APWA Washington Report

LATEST NEWS

Agreement Reached on Funding the Remainder of Fiscal Year 2017

  • Over the weekend, Congressional negotiators tentatively reached agreement on funding the Federal Government for the remaining months of fiscal year 2017;
  • Broad details of the legislation were released this morning and if enacted, it will provide $1.1 trillion in funding through September 30, 2017;
  • The House is expected to vote on the measure Wednesday, with the Senate to follow before the current short-term continuing resolution expires on May 5;
  • Specific details of interest to public works which are included in the final fiscal year 2017 spending package will be provided in next week’s APWA Washington Report.

EPA Seeks Comments on Reducing Regulations

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling for public input regarding existing regulations which could be repealed, replaced or modified per Executive Order (EO) 13777;
  • This past February, President Trump signed EO 13777, which is intended to “…alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people”;
  • The order also requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations, and to identify regulations which could be repealed, replaced or modified to be less burdensome;
  • Comments are due to the EPA by May 15, 2017, and are to be submitted online at Regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190;
  • A web conference is being hosted by EPA on May 2, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm ET, and to participate in the web conference, please go to: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/owregulatoryforums/.

Update on Trump Administration Nominations

  • President Trump announced the nomination of Mr. David Bernhardt to serve as the Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior;
  • Mr. Bernhardt is a veteran of both Capitol Hill and the George W. Bush administration’s Interior Department;
  • Mr. Brock Long has been nominated by President Trump to be the next Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator;
  • Mr. Long has over fifteen years of experience in emergency management to include time as the Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency;
  • Mr. Long currently is the Executive Vice President for Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management firm;
  • For the Assistant Administrator position at FEMA, President Trump has nominated Mr. Thomas DiNanno;
  • Mr. DiNanno served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
  • Senate confirmation is not required for the FEMA Assistant Administrator position;
  • For Chief Information Officer at DHS, President Trump has nominated Mr. Richard Staropoli;
  • Most recently Mr. Staropoli served as the Managing Director, Counter-Party Risk/Chief Information Security Officer at Fortress Investment Group;
  • Mr. Staropoli also served as a Special Agent for 25 years for the U.S. Secret Service;
  • Senate confirmation is not required for this DHS position.

Multiple Emergency Management Bills Up in the House

  • This week the House will vote, under suspension of the rules (a procedure reserved for non-controversial bills), on three proposed measures focused on emergency preparedness;
  • H.R. 1665 – The Disaster Declaration Improvement Act, which is intended to ensure the FEMA Administrator gives greater weight to severe local impact or recent multiple disasters when making a recommendation to the President for a major disaster declaration, for additional information, click here;
  • H.R. 1679 – The FEMA Accountability, Modernization and  Transparency Act would require FEMA to modernize its grant management system to include applicant accessibility and transparency, for additional information, click here;
  • H.R. 1678 –Would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act concerning the statute of limitations for actions to recover disaster or emergency assistance payments, for additional information, click here.

ON THE HORIZON

  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 2, at 10:00 am ET to examine federal payments to local governments through the ‘Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act’ and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program–for more information, click here;
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 3 at 10:00 am ET entitled, “Infrastructure Project Streamlining and Efficiency: Achieving Faster, Better, and Cheaper Results”—for more information, click  here;
  • The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy has scheduled a hearing for May 3 at 10:00 am ET focusing on legislation to address modernization of pipeline and hydropower infrastructure—for more information, click here;
  • The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 3 at 10:00 am ET entitled, “Investing in America’s Broadband Infrastructure: Exploring Ways to Reduce Barriers to Deployment”—for more information, click here;
  • The House Committee on Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans has scheduled a hearing for May 3 at 2:30 pm ET entitled, “The Challenges of Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Opportunities for New Development”—for more information, click here;
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 4 at 10:00 am ET to examine the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse and to consider policy options to protect energy infrastructure—for more information, click here;

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing for May 4 at 10:00 am ET on reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program—for more information, click here