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APWA – Washington Report – April 6, 2020

January 6, 2020                                     Share:    

Both the House and Senate return to session this week. Please be sure to follow APWA Government Affairs on Twitter @APWAGovAffairs and check Advocacy News on www.apwa.net.

LATEST NEWS

PFAS Bill to Reach House Floor this Week

  • On January 9, the House is expected to bring legislation related to toxic chemicals to the floor and a vote on passage could happen as soon as the following day;
  • The bill, H.R. 535, would push the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create nationwide protective measures against poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS);
  • H.R. 535 passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on November 20 by a vote of 31-19;
  • The bill requires that within one year of enactment, the EPA Administrator shall designate all PFAS substances as hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA);
  • The legislation would effectively bar the production of PFAS compounds, as well as direct EPA to drinking water standards for the chemicals;
  • The bill also includes language which would authorize $500 million over the next five years to help states address PFAS in drinking water, as well as $200 million over the next two years to install treatment technologies;
  • The overall bill incorporated legislative text from 11 additional Committee bills related to PFAS, but it is unclear whether a House-passed bill would be brought to the floor in the Senate.

FHWA Seeking Input on EDC Round 6

  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking suggestions until January 21, 2020 for its next round of “Every Day Counts” (EDC);
  • This will be round six (6) of EDC and will begin implementation in the 2021-2022 cycle;
  • Each year, FHWA seeks input from state, local, and tribal entities in an “effort to identify and rapidly deploy proven yet underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, and integrate automation;”
  • Please click here for more information and to submit ideas.

U.S. DOT Seeking Feedback on ROUTES Initiative

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released a Request for Information (RFI) from the public and stakeholders on rural transportation needs and opportunities;
  • The RFI is part of DOT’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative;
  • The submissions will be reviewed by the ROUTES Council to evaluate rural projects and funding options for rural critical transportation infrastructure;
  • The ROUTES initiative is intended to increase understanding of ways rural areas can access DOT grants and financing products;
  • The RFI deadline has been extended to January 27, 2020, and to submit comments please click here.

FEMA Announces Additional $50 million in Mitigation Grant Funds

  • Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an additional $50 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program, increasing the total amount of funding available from $160 million to $210 million;
  • FMA grants are designed to assist state, tribal and territorial government applicants in building a culture of preparedness by strengthening the nation’s ability to reduce disaster suffering and protect life and property from future disaster damages;
  • The deadline to submit applications is no later than 3:00 pm ET, January 31, 2020;
  • Please click here for more information.

U.S. DOT Seeking Feedback for National Freight Strategic Plan

  • The current surface transportation law, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, requires U.S. DOT to develop a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP);
  • Therefore, the Department is seeking input from stakeholders and the public through February 10, 2020 for ideas to help to inform infrastructure planning and support future freight efficiencies;
  • Please click here for more information and to provide input.

FEMA Continues Flood Risk Reinsurance Program

  • Last week, FEMA announced it will continue its risk management practice to cover future catastrophic flood losses under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  • Effective from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021, FEMA has transferred an additional $1.33 billion of the NFIP’s financial risk to the private reinsurance market, including 27 private reinsurance companies;
  • Please click here for more information.

FAA Seeks Comments on Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is requesting feedback on a proposed rule on remote identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones;
  • The rule would apply to all drones required to register with the FAA, as well as to people operating foreign civil drones in the United States;
  • Recreational drones weighing under 0.55 pounds are not required to register;
  • Comments are due by March 2, 2020, and you may click here for more information and to submit comments.

ON THE HORIZON

  • January 8 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works has scheduled a hearing titled, “The Nonpoint Source Management Program Under the Clean Water Act: Perspectives from States” – please click here for more information;
  • January 9 at 10:00 am ET, the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Recovery has scheduled a hearing titled, “Understanding the Importance of DHS Preparedness Grants – Perspectives from the Field” – please click here for more information;

January 9 at 10:00 am ET, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment has scheduled a hearing titled, “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020” – please click here for more information.