House Democrats Release Infrastructure Framework