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APWA Advocacy News – July 16

Stay apprised of developments on Capitol Hill through APWA’s Advocacy News at www.apwa.net and @APWAGovAffairs on Twitter.

LATEST NEWS

APWA Hosting U.S. and Canada Infrastructure Roundtable

  • On July 18, APWA, in coordination with CPWA and sponsored by the U.S. House Public Works & Infrastructure Caucus, is hosting an infrastructure focused roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill;
  • APWA President William “Bo” Mills will provide opening remarks and Executive Director Scott Grayson will serve as moderator;
  • The roundtable participants are:
    • Mr. Grover Burthey, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy
    • Congressman Jack Bergman, Michigan
    • Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, Connecticut
    • Congressman John Faso, New York
    • Congressman Brian Higgins, New York
    • Congressman Jared Huffman, California
    • Congressman Rick Larsen, Washington
    • Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Michigan
    • Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, California
    • The Honourable Steven Blaney, MP, Quebec
    • Mr. Ted Falk, MP, Manitoba
    • Ms.Carol Hughes, MP, Ontario
    • Mr. Terry Sheehan, MP, Ontario
  • The anticipated topics of discussion include: Innovation, Data and Connected Technology, Rural Infrastructure, Trade and Transportation, and Green Infrastructure.

APWA Hosting Congressional Briefing on NFIP

  • On July 19, APWA will be hosting a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) briefing on Capitol Hill, sponsored by the U.S. House Public Works & Infrastructure Caucus;
  • The one-hour brief, titled “Experiences from the Front Lines”, will be moderated by Executive Director Scott Grayson;
  • The brief will provide an opportunity for congressional offices to hear from APWA members about their first-hand experiences with NFIP;
  • For additional information on the brief please contact APWA Government Affairs Manager Marty Williams.

Senate Passes NFIP Extension

CEQ Announces Extension for NEPA Comments

  • The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has extended the deadline for comments on the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) until August 20;
  • CEQ is considering potential revisions to update and clarify CEQ NEPA regulations, specifically, revisions to update and clarify the NEPA process and the scope of NEPA review;
  • The greater degree of specificity, the more beneficial the input will be in the process;
  • This would include providing specific recommendations on additions, deletions, and modifications to the text of CEQ’s NEPA regulations and their justifications;
  • To view the request in full, click here;
  • If you wish to submit comments, please send those to APWA Government Affairs Manager Marty Williams on or before August 15;
  • You may also submit comments directly, citing docket number CEQ-2018-0001, at https://www.regulations.gov.

APWA Submits Testimony on Federal Infrastructure Loan Programs

  • Last week, APWA submitted a letter for the record to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee in advance of a hearing entitled, “The Long-Term Value to U.S. Taxpayers of Low-cost Federal Infrastructure Loans”;
  • APWA is supportive of low-cost Federal infrastructure loan programs such as the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), and the newly introduced Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) programs;
  • The SRF WIN Act was recently included as part of S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which was passed unanimously by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee in May;
  • Senate staff are preparing to get S. 2800 to the floor soon;
  • To learn more about these Federal infrastructure loan programs or S. 2800, please contact APWA Government Affairs Manager Sean Garcia.

FEMA Releases Partner Strategy Session Transcript

  • On May 15, APWA President William “Bo” Mills was a participant in a day-long invitation only Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Partner Strategy Session (PSS) at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C.;
  • Along with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and several other FEMA officials, there were approximately thirty first responders and emergency management professionals from state, local, territorial, and tribal organizations in attendance;
  • In 2017 Administrator Long selected APWA to participate in this nationwide working group;
  • President Mills shared the challenges and demands faced by public works professionals in emergency situations as well as the integral role they play as first responders;
  • To view the May 15 PSS transcript, click here.

FEMA’s 2017 Hurricane Report Released

  • Late last week, FEMA released its “2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report”;
  • The report focuses on the response and initial recovery efforts (August 25 to November 30) following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria;
  • To view the report, click here.

FCC Votes on National Emergency Alert Testing Systems

  • Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to make modifications to alert notifications from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA);
  • The rule change is designed to improve the EAS by preventing false alerts and improve testing;
  • The FCC introduced procedures for authorized state and local officials to conduct “live code” tests of the EAS, which use the same alert codes and processes as would be used in actual emergencies;
  • Additionally, the move would require EAS equipment to be configured in a manner that can help prevent false alerts and requires an EAS participant, such as a broadcaster or cable system, to notify the FCC if it discovers that it has transmitted a false alert;
  • The FCC will also be seeking comments on the performance of the WEA, including how such performance should be measured and whether, and if so, how the Commission should address inconsistent delivery of these messages;
  • For additional information and to review the FCC release on the changes, click here.


ON THE HORIZON

  • On July 17 at 9:45 am ET, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on a discussion draft bill titled the “Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018” – click here for more information;
  • On July 17 at 10:00 am ET, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Communications & Technology Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on realizing the benefits of rural broadband – click here for more information;
  • On July 18 at 10:00 am ET, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings & Emergency Management is scheduled to hold a hearing on recovering from the 2017 disasters and preparing for the 2018 hurricane season – click here for more information;

On July 19 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing on the nominations of Mary Bridget Neumayr to be a Member of the Council on Environmental Quality and John C. Fleming to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development – click here for more information.