. The only recent increase was the spike after the terrorist attacks in
2001 which was primarily directed toward hardening potential target sites. CBO
data contained in the study
Infrastructure Spending As a Percentage
of Total Federal Spending (CBO)
10.00%

9.00%

8.00%

7.00%
Percent of Total Spending

6.00%
Percentage

5.00%

4.00%

3.00%

2.00%

1.00%

0.00%
56

58

60

62

64

66

68

70

72

74

76

78

80

82

84

86

88

90

92

94

96

98

00

02

04

06
19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

19

20

20

20

20
Year

Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

demonstrate that the level of financing borne by state and local governments
increased to 76.5% in 2004 from 62.3% in 1980 while the federal share fell from
37.7% to 23.5% over the same period. 2

Study findings cite increased mandatory entitlement spending, such as Medicare


and Social Security, as a major contributor in the decline of federal funds
redistributed to state and local governments through the various transit and
transportation programs historically financed by federal transfer payments. The
chart below was constructed using CBO data from the most recent report on
“The President’s Budgetary Proposals” and it clearly illustrates the projected
impact of increasing mandatory spending as it is expected to rise to 63% of total
spending by 2017. 3

New and Innovative Approaches to Infrastructure Management 2


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

The implications for local government are dire. As mandatory spending


continues to rise, the level of funding local government is expected to contribute
will continue to escalate. As an example, the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, currently
has $3.3 billion of unfunded street maintenance and rehabilitation work identified
in its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) inventory. 4 Most major cities across the
country have similar, unfunded maintenance backlogs.

Achieving suitable and sustainable levels of funding will require either raising
taxes by a sizable margin—which is progressively difficult in the increasingly anti-
tax environment in which many local governments are finding themselves—or
seeking new, “outside-the-box” strategies to address their needs.

Monetizing Assets
A number of state and local governments have gained national media attention
recently with similar strategies of leveraging capital assets through long-term
leases and outright sales, referred to as “monetizing assets” in the popular
media. The City of Minneapolis, the State of Iowa, and the City of Chicago have
all recently executed transactions that either provided up-front payments in
exchange for multi-year leases or cash from the outright sale of government-
owned assets. The benefits of these transactions are two-fold: They provide a
leveragable pool of capital which can be used to reduce debt or meet other

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

obligations, and they absolve the government of the ongoing maintenance


associated with the leveraged asset.

The City of Chicago completed the first precedent-setting lease of a public toll
road in the U.S. in 2004. 5 Chicago issued a request for qualifications (RFQ)
seeking bidders interested in a long-term lease on the 7.8-mile, “Chicago
Skyway” elevated toll road, to which two companies responded. Ultimately,
Cintra/Macquarie was the successful bidder with its $1.83 billion offer. The City of
Chicago has chosen to fund a long-term reserve, a medium-term reserve, and a
$100 million infrastructure fund with the proceeds from the lease.

Chicago’s execution of this long-term lease has opened a new frontier on the
infrastructure front. It has demonstrated that government-owned infrastructure
has quantifiable value in the private market while it also provides the framework
for new revenue streams. Governments could potentially leverage these revenue
streams to address other pressing needs which might include financing the
rehabilitation of its remaining, deteriorating infrastructure. Possibly more
importantly, these lease agreements transfer maintenance responsibility to the
more nimble and unencumbered private sector, which is better positioned to
adjust cost and revenue structures to meet any maintenance challenges.

The Radical Alternative – Footprint Reduction


The challenges of the nation’s industrial Northeast “rust belt,” with its large
concentration of manufacturing and steel production, has been discussed in
numerous publications and acknowledged in many public forums. The City of
Youngstown, Ohio is one of the many communities throughout the rust belt that
was devastated by the collapse of its manufacturing and industrial base.
Youngstown has found itself at the end of this long, rust-belt population decline
with the infrastructure—such as roads, sewer lines, and water lines—that it
needed to support a population twice its current size. From 1960 to 2000,
Youngstown’s population declined from 167,000 to 82,000 and there were 3,300
excess vacant housing units in 2000 within its jurisdiction.

