Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday held the first of a series of three meetings with members of the private sector in an effort to improve security of the nation's critical infrastructure. Leaders from several Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) were present, including those from the Energy, Nuclear, Water, and Chemical Sectors.
Also Tuesday, DHS launched a new website designed to increase public awareness of critical infrastructure security. Among other things, the new website provides publicly-accessible information regarding the need to safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR), including potential vulnerabilities at chemical facilities and information about the National Response Framework.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), released December 17, 2003, identified seventeen CIKR sectors: Agriculture and Food; Banking and Finance; Chemical; Commercial Facilities; Communications; Dams; Defense Industrial Base; Emergency Services; Energy; Government Facilities; Healthcare and Public Health; Information Technology; National Monuments and Icons; Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste; Postal and Shipping; Transportation Systems (including mass transit); and Water. An eighteenth CIKR, Critical Manufacturing, was formally established in 2008 by former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. The majority of the eighteen CIKRs are owned and operated by the private sector, creating a need for close collaboration between industry and DHS. SCCs from the CIKRs serve as coordinating entities.