LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has too many facilities that are vulnerable to a cyber or terror attack, according to a report Friday.
The findings in a report obtained by the Daily News showed sites without any security cameras, vehicle inspections, or a lack of physical security that could deter intruders from efforts to black out portions of the DWP’s power grid.
Released by City Controller Ron Galperin in December, the “2015 Industrial, Economic and Administrative Survey of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power” report found, among other things, brush and weeds left untended at one power generating station that could allow any potential terrorists to hide without detection.
The report also alleges one “critical transmission center” had no working security cameras or alarms, according to the Daily News.
In response to the findings, DWP Chief Administrative Officer David Wright told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he largely agrees with the report.
“How could we let cameras remain broken for longer than a day, until it takes some time to get out? We need to improve vegetation management, so you can’t have somebody hiding in bushes outside a power facility,” Wright said. “It does show areas where we need to improve and we need to do better.”
The report comes 15 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., which spurred local officials to rethink security measures at transmission facilities across the region.
L.A. City Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who chairs the Energy and Environment Committee, told KNX 1070 he’s moving to reform the DWP because of what he says are multiple failures on security.
“It just underscores the need that we need a utility that is managed full-time by directors, What we’ve got today is a part-time, volunteer-driven commission and it’s just not managing the utility, the utility is managing them.”
According to the report, “most if not all” of the suggested security recommendations for DWP facilities “would be low-cost and could be done with [DWP] staff,” but have so far not been implemented.