Through a partnership with Youngstown State University and the City of


Youngstown, the city has begun the process of examining how to deal with its
large inventory of underutilized infrastructure. This effort has resulted in a new
comprehensive planning effort, Youngtown 2010, which sought to reconfigure the
city to eliminate blighted areas and re-purpose areas currently occupied by
deteriorating and underutilized infrastructure. One of the first major challenges of
the planning effort was dealing with the realization that Youngstown is a smaller
city and that the city must develop a “strategic program to rationalize and
consolidate urban infrastructure in a sociably responsible and financially
sustainable manner.”

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

The planning process resulted in a comprehensive inventory, evaluation, and


prioritization of the city’s assets, strengths, and weaknesses. A major plan
element is re-purposing abandoned, blighted areas into parks and open space,
and linking them to a regional greenbelt and trail system. Plan recommendations
would also alter the percentage of land dedicated to residential, commercial, and
industrial uses. Residential and commercial areas would be reduced 30% and
16%, respectively. In an attempt to re-purpose much of the infrastructure
dedicated to former industrial uses, the plan calls for a new land use category
entitled “industrial green.” The industrial-green category will set aside 3,300
acres of land dedicated to industrial uses which are non-polluting and incorporate
open space into overall site design, seeking to capitalize on the extensive
infrastructure along the Mahoning River while incorporating green elements
which are harmonious with its broader greenbelt plan. 6

The planning exercise and visioning under taken by Youngstown has resulted in
a number of innovative strategies that may prove to be useful in other
communities. Reducing land areas dedicated to residential and commercial use
would be a dramatic departure from the sprawl and drive mentality that pervades
the United States. Re-purposing areas to redefine the city’s industrial past, and
weaving that legacy into a greening strategy, is clearly on the cutting edge and
should be studied carefully by any community seeking a more sustainable future.

Seeking Sustainability
Monetizing assets and reducing environmental footprints may prove themselves
to be viable alternatives to communities across the country seeking sustainable
infrastructure. The sustainability initiative has gained increasing public
awareness and has been identified as a major focal point by many environmental
and professional groups. There are a number of common, core elements that cut
across the numerous sustainable agendas: achieving efficiencies, conserving
resources, and reducing impacts.

As federal funds decline further, as anti-tax sentiment often pervades the voting
public, and as cities continue to struggle with their infrastructure burdens,
maximizing existing resources and limiting the expansion of resource-depleting
public facilities will become increasingly necessary. Cities that encourage
efficiencies through the re-use of existing infrastructure by placing premiums on
compact dense development and encourage the conservation of resources
through green design code improvements will be positioned to overcome future
fiscal challenges.

The idea of a city seeking to shrink its size, to achieve efficiencies and conserve
resources, runs completely counter to the imbedded paradigms most
communities have come to embrace. And cities looking to leverage publicly
financed capital assets may incur the wrath of taxpayers. But in the decades to
come this may prove to be a paradigm shift.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Communities do not have to adopt strategies like those of Chicago or


Youngstown or even explore policies aimed at improving efficiencies and returns
on invested tax dollars, but a couple of things are certain: Communities have
come to depend on federal dollars to fund many of their operations and capital
demands. And the current gap between infrastructure needs and available
resources seems likely only to grow in the future.

Notes
1
“U.S. Infrastructure Found to Be in Disrepair”, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2007,
page B4.
2
“Trends in Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956-2004,”
Congressional Budget Office, August 2007.
3
“An Analysis of the President’s Budgetary Proposals For Fiscal Year 2008,”
Congressional Budget Office, March 21, 2007.
4
City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Annual Budget and Capital Plan Fiscal Year 2007-2008, City
of Tulsa, Oklahoma 2007, page 8-29.
5
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Public Private
Partnership Case Studies: Chicago Skyway.
6
Youngstown 2010 Citywide Plan, City of Youngstown, Ohio 2004, pages 18 and 30-
31.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the author


Gary G. Hamer, AICP, is a graduate of Wichita State University with a Masters of
Public Administration (MPA). Working in local and regional government agencies
for over 11 years, he has held a variety of positions including planning and
zoning administration, project management, and transportation planning. In 2006,
he was admitted as a member of the American Planning Association’s (APA)
American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Currently, Mr. Hamer is serving
as manager of the City of Tulsa’s Capital Planning and Research section which
maintains the City of Tulsa’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and manages the
funded capital improvements programs.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

