Continuity of Operations Plan
           Template
      Office of Water (4608-T) | EPA 817-B-14-007 | November 2014

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Please note: The golden key "sticky notes" located throughout the template provide additional
information and clarification for the user.  The sticky note will not appear on the printed version
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Continuity of Operations  Plan
 Department/Agency/Laboratory Name
 Month Day, Year
 Laboratory Name



 Street Address



 City, State Zip Code

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                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

BASIC PLAN	1
I.   PURPOSE, SCOPE, SITUATIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS	1
    A.  PURPOSE	1
    B.  SCOPE	1
    C.  SITUATION OVERVIEW	2
    D.  PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS	2
II.   CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS	3
    A.  PHASE I: READINESS AND PREPAREDNESS	3
    B.  PHASE II: ACTIVATION, REPRIORITIZATION AND/OR OUTSOURCING	3
    C.  PHASE III: CONTINUITY OPERATIONS	5
    D.  PHASE IV: RETURN TO NORMAL OPERATIONS	6
III.  ORGANIZATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES	6
IV.  DISASTER INTELLIGENCE	6
V.   COMMUNICATION	7
VI.  ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS	7
VII.  PLAN DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE	7
VIM. AUTHORITIES AND REFERENCES	8
FUNCTIONAL ANNEXES	9
I.   Essential Functions Annex	9
    A.  IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS	9
II.   Continuity Facilities Annex	9
III.  Continuity Communications Annex	9
IV.  Test, Training and Exercises (TT&E) Program Annex	10
HAZARD-SPECIFIC APPENDICES	10
ANNEX IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS	11

ANN EX A. GLOSSARY	A-l
ANNEXE. AUTHORITIES AND REFERENCES	B-l
ANNEX C. ACRONYMS	C-l

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                                             PLAN V
I.      PURPOSE, SCOPE, SITUATIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS

       A.                 ^

       This document outlines the Continuity of Operations Plan for
       Laboratory Name

       Heretofore, Laboratory Name
       will be referred to within this document as "the Laboratory."

       The overall purpose of continuity planning is to ensure that essential laboratory functions
       are continued with or without minimal delay under all conditions. The Laboratory is
       committed to continuing all aspects of its critical activities during a reduction of its core
       services. In addition, the Laboratory is dedicated to safely and promptly resuming normal
       operations after an event. The Plan recognizes that reaching out to other (e.g.,  local,
       Environmental Response Laboratory Network [ERLNj/Water Laboratory Alliance [WLA])
       laboratories for support may be necessary due to separate or concurrent events, such as the
       result of a natural disaster, major water main break, pandemic flu, terrorist attack or other
       event(s). While the severity and consequences of an emergency cannot be predicted,
       effective contingency planning may minimize the impact on the Laboratory's mission,
       personnel and facilities.

       During an emergency, the Laboratory Director or assigned person (see Appendix A, Key
       Personnel) continues to exercise general direction, control and overall supervision of
       laboratory resources. The Laboratory Director has the authority to commit laboratory
       resources, to ensure the continuation of essential functions, which will help minimize the
       impact of the disaster on the community. Furthermore, the Laboratory Director will
       coordinate with the Incident Commander (1C), Environment Unit (EU), utility manager or
       other Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) depending on the magnitude of the incident.

       B.             ^

       This COOP applies to the functions, operations and resources necessary to ensure the
       continuation of the Laboratory's essential functions in the event its normal operations are
       disrupted or threatened with disruption. This plan applies to all Laboratory personnel. The
       Laboratory staff should be familiar with continuity policies and procedures and  their
       respective continuity roles and responsibilities. This document assists the Laboratory in the

