APWA – Washington Report – January 29, 2018

January 29, 2018

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LATEST NEWS

President Trump to Share Infrastructure Plans in State of the Union

  • On Tuesday, President Trump is scheduled to make his first State of the Union address before Congress at 9:00 pm ET;
  • President Trump will likely use this address as an opportunity to build momentum for sweeping infrastructure legislation;
  • Last week, a leaked document purported to be from the White House gave a glimpse of what the Administration has planned for infrastructure reform;
  • The document outlined steps such as greater participation by states and more private investment in infrastructure through mechanisms such as tolling;
  • One quarter of the funding from the proposal would go towards rural infrastructure, including broadband, water and wastewater;
  • There were no details on the total amount of funding, or where the funding would come from;
  • It is expected that the speech on Tuesday will reiterate the rumored $200 billion federal investment;
  • Members of Congress have expressed some doubts about finding the necessary funding;
  • You may read the document here.

APWA Government Affairs Committee Meeting in D.C. Next Week

  • Beginning February 6 and concluding on February 9, the APWA Government Affairs Committee (GAC) will conduct their annual Washington, D.C. meeting;
  • The Committee will meet with staff from federal agencies, and staff representing Members of Congress and their Congressional Committees;
  • GAC members will be meeting with Congressional staff from the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the House Energy & Commerce Committee;
  • The federal agencies GAC members will be meeting with include the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), FirstNET, and possibly a representative from the White House;
  • GAC members will also receive a tour of the National Weather Service (NWS) Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD;
  • APWA Government Affairs will provide a summary of the meeting in the February 12 edition of the Washington Report.

WOTUS Delay May be Infeasible

  • The Supreme Court will issue a mandate from its January 22 decision on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule;
  • The mandate will be issued no later than February 16;
  • In the mandate, the Court will direct federal district courts to hear challenges to the stayed rule;
  • At that time, the ruling will immediately lift the hold on the rule;
  • The Trump Administration has been seeking to rescind and rewrite the rule;
  • The Administration is currently working on a final rule that would push implementation of WOTUS until 2020;
  • However, a draft of the rule has not yet been submitted for review;
  • If a rule is not issued prior to the court mandate, WOTUS could go into effect;
  • As many as 30 states may file for another stay in district court;
  • APWA submitted comments on clarifying WOTUS last fall.

Wildfire Assistance Grants Available Through the NFPA

  • 2018 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Grants offered through State Farm and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are available to support community wildfire risk reduction projects;
  • This year will mark the 5th year of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which falls on May 5;
  • Communities can apply for the $500 grants through March 2;
  • Examples of projects include community clean-up days, fire prevention workshops and youth community service projects;
  • Additional information may be found here.

2017 National 911 Progress Report Released

  • Last week, the National 911 Progress report was released;
  • The report summarizes data gathered from 48 participating states and territories, with the goal of improving local, state and regional emergency communication systems;
  • The National 911 Program was created under the USDOT and is overseen by the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a directive to provide Federal leadership and coordination in promoting 911 services;
  • You may view the report here.

FCC to Vote on Proposal to Improve Emergency Alert Notifications

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has scheduled a vote for Tuesday, on a proposal designed to allow wireless carriers to send emergency alerts to more specific locations;
  • The proposal would make it easier to narrow the location of an emergency alert to a radius of one-tenth of a mile;
  • The current range is only within a specific county;
  • This action falls in line with FCC efforts to improve communications during natural disasters following the recent hurricanes and wildfires;
  • You may view the text of the proposal here;
  • You may click here to follow the meeting live.

ON THE HORIZON

  • On January 30 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing on the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Service – click here to follow live;
  • On January 30 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee has scheduled an oversight hearing to receive testimony from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt – click here to follow live;
  • On January 30 at 10:00 am ET, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications & Technology has scheduled a hearing entitled, “Closing the Digital Divide: Broadband Infrastructure Solutions,” – click here to follow live;
  • On January 30 at 11:00 am ET, the House Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a mark-up hearing to discuss H.R. 3808, the Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017 – click here for additional information;
  • On January 30 at 2:00pm ET, the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation & Protective Security and Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response & Communications are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on securing surface transportation systems – click here to follow live