New and Innovative Approaches to Infrastructure Management 7


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

“SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” VERSUS


“SUSTAINABILITY”:
IS THERE A CONFLICT?
By: C. Richard Baker

Introduction
The topics of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” have achieved
increasing prominence during the last thirty years. The concept of sustainable
development can be conceived of in a general sense as a process through which
there is a satisfaction of human needs while simultaneously preserving the
quality of the natural environment. The linkage between economic development
and the natural environment was perhaps first acknowledged in 1980 when the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature published a pamphlet entitled
World Conservation Strategy that included the term “sustainable development”
(IUCN, 1980). The term, sustainable development, came into more general use
following the publication of the Brundtland Commission report in 1987
(Brundtland Commission, 1987). The Brundtland Commission, which was
formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development,
was created by the United Nations General Assembly. The Brundtland
Commission established the most commonly used definition of sustainable
development, as development which “meets the needs of the present generation
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Unfortunately this definition has been difficult to implement in practical terms;
consequently, it has been necessary to search for more particular definitions of
sustainable development. It is now generally recognized that sustainable
development does not focus entirely on the environment. The notion of
sustainable development encompasses three primary areas: the economic, the
social, and the environmental. As such, sustainable development can be said to
rest on three fundamental principles: economic development, social
development, and environmental protection.

Sustainable development can also be distinguished from “green development”, in


that green development concentrates on saving the environment even to the
exclusion of economic and social considerations. Sustainability often seems to
be primarily concerned with protecting the environment from acts of human
beings rather than protecting human beings and human organizations from the
environment. However, it must be recognized that the protection of the
environment from the acts of human beings is ultimately not sustainable,
because the earth is dynamic and it cannot be locked into a constant state.
Sustainability can therefore be more properly thought of as an effort to sustain
the social and economic development of society, combined with an effort to
protect the natural environment.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Creating Sustainable Organizations


Proponents of sustainable development generally recognize that long-term
sustainability can only be achieved through economic and social development,
even though environmentalists strenuously argue that sustainable development
is actually an oxymoron. They often claim that political policies based on
economic and social development and growth are inherently unsustainable
(Maniantes, 2007). Consequently, there has been an increasingly intense
political debate developing in recent years, which has remained largely
unresolved. Effectively the question is: Can the world achieve economic, social
development in an environmentally sensitive way, or is sustainable development
fundamentally unsustainable?

For every organization, whether it be a business enterprise or a governmental


entity, effectively managing its resources, both human and material, is essential
to achieving sustainability. Business enterprises, as well as public service
entities, have long sought ways to achieve long lasting success. In recent years,
managers of such organization have also been increasingly concerned with
social and environmental issues. The social and environmental questions that
these organizations deal with range from reducing greenhouse gas emissions
and the general carbon footprint, to reducing or recycling waste materials, to
eliminating toxic and poisonous materials, to improving working conditions for all
personnel. Effectively managing these sustainability-related issues is becoming a
key element in an organization’s long-term success.

In this context, Portland State University’s School of Business and Center for
Sustainable Processes and Practices recently sponsored a Sustainability in the
Supply Chain Conference (Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices,
2007). This conference brought together participants from industry and
academia to share information and research about sustainability. A number of
large business enterprises, such as Boeing, Nike, Intel, Wal-Mart, Toyota Motor
Company and Columbia Forest Products attended this conference and described
their companies’ activities targeted towards reducing their output of wastes and
overall use of energy. These companies not only have found this to be helpful
for the environment, but also useful in reducing costs. This is a progressive
approach towards the sustainability. Sustainable development can therefore be
seen as progressive, optimistic and forward looking, whereas radical
sustainability is essentially conservative or even reactionary. In effect, and at the
extreme, some of the advocates of radical sustainability suggest that there must
be a significant reduction in the human population and a dismantling of
capitalism, with a general reversion to lower levels of economic existence for
everyone on the planet (Johnson, 2007).

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Green versus Blue


From another perspective, Perelman (2007) has recently suggested that
sustainable development must be linked with considerations of and preparations
for natural disasters and a variety of unexpected events that threaten human life
and infrastructure, otherwise, sustainability cannot be achieved. It is essentially
meaningless to speak about protecting the environment when a hurricane or
tsunami destroys everything you hold dear. Perelman argues that sustainable
development should be more properly referred to as “resilient development”,
because periodic economic downturns and other disruptive events cannot be
avoided or eliminated. However, a resilient form of development can help a
nation or an organization recover from the debilitating effects of unexpected
events if they plan in advance to achieve long term sustainability.