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maintenance of its essential missions and functions under all threats and conditions, with or
without warning, which includes but is not limited to:
      Personnel
      Equipment
      Supplies and reagents
      Data management
      Clerical and other support personnel
The Laboratory's risk assessment is found in Appendix B. This risk assessment addresses the
following:
      Cross training of personnel to ensure redundancy of capability
      Back-up instrumentation
      Electrical power failure (e.g., back-up generators)
      Procedures to rapidly obtain supplies and reagents
      Access to other laboratories for analytical support (e.g., membership within ERLN/
       WLA and/or Water/Wastewater Agency Response Networks [WARN] to have access
       to additional resources to address capability and capacity issues during an
       emergency [e.g., supplies, personnel])
      Information Technology (IT) support and procedures to address Laboratory
       Information Management System (LIMS)
      Procedures in place to ensure appropriate support staff are available to support
       laboratory core activities
This COOP is based on the following assumptions:
      An emergency condition may require the redistribution of the Laboratory's
       resources (e.g., prioritization of critical sample analyses)
      An assessment of the Laboratory will be made to determine if, and to what extent
       the COOP will be activated
      Ideally the Laboratory will begin essential functions within 24 hours or less from the
       time the COOP is activated, for potentially up to a 30-day period or until normal
       operations can be  resumed
      In the event that the Laboratory is not able to conduct essential functions due to the
       loss of personnel, equipment or damage to the facility, the Laboratory will reach out
       to other laboratories to obtain the necessary support
      Samples may need to be shipped to alternate laboratories for analyses

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II.
              Procedures will be in place for preservation and shipment/transport of samples to
              other laboratories, as necessary, to ensure continuation of essential functions
              The Laboratory is a member of the ERLN/WLA
              Other Insert other assumption (e.g., the Laboratory, as part of [Utility Name], is a
                    member of the State WARN)
       The Laboratory will participate in the full spectrum of readiness and preparedness activities
       to ensure personnel can continue essential functions in an all-hazard threat environment.
       The Laboratory's readiness activities are divided into two key areas:
             Laboratory readiness and preparedness
             Personnel readiness and preparedness

       Laboratory Readiness and Preparedness
       The Laboratory preparedness incorporates the use of the following tools and activities:
       Yes       Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT)
       Yes       Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Restoration Following Homeland
                Security Events
       Yes       Compendium of Environmental Testing Laboratories (Laboratory Compendium)
       Yes       Established relationships with local laboratories
       Yes       Membership in the ERLN/WLA and WARN
       Yes       Annual review of COOP
       Yes       Modification of the COOP based on exercises and trainings

       Personnel Readiness and Preparedness
       The Laboratory personnel preparedness incorporates:
       Yes       Annual trainings to familiarize personnel with the COOP
       Yes       Cross-training of staff to ensure redundancy of analytical capability
       Yes       Exercises
       Yes       Other  insert additional activities
       To ensure the ability to attain operational capability at the laboratory or at a supporting
       laboratory with minimal disruption to operations, the Laboratory will execute the COOP as
       described below.

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The decision to activate the Laboratory's COOP and related actions will be tailored for the
situation and based on projected or actual impact and whether or not there is warning. To
support the decision-making process regarding plan activation, key laboratory personnel will
use the decision matrix below to support that process.

As the decision authority, the Laboratory Director will be kept informed of the threat
environment using all available means, including the Laboratory's Emergency
Communications Center, regional notification systems, Alertnet systems, local operations
and State and local reporting channels and news media.

Alert and Notification Procedures
The Laboratory Director maintains plans and procedures for communicating and
coordinating activities with personnel before, during and after a continuity event.

Before an event, personnel in the laboratory will monitor advisory information, including
insert applicable systems
In the event normal operations are interrupted or an incident appears to be imminent, the
Laboratory will take the following steps to communicate the laboratory's operating status
with all staff:

       (1) The Laboratory Director or designated successor will notify
       insert office/title/authority
       of the emergency requiring lab COOP activation

       (2) Refer to Appendix C for notification steps

       (3) The Laboratory's personnel will notify family members, next of kin and/or
       emergency contacts of COOP activation

Upon the decision to activate the COOP, the Laboratory Director will notify all Laboratory
personnel, as well as other entities with information regarding continuity activation,
operational and communications status and the anticipated duration. Additional entities
may include:
      EPA Regions
      WARN/WLA
      Local laboratories (e.g., public health)
      Other insert additional entities

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                    ra)
Prioritization Process  y
Once the COOP is activated and personnel are notified, the Laboratory will prioritize
resources to ensure the continuation of essential functions. Laboratory personnel will
perform essential functions and other continuity-related tasks.

