Aging and Failing Infrastructure

This module provides a roadmap to understanding trends that lead to infrastructure failure, and potential impacts to the nation’s critical infrastructure systems.

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Resource List

These resources provide a baseline understanding of key issues related to the complex problem of aging and failing infrastructure systems, and may be updated as new data becomes available.


  • American Society of Civil Engineers: Publishes the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which is widely referenced in discussions of the condition of infrastructure assets and systems. The latest Infrastructure Report Cards and sub-reports can be accessed at
  • Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection: Leads and coordinates national programs and policies on critical infrastructure security and resilience, and has established partnerships across government and private sector to coordinate infrastructure protection activities with stakeholders for 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified in Presidential Policy Directive 21. Conducts vulnerability and consequence assessments and offers tools to help stakeholders understand and address risks. More information at Information on the 16 critical infrastructure sectors and their Sector-Specific Agencies can be found at Additional specific sector resources are listed below.
  • Department of Homeland Security, Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis: Conducts analysis on a range of infrastructure topics in support of DHS efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure through integrated analytical approaches, evaluating consequences of disruption from physical or cyber incidents. More information at Products are restricted-access.
  • George Mason University, Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security: Publishes the CIP Report, which has dedicated numerous issues to the topic of aging infrastructure and infrastructure failure. Current and past editions can be found at

Sector-Specific Resources:

Recent Publications:

Other Resources:

  • 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review: Interdependent and aging critical infrastructure systems and networks were identified in the 2014 QHSR as key driver in the strategic homeland security environment.
    • Citation: Department of Homeland Security, “2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review,” 18 June 2014.
    • Citation: Abstract and link to pdf can be found at, Web, 10 March 2017.
  • Quadrennial Energy Review: Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System: Published as the second installment of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis Quadrennial Energy Review, this document discusses the strategic security and economic criticality of the electric system.
  • Presidential Policy Directive 21—Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: While it does not directly address aging infrastructure, PPD-21 provides executive branch direction focusing on improving resilience of infrastructure systems, understanding the complex nature of cascading consequences of infrastructure failures, and developing comprehensive research and development.
  • Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act”: Signed in 2015 to provide long-term funding for planning and investment in surface transportation.

These materials were developed as an initiative of the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security (HSx) curriculum at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

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