According to Perelman, efforts to achieve sustainability in the public sector are


increasingly being driven by two different policy movements, the “sustainability”
movement, aimed primarily at environmental protection, and the “security”
movement, which responds primarily to threats against human beings and
infrastructure (Perelman, 2007). Perelman refers to this latter movement as
being “blue”, and he suggests that the green and the blue should be melded
together into a sort of “turquoise” which would produce synergies and useful
collaboration. Perelman’s concepts, unlike those of the more radical proponents
of sustainability, are pragmatic and directed towards practical steps that would
help organizations integrate the positive aspects of the green and blue agendas
while reaching compromises between two competing notions of sustainability.

Common Principles of Sustainability


Hargroves and Smith (2005) argue that a number of common principles can be
found in most pragmatic programs that are intended to achieve sustainable
development and practical sustainability. These include:
• Dealing transparently and systemically with risk and uncertainty.
• Ensuring appropriate valuation, appreciation and restoration of natural
environments.
• Integration of economic, social and environmental goals in policy
formulations.
• Providing opportunities for community participation.
• Conserving biodiversity and ecological integrity.
• Being cognizant of inter-generational equity.
• Committing to best practices of sustainable development.
• Avoiding the loss of human capital as well as natural capital.
• Seeking continuous improvement.

These principles might be usefully combined with Perelman’s ideas regarding a


melding of green and blue in order to achieve both compromise and
collaboration. The radical sustainability alternative seems to be more in the tone

“Sustainable Development” Versus “Sustainability” 3


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

of “black”, which would presumably involve social and economic de-evolution


back to a primitive state in which human beings increasingly perish in an
environmental paradise.

REFERENCES
Brundtland Report (1987). Our Common Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press,
http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm, retrieved on December 11,
2007.

Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices (2007), International Conference


on Business & Sustainability, Portland, Oregon: Portland State University,
(November 1-2), http://www.bizandsustainability.org/, retrieved on
December 11, 2007.

Hargroves, K. and Smith, M. (eds.) (2005), The Natural Advantage of Nations:


Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century,
London: Earthscan/ James & James.

IUCN (1980), World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for


Sustainable Development, New York: International Union for Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-
wpd/edocs/WCS-004.pdf, retrieved on December 11, 2007.

Maniantes, M. (2007), “Going Green? Easy Doesn’t Do It”, Washingtonpost.com


(November 22, p. A37).

Perelman, L.J. (2007), “Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and
Green”, PERI Symposium, Fairfax, Virginia: Public Entity Risk Institute,
http://www.riskinstitute.org/PERI/NEWS/, retrieved on December 11,
2007.

Johnson, H.T. (2007), “A Conversation with H. Thomas Johnson”, International


Conference on Business & Sustainability, Portland State University,
Portland, Oregon, November 1-2.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

About the author


C. RICHARD BAKER, PhD, CPA

C. Richard Baker is Professor and Chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and
Economics at the School of Business of Adelphi University, Garden City, New York.
Prior to joining Adelphi University, he was Professor and Chair of the Accounting and
Finance Department at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He has also been
on the faculties of Columbia and Fordham universities in New York City. His research
interests focus on the regulatory, legal, disciplinary and ethical aspects of the public
accounting profession. He is the author of over 90 academic papers and other
publications. He holds the Ph.D. from the School of Management at UCLA and is a
Certified Public Accountant in New York State.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
***

“Sustainable Development” Versus “Sustainability” 5


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

THE RESILIENCE IMPERATIVE:


RESOLVING “GREEN” (ENVIRONMENTAL
SUSTAINABILITY) AND
“BLUE” (INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY)
REQUIREMENTS IN A STRATEGY FOR NATIONAL
RESILIENCE
By: Jeff Gaynor

Americans have a life and death stake in the operational resilience of America’s
critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure enables every activity in the nation
and will be the foundation of any responsible application of “green” or sustainable
technologies. Yet, despite being the most fundamental of national and homeland
security capacities, years of neglect, efficiency measures, repair (rather than
continuous modernization) have combined to create an American infrastructure
that is highly efficient, profitable, theoretically protected, but decaying, and
consequence-amplifying.

America’s infrastructure is unacceptably vulnerable, and highly exploitable. And,


as calamities including Hurricane Katrina, the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis,
and at least some of the recent fires in Southern California proved, it is a vector
for inflicting severe and long-term physical, economic and social consequences
on people, their communities, and the Nation.