In the event of an activation of the COOP, the Laboratory may need to procure necessary
personnel, equipment and supplies that are not already in place for continuity operations
on an emergency basis.
The insert office/title/authority
maintains the authority for emergency procurement. Instructions for these actions are
found in Appendix D.
                             (5)
Accessing Additional Resources \j
Upon activation of the COOP, the  Laboratory Director will follow the
insert protocol name
located in Appendix E, to determine whether emergency assistance in the form of
laboratory personnel, equipment, materials and other associated services are necessary,
from other water/wastewater or commercial laboratories. The Laboratory Director, in
conjunction with the Utility Director, will consult the State-specific Mutual Aid and
Assistance Agreement, located in Appendix F for activation of the WARN.

Depending on the magnitude of the continuity event, the Laboratory Director may seek
further support from the ERLN/WLA to provide assistance or conduct analyses. The
Laboratory Director will consult the WLA Response Plan (RP), located in Appendix G, for
guidance on securing laboratory support. Additionally, the Laboratory Director will consult
the Laboratory Compendium and the EPA Regional Laboratory Director for assistance in
identifying an appropriate support laboratory.
Upon activation of the COOP, the Laboratory will continue to perform essential functions
until ordered to outsource some or all essential functions due to capacity issues by the
insert Authority
using insert method of notification
At that time, essential functions will either be performed by the Laboratory with additional
laboratory support or be transferred in whole to local or network laboratories. The
Laboratory should ensure that the COOP can be operational within 12 hours of plan
activation, based on FEMA recommendations.

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       The Laboratory will return to normal operations when the Laboratory Director or other
       authorized person determines that the emergency has ended and is unlikely to reoccur.
       Once the appropriate authority has made this determination in coordination with other
       state, local and/or other applicable authorities, one or a combination of the following
       options may be implemented, depending on the situation:

       Upon verification that the required capabilities are available and operational and that the
       Laboratory is fully capable of accomplishing all essential functions and operations, the
       insert office/title/authority
       will begin supervising a return of personnel, equipment and documents. The return of
       personnel, functions and equipment will follow the priority-based plan and schedule
       outlined below. The Laboratory will develop return plans based on the incident and facility
       within   #  hours of COOP activation.
              See Appendix H for priority-based phase-down and return plan

       The Laboratory will continue to conduct essential functions through a supporting network
       laboratory until ordered to cease operations by the
       Authority
       using  insert method of notification
       At that time, essential functions will transfer back to the laboratory. The Laboratory has
       developed plans to instruct personnel on how to resume normal operations as outlined
       below. The  Laboratory will develop resumption plans based on the incident and facility
       within   #  hours of COOP activation.
              See Appendix I for normal operations resumption plan
III.                        AND                  OF                         V

Key staff positions within the Laboratory, to include individual continuity members, those identified
in the orders of succession and delegation of authority, the Laboratory's Continuity Coordinator,
continuity managers and others possess additional continuity responsibilities. The responsibilities of
these key continuity personnel are delineated in Appendix J.
iv.                                    V
During a continuity event, the Laboratory will require the collection and dissemination of critical
information. While specific incidents may require additional or specialized reporting requirements,

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the table in Appendix K lists examples of the information that would be collected and reported
regardless of incident type.
V.     COMMUNICATION V

The Laboratory has identified available and redundant critical communications systems that are
located at the laboratory. Further, the Laboratory maintains fully capable continuity
communications that support needs during all hazards and threats, to include pandemic and other
related emergencies. All of the Laboratory's necessary and required communications, IT capabilities
and LIMS should be operational within 12 hours of COOP activation. The Laboratory has evaluated
their LIMS and has become familiar with electronic data deliverables that may be required if data
needs to be reported within an ICS to either an 1C or the EU.
VI.    ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS y

