In 2016, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 was signed and passed, which revised the Homeland Security Act to include EMP & GMD Planning, and required the Department of Homeland Security to recommend strategies to protect Critical Infrastructure. The DHS also published “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Protection and Restoration guidelines for Equipment and Facilities” that defined EMP Protection levels.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy released “Electromagnetic Pulse Resilience Action Plan” which set 5 goals:
- Improve and Share Understanding of EMP
- Identify Priority Infrastructure
- Test Protection Approaches
- Enhance Response and Recovery Capabilities and
- Share Best Practices
In March 2019, the President signed an EMP Executive Order, which focuses on 5 tasks:
- Identify national critical functions and associated priority critical infrastructure at greatest risk from EMPs
- Improving understanding of EMP effects
- Evaluating approaches to mitigate the effects of EMPs
- Strengthening critical infrastructure to withstand the effects of EMPs and
- Improving national response to EMP threats
This helped start the conversation regarding EMPs, and how we protect our infrastructure today. There are many groups and organizations working towards a better understanding of the risk of an EMP event, and the effects EMPs can have on equipment. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Federal EMP Commission have strongly stated that EMP protection should be considered at major Control Centers that regulate the bulk power system in the United States.