Thus, America’s infrastructure—rather than being an enabler of national security,


prosperity, and progress—is very rapidly becoming the nation’s “Achilles heel.”

Recognizing the essential role infrastructure services play in securing the


homeland, almost immediately upon arriving at the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), Secretary Michael Chertoff asked his principal independent
advisory body, the Homeland Security Advisory Council to: “Review current and
provide recommendations on advancing national critical infrastructure policy &
planning to ensure the reliable delivery of critical infrastructure services while
simultaneously reducing the consequences of the exploitation, destruction, or
disruption of critical infrastructure products, services, and/or operations.” 1

In response, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) formed a Critical


Infrastructure Task Force (CITF). 2

1
See Page 1, Paragraph 1, HSAC Critical Infrastructure Task Force Report at www.dhs.gov/hsac
2
These groups included prominent Americans from both sides of the political aisle including: Former CIA
and FBI Director, Judge William Webster (the HSAC’s Chair); 9/11 Commission member, former U.S.
Representative Lee Hamilton; former Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy, James Schlesinger;
and former Speaker of the House Tom Foley.

The Resilience Imperative 1


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

After almost a year of study that engaged infrastructure providers, business,


public and private sector leaders from across the nation—and in the wake of the
long-predicted catastrophic failure of the levee system that was supposed to
protect New Orleans—on January 10, 2006, the CITF publicly released its
findings and recommendations to the HSAC. The HSAC subsequently
unanimously approved the CITF’s recommendations and consistent with it
Charter forwarded them to Secretary Chertoff for his action.

First and foremost among the HSAC’s recommendations was: “Promulgate


Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) as the top level strategic objective—the
desired outcome—to drive national policy and planning.” Former Massachusetts
Governor, Mitt Romney very succinctly stated the logic for advancement in
national infrastructure policy and programs from protection to resilience: “You
know, protection is where we tend to focus in government, but it is very, very
clear that protection is not enough . . .”

While no action was taken by DHS, the CITF’s recommendations have since
been reinforced in further studies conducted by The Infrastructure Security
Partnership 3 and the Council on Competitiveness. 4 The latter noted:
“Technological and Market Forces have created new potential for business
disruption in every sector. The challenge is just not protection—it is resilience.”
Most recently, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani wrote: “The next
Administration’s approach to homeland security should be based on three core
principles: prevention, preparedness, and resilience.” 5

As defined in Webster’s On-line Dictionary: re·sil·ience is: 1: the capability of a


strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially
by compressive stress 2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune
or change.

In even simpler terms, as John Cameron Swayze used to describe Timex


watches in the 1950’s, America’s infrastructure, and the people and society it
empowers, must be able to “take a licking and keep on ticking.”

As evident by the definition of resilience, these and other authorities are


recommending a strategic shift to critical infrastructure resilience (CIR), and by
extension, national resilience, as realistic and attainable goals far better suited to
the nation’s post-9/11, post-Katrina, “all-hazards” risk environment.

3
See TISP Regional Disaster Resilience Guide
4
See Transform. The Resilient Economy: Integrating Competitiveness and Security, 25 June 2007
5
Rudolph W. Giuliani, “The Resilient Society,” City Journal (18, 1) Winter 2008.

The Resilience Imperative 2


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

In addition to those discussed above, all-hazards events that that should have
prompted national policy and program (i.e., taxpayer dollar expenditure)
transformation to resilience including:

• The 2003 Northeast electrical blackout


• A steam pipe explosion in New York City in July 2007,
• Tainted food, defective products and continuing—if not increasing—
Chinese attacks on the Nation’s cyber infrastructure,
• Drought in the Southeast threatening the provision of water to four million
people in the Atlanta area and to a nuclear power plant in Alabama,
• Midwest and most recently West Coast storms cutting electrical power to
over a million people, and
• Collapse of a levee in Fernley, Nevada, following a torrential storm—
reportedly caused in part by burrowing gophers.

Yet the ongoing blizzard of such disastrous events so far has had no effect on
the strategic direction of national infrastructure policy.

