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Pennsylvania's Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure (CI) consists of the public and private assets and networks. These physical or virtual assets are vital. Their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on:

  • National security
  • The economy
  • Public health
  • Public safety, or any combination thereof

CI could be a local power station, the highway system around a major city, or a government building.

Key Resources (KR) are public or private commodities. They are essential to the health and well-being of:

  • The citizenry
  • The economy
  • Continuity of government

A reservoir that holds drinking water for a community is a key resource.

The Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has developed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) The NIPP requires each state to develop and install its own critical infrastructure protection (CIP) plan. Pennsylvania's CIP plan, the Commonwealth Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan (CCIPP), addresses responsibilities at the state, county and municipal levels. Various federal and state laws set the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved in Homeland Security and protection planning.   

IP Gateway

An imporant step to protect Pennsylvania's critical infrastructure is to identify our CI sites. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security (GOHS) works with various state departments and agencies to define what is CI. The GOHS works with PA industry stakeholders and owners to identify our CI and key resources. 

The GOHS uses a tool called IP Gateway. If there was an emergency at one of these sites, this secure web-based tool aids:

  • law enforcement
  • public safety
  • emergency response

Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII)

The Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program, managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), is designed to encourage owners/operators of private sector critical infrastructure, key resources and significant special events (CIKR) to share sensitive, security-related business information with the Federal government.

The PCII program offers an information-protection, software tool that facilitates information sharing between the government and private sector. DHS and other federal, state and local analysts use PCII in pursuit of a more secure homeland, assisting in the 

  • Analyzing and securing critical  infrastructure and protected systems
  • Identifying vulnerabilities and developing risk assessments
  • Enhancing recovery preparedness measures

Information submitted, if found to satisfy the requirements codified in the Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002 (Cll Act), is protected from public disclosure under the following:

  • The Freedom of Information Act
  • State and local disclosure laws
  • Use in civil litigation