Depending on the type and duration of the emergency the Laboratory will have established multiple
agreements to ensure timely assistance. The Laboratory has established the following non-funded
agreements: e.g., MOUs and EMACs with alternative laboratories
In the event the emergency renders the laboratory incapable of providing essential functions for an
extended period of time, the Laboratory has also established funded agreements
e.g., MOAsand POs
The Laboratory maintains a budget for these funded agreements.
VII.   PLAN DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE ^

The Laboratory Director is responsible for maintaining the Laboratory's COOP. The COOP will be
reviewed by  insert office name
and updated annually from the date of publication. The Laboratory is responsible for the annual
plan review and update. In addition, the COOP will be updated or modified when there are contact
information changes or other events that affect continuity processes or procedures. Comments or
suggestions for improving this plan may be provided to
insert name and contact information

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                                Maintenance Chart
Responsibility Frequency
Update COOP plan
Update telephone rosters
Review status of vital files, records and databases
Conduct alert and notification tests
Develop and lead COOP training
Plan COOP exercises
(e.g., Quarterly)
(e.g., Quarterly)
(e.g., Semi-Annually)
(e.g., Semi-Annually)
(e.g., Semi-Annually)
(e.g., Quarterly)
VIII.  AUTHORITIES AND REFERENCES
Please refer to Appendix L for key authorities and references on which the laboratory's COOP is
based. Additional references maybe listed in Annex B.

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                          FUNCTIONAL ANNEXES

I.      Essential Functions Annex

       A,     . :-;NT .-   .   .    . /  
      The Laboratory has completed the MEF process to identify those functions that should
      continue.

      Laboratory MEFs
      Each laboratory should identify and prioritize their organizational MEFs and ensure the
      continued performance of those MEFs.

      The Laboratory's MEFs are validated  and approved by
       Laboratory approving official and title (if applicable)

      The Laboratory's MEFs are located in Appendix M.


II.    Continuity Facilities Annex y
III.    Continuity Communications Annex y

The Laboratory has identified available and redundant critical communication systems. Further, the
Laboratory maintains fully capable continuity communications that could support the laboratory's
communication and data reporting during all hazards and threats, to include pandemic and other
related emergencies. These systems provide the ability to communicate and report data within and
outside the organization. Please refer to Appendix N.

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IV.    Test, Training and Exercises (TT&E) Program Annex
The Laboratory has established an effective TT&E program to support the organization's
preparedness and validate the continuity capabilities, program and ability to perform essential
functions during any emergency. The testing, training and exercising of continuity capabilities are
essential to demonstrating, assessing and improving the Laboratory's ability to execute the COOP.

      Training familiarizes personnel with their roles and responsibilities in support of the
       performance of the laboratory's essential functions during an event
      Tests and exercises serve to assess, validate or identify for subsequent correction, all
       components of the COOP, policies, procedures, systems and facilities used in response to an
       event. Periodic testing also ensures that equipment and procedures are kept in a constant
       state of readiness.

The Laboratory performs TT&E events at regular intervals, as shown in the table below.
As
Continuity TT&E Requirements Monthly Quarterly Annually
Test and validate equipment to ensure internal and
external interoperability and viability of
communications systems
Test alert, notification and activation procedures for
all personnel
Test primary and back-up infrastructure systems and
services at continuity facilities
Test capabilities to perform essential functions
Test plans for recovering critical information systems,
services and data
Test and exercise required physical security
capabilities
Test internal and external interdependencies with
respect to performance of essential functions
Train continuity personnel on roles and
responsibilities
































                         HAZARD-SPECIFIC APPENDICES
Please refer to Appendix O for special planning needs generated by a particular hazard or hazards.
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                ANNEX IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS




Please refer to Appendix P for implementing instructions.
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                     ANNEX A. GLOSSARY




Define key words and phrases
                                                                 A-l

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Define key words and phrases
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            ANNEX B. AUTHORITIES AND REFERENCES

AUTHORITIES and REFERENCES:
List the authorities and references used in this plan.
                                                                    B-l

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                      ANNEX C. ACRONYMS V
List of acronyms and abbreviations used in this plan
                                                                      C-l

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