Progress toward renewing America’s dangerously dilapidated infrastructure—to


achieve greater resource and environmental efficiency as well as to assure a
modicum of public safety—is obstructed by dogmatic and yet repeatedly failed
iterations of Cold-War, “fed-centric,” critical infrastructure protection (CIP)
policies. In the wake of 9/11, these policies have been—in no small measure—
legitimized by the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars each year in
infrastructure protection programs and related grant funding.

Infrastructure protection efforts called for in Homeland Security Presidential


Directive-7 and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP; a “Plan”
recently recast as a “Framework”) often have appeared so cumbersome,
stovepiped, and contradictory to the reality of infrastructure interdependence, that
they have struggled to attain acceptance by the totality of state and local
government and private-sector stakeholders whose willing collaboration is
essential to their implementation. Additionally, their objectives, however
necessary, aim at only the most basic needs to ensure the provision of critical
infrastructure services.

The infrastructure protection policies, strategies and expenditures pursued till


now over several decades, have consistently failed to address the economic and
national security costs of America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy.
They have done nothing to address climate change; the continuing proliferation
of foreign-produced, flawed and highly-exploitable software throughout both
America’s cyber and physical infrastructures; and the steady—if not
accelerating—deterioration of American infrastructure capacity and operational
resilience.

The Resilience Imperative 3


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Further, “protective measures” have never been and are not an objective or goal
unto themselves. In the worst case, as General George Patton sternly observed,
“Fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man.” They are even more so in
an interdependent infrastructure operating environment where an adversary can
disable a target without any direct attack, but rather by attacking any of the brittle
threads of infrastructure on which that target depends to function. For example,
a Department of Energy experiment recently showed that an electric power plant
could be destroyed by a cyber-attack on its operating software through the
Internet.

The fundamental failure in all iterations of infrastructure protection policy to date


is that they have focused on identifying and assessing everything that is “critical”
and then on applying counter-measures (e.g., gates, guns, and guards) to reach
an un-definable and objectively un-measurable goal—“protection.” "There is no
perfect security in life," said Secretary Chertoff in a televised interview.

“I put my daughter in my car,” Mr. Chertoff noted in a later Senate hearing. “If I
wanted my daughter to be 100 percent safe, I’d put a five-mile-an-hour speed
limit cap on the car.” But that is not an option, he added, “because that’s more
safety than we can afford.” 6

But the eminently reasonable observation that perfect security or protection is


either impossible or unfeasible still begs the question: How much protection is
enough? Saying that “enough” is what is “affordable” is hardly a practical
answer: Affordable to whom? And, compared to what?

A central problem with the policy obsession with “protection”—whether of


infrastructure or the environment—is that it often aims not merely at mitigation
but prevention of undesirable occurrences. Yet the tendency to associate
protection with prevention—freedom from undesirable consequences—comes
with an escalating cost. Insistently seeking to prevent things that both science
and common sense know cannot be always or completely prevented—whether
terrorism, drug abuse, or climate change—we risk depleting the economic base
on which human security depends. In practice, we continually see that, beyond
some reasonable threshold, ever more onerous protective measures yield
diminishing returns in terms of the benefits achieved.

In some cases, excessive preventive/protective measures actually may make us


more vulnerable and less secure. One illustrative example is the growing threat
of multiple-drug resistant bacteria—including staph and tuberculosis—resulting
from the overuse of antibiotics. Even more pertinent to infrastructure strategy: As
many of us learned in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, the very
system of levees and canals that was developed to protect New Orleans from
disastrous flooding disrupted the flow of river silt to the Gulf coast, accelerating

6
“U.S. Can’t Protect All Targets, Chertoff Says,” The New York Times, September 12, 2006.

The Resilience Imperative 4


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

erosion of the wetlands that formerly buffered the impact of hurricanes on the
city.

Clearly then, Critical Infrastructure Protection—or any protection programs in this


life—do not make a consequence-free environment.

The Advancement
Beyond necessary but clearly inadequate CIP efforts the nation needs to adopt a
proactive and empowering, national preparedness and performance standard to
assure infrastructure resilience.

The particular metric for the “Operational Resilience Standard (ORS)” to design
and develop more resilient national infrastructure is time—the time one can
tolerate some interruption or degradation of infrastructure services, the time to
recover, and/or the time to adapt to changed circumstances. The ORS is derived
from the answer to a no-nonsense, risk-based, question: How long can you do
without X (something important to you)?

