Appendix 1: Infrastructure and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


One way of using "infrastructure" can be found in a document produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE, 2001).  The ASCE focuses its concerns on what it deems to be the most important elements of the nation's physical infrastructure and the current status of these most important elements of the nation's infrastructure.   The ASCE is particularly concerned by the fact that elements of the nation's physical infrastructure have not undergone major improvement in many years.  The ASCE has highlighted the status of these major elements of infrastructure in a "report card" that they released in 2001.  (ASCE, 2001)  The assigned grades are based on "condition and performance, capacity vs. need, and funding vs. need".


ASCE 2001 Infrastructure Report Card


D+    Roads
C      Bridges
C-    Transit
D      Aviation
D-     Schools
D      Drinking Water
D      Wastewater
D      Dams
C+   Solid Waste
D+   Hazardous Waste
D+   Navigable Waterways
D+   Energy


The resulting grade point average is a "D+" for "poor". Based on their evaluation, the ASCE estimates that 1.3 trillion dollars needs to be invested in rebuilding the nation's infrastructure over the next five years.  The failure to do so, they argue, will have a very deleterious impact on the nation's economy.  (ASCE, 2001)



Appendix 2:  The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce ~ Another Perspective on Critical Infrastructure


There are many different ways of viewing the relative importance of specific kinds of infrastructure, some stated in terms of a well defined context, others not.  One approach might emphasize the economic role that infrastructure sectors may be seen to play in contributing to the domestic gross national product. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce has provided an example of this approach.  In the year 2000, the Bureau rank ordered critical infrastructure sectors in the following manner:

Critical Sector GDP: 2000 Gross Domestic Product (in $Billions) of Critical Sectors ________________________________________________________________________
Sector                                                                                                         GDP 



~ Finance, insurance, and real estate

~ Electric, gas, and sanitary services 

~ Telephone and telegraph 
~ Manufacturing, non-durable chemicals and allied products

~ Manufacturing, non-durable food and kindred products 
~ Oil and gas extraction 
~ Transportation by air                                                                                 

~ Farms
~ Manufacturing, non-durable petroleum and coal products
~ Railroad transportation 
~ Local and Inter-urban passenger transit 
~ Water transportation 
~ Coal mining 
~ Pipelines, except natural gas                                                                      


Total Critical Sector GDP                                                                          


Total US GDP                                                                                           


$US GDP Represented by Critical Sectors                                                   



















                                                        Source: 2000 Bureau of Economic Analysis 
                                                                  As cited by Lawrence D. Dietz (2002) 

The table can be seen as being somewhat misleading since critical infrastructure sectors are interdependent and cannot, in the final analysis, be viewed in isolation from one another.   The table is also potentially misleading in that the figures that are used do not reflect future costs or past sunk costs.  An example might involve nuclear power. The contribution of the nuclear power industry to the energy sector does not include the costs that will occur in the future of handling, processing, and storing hazardous waste.


Another example of future costs that are not reflected in current numbers have to do with the cost of taking action to reverse deteriorating conditions that have occurred or that will inevitably continue to occur over time, concerns that the ASCE has underscored. (See Appendix 12.)


The table is also misleading in that there are other sectors that are not included in the list that may be seen as contributing in an indirect, but essential ways to the placement of the sectors on the list.  Problems or failures involving sectors that are not on the list could have devastating impacts on sectors that are on the list.  For instance, what would be the effect on business and industry if the Internet became dysfunctional or computer security were to be widely breached?  What would be the effect on the financial sector, on maritime and air transport, and on defense if GPS were to become dysfunctional?


Viewed in this manner, it becomes apparent there would be definite drawbacks in using the rank-ordered list to determine what areas of critical infrastructure most merit attention. 



Appendix 3: The September 10, 2002 Washington Post Assessment


An interesting approach to defining significant elements of the nation's infrastructure can be found in an article by Eric Pianin, Marc Kaufman and others in the September 10, 2002 Washington Post entitled "How Experts Grade Homeland Security".   In this article, the authors report on the status of the nation's homeland security efforts, including the nation's critical infrastructure protection efforts. The categories of infrastructure used were quite different from those used by the ASCE (Appendix 12).  This is partly explained by the fact that the context of their use is quite different.  The authors of the Washington Post article have their own way of defining and categorizing the various kinds of "critical infrastructure".


The following list includes all of the categories and subcategories used in the Washington Post article.  Experts were selected by the Washington Post to provide brief assessments and assign letter grades in each subcategory.  Note:  "INC" stands for "Incomplete".


The September 10, 2002 Washington Post Assessment



F       Airports
B       Airlines
A       Trains, Trucks, and Buses
C       Ports and Shipping
B/C- Bridges, Tunnels and Dams
B       Public Transit Systems



A-/B+ Nuclear Power Plants
C       Oil, Gas, Electrical Facilities



B       Food and Agriculture
D      Chemicals, Hazardous Materials
B/B-  Defense Facilities
B+    Mail
B      Water Treatment




B       Department of Justice
B-      Intelligence Agencies
B       Department of Defense
D-      Health and Human Services
C-/D+ Homeland Security Department
INC    First Responders


Public Places


D      National Landmarks
C     Office, Apartment Buildings
C+   Shopping Malls
D     Stadiums and Arenas




B-    INS/Border Patrol
C+   Visas




B-    Internet, Computer Networks
INC  Telecommunications
D      Banking and Finance


In giving a letter grade to a subcategory, the designated expert provided a relatively brief paragraph explaining the reason for the grade.   Each expert used his or her own set of criteria for grading.  The criteria were often more implicit than explicit.  Even so, it is evident that the criteria used for making the assessments varied greatly from expert to expert.  Indeed ways of defining and understanding challenges and threats varied greatly.  The apparent objectives that the expert thought needed to be achieved also varied greatly.







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