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Pennsylvania’s Critical Infrastructure

Critical Infrastructure are those assets, systems, and networks that provide functions necessary for our way of life. Their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on:

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

Critical Infrastructure can be power stations, highway systems, or a government building.

The term “key resources” means publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.

  • The citizenry
  • The economy
  • Continuity of government

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

The Department of Homeland Security has developed a National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) to protect those assets critical to the nation. The NIPP requires each state to develop and install its own critical infrastructure protection plan or program. Pennsylvania's program, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CIPP), 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.

CISA Gateway

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

OHS uses a tool called CISA Gateway. This site is a Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) tool. 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, is designed to encourage owners/operators of private sector critical infrastructure, key resources, and significant special events 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