As a standard, time requirements, including time to reconstitute a business’s,


community’s, state’s or nation’s infrastructure, must be settled before an “all-
hazards” event. Thus, the ORS is not—as some critics assert—a subset of
protection or something describing a less than stellar disaster recovery effort
(e.g., New Orleans).

Unlike CIP, the ORS recognizes and respects the spectrum of challenges
inherent in daily family, business, community and national life. Specifically:

• Change is constant.
• Emergency response drills and national exercises virtually always begin
with a failure of protective measures. (e.g., fire, flood, earthquake,
biological attack, pandemic, dirty bomb detonation).
• When protection fails, it fails completely.
• Humans make mistakes.
• Technologies and structures fail.
• Surprises are—in fact—surprises.
• Nature is not controllable in real time.
• Things wear out, get old, and have to be replaced.
• Accidents happen.
• Viruses mutate.
• Bad things happen to good people and nations.
• Good things happen to bad people and nations; and
• There long have been and will long continue to be some sufficiently
dedicated, patient, inventive, imbedded, resourced, and self-sacrificing
enemies—regardless of whether they are labeled “terrorists,” “criminals,”
“insurgents,” or “sociopaths”—who will be successful in inflicting harm.
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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Beyond the initial impact of an “all-hazards event” where all protective measures
are exhausted, resilience directly addresses infrastructure and societal
interdependencies and the multi-level consequences of an incident. Additionally,
a resilient infrastructure will be more reliable in providing the resources required
to increase or at least ensure the effectiveness of mitigation efforts and
emergency response capacities.

Beyond addressing immediate issues, the implementation of advanced national


policies and realignment of resources to support implementation of the ORS will
spur investment in the development of responsible (i.e., resilient), and
sustainable “green” standards and technologies. Together, and over time these
investments will:

• Effectively address issues including energy independence and climate


change.
• Promote thinking, infrastructure innovations and the development of
capacities the nation requires within an environment that guarantees
change and demands the ability to adapt.
• Spur a 21st Century “infrastructure revolution” to complement the 1990s
“information revolution” and its related economic opportunities; and
• Eliminate the “Achilles heel” that America’s infrastructure has become.

Michael Balboni, the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety for the State of New
York once termed resilience and discussions on dealing with life’s realities as “An
adult conversation.” Given the apparent current [mis]understanding that
protection is prevention, it is a conversation that today is long overdue.

A “Way Ahead”

With existing resources, government at all levels and the private sector can
leverage the lessons of the nation’s highly-successful Year 2000 (Y2K)
Transition. At that time, as the new millennium approached, many experts feared
that millions of computers worldwide might “crash” because the software that
controlled them was built with the assumption that, in all dates, the year began
with 19__. Assuring the operational continuity of the world’s software, operating
systems, and computer hardware—and most importantly, the spectrum of global
activities those systems enabled—required a responsible, focused, aggressive,
highly collaborative, international effort among government agencies at all levels,
private companies of every size, academia, independent associations and
organizations, and thousands of individual programmers, engineers, scientists,
and millions of users. Substantial resources were invested in remediating or
replacing obsolete components of the cyber-infrastructure. Information,
knowledge, and expertise had to be openly and generously shared. It all worked.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Similarly today, “green” objectives can be factored into all-hazard business and
community preparedness plans, and incorporated into state, regional, and
ultimately national “blue,” operational resilience, infrastructure requirements.

Current technologies and proven processes including those used in the Y2K
experience can be used to identify, prioritize, assess, instrument, and in real
time, monitor and manage the components and performance of what could be
called a “Minimum Essential National Infrastructure” (MENI).

To mitigate the immediate and far-reaching, cascading consequences arising


from infrastructure failure regardless of cause, the integration of sensor,
situational awareness, and visualization technologies can provide cascade
predictions, “intercept points”, and automated decision support to rapidly restore
minimum essential infrastructure services for a business, community and/or the
nation.

Efforts to empower responsible green implementation, and specifically identify,


attain and sustain blue capabilities would start with the MENI initiative. Then, as
understanding of “The Resilience Imperative” grows (or additional—otherwise
avoidable—consequences again demand), the nation could expand the MENI’s
scope and create a “National Infrastructure Resilience Initiative (NIRI).”

Against a list of national priorities, including application of sustainable and


consequence mitigating green technologies, the NIRI would identify current and
projected blue, security requirements and then assess the risks (threats,
vulnerabilities and consequences) of current infrastructure capacities. This
would be accomplished consistent with former Homeland Security Secretary Tom
Ridge’s vision and operational focus: “When America’s hometowns are secure,
the homeland will be secure.” The NIRI (like the MENI initiative) would redirect
identification of infrastructure performance standards, responsibilities and
authorities from Washington to America’s communities and states. Doing so
would give our communities and states a direct and effective voice in both
focusing Washington’s efforts and in shaping their own destiny.

Because of its national scope and an objective beyond the responsibilities of any
single federal department, both the MENI initiative and NIRI, like the Y2K effort,
will require a new, integrated leadership and management approach.
Accordingly, it would be wise to establish a National Infrastructure Resilience
Office (NIRO). The NIRO would create, lead and manage execution of a
comprehensive national strategy and programs to identify infrastructure
resilience requirements and provide for “ground-truth” assessments to accurately
triage, renew, and ensure resilient infrastructure service provision throughout the
21st Century and beyond.

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

Bottom Lines

As history has repeatedly proved, America must advance beyond current


traditional infrastructure protection programs and, in an all-hazards environment,
rebuild America’s decaying infrastructure. To that end, the nation can either:
• Accomplish infrastructure modernization proactively, intelligently and with
a coherent, disciplined standard and empowering objective, or
• It can continue the present modus-operandi and allow catastrophic
protected infrastructure failure to be inflicted upon us with exponentially
greater costs in lives lost, long-term human suffering, property and
economic damage, and societal breakdown, as well as a further loss of
faith in government.
A far superior 21st Century preparedness policy and program alternative—
Infrastructure Resilience—is within our grasp. It will resolve the current conflict
and symbiotically empower responsible green and blue imperatives. America
can either guarantee validation of the words of Spanish philosopher George
Santayana who wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to
repeat it,” or we can follow the lead of Winston Churchill who said, “History will be
kind to me for I intend to write it.”

The responsible choice is America’s to make. Beyond its protection, in renewing


and making the American infrastructure operationally resilient, we will build a far-
brighter future for our generation and generations to follow.

About the Author


Jeff Gaynor is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of
eNTEGRITI (www.entegriti.com). Prior to joining eNTEGRITI, Jeff directed the
Emergency Response and Critical Infrastructure efforts of the Homeland Security
Advisory Council—formerly the President’s Homeland Security Advisory
Council—and served as a Senior Executive in the Defense Department as the
Special Assistant for Homeland Security; the Acting Principal Director for
Security and Information Operations; and the Defense Secretary’s Director of
Year 2000 (Y2K) Operations. Prior to his Senior Executive appointment, Jeff
served as a Special Assistant for Information Systems Security and co-authored
the policies and developed programs enabling the creation of the Defense-wide
Information Assurance Program.

Mr. Gaynor retired from the Army as a Colonel. His service encompassed over
30 years of enlisted and commissioned, Armor, Infantry, and Military Intelligence
experience. His assignments included: Communications Monitor,
Counterintelligence Agent and Operations Officer; Infantry Advisor to Vietnamese
Territorial Forces; Brigade Intelligence Officer and Secretary General Staff, 25th
Infantry Division; Director of the Secretary of Defense/Chairman, Joint Chiefs of
Staff Current Intelligence Presentations Division, Defense Intelligence Agency;

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Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI Symposium

511th Military Intelligence Battalion Commander; Army Programs Officer, General


Defense Intelligence Program; and Presidential Communications and Security
Officer and Alternate Military Aide to the President during the Reagan and
George H. W. Bush administrations.

Mr. Gaynor is the recipient of: The Silver Star; Defense Superior Service Medal;
Legion of Merit; three awards of the Bronze Star Medal two for Valor; Combat
Infantryman’s, Joint Staff and Presidential Staff Identification Badges and two
awards of the Department of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.

About the Symposium


Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green is presented as a
public service of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 11350 Random Hills Rd.,
Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030. Web: www.riskinstitute.org.

The Public Entity Risk Institute provides these materials "as is," for educational
and informational purposes only, and without representation, guarantee or
warranty of any kind, express or implied, including any warranty relating to the
accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or usefulness of the content of this
material. Publication and distribution of this material is not an endorsement by
PERI, its officers, directors or employees of any opinions, conclusions or
recommendations contained herein. PERI will not be liable for any claims for
damages of any kind based upon errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in the
information or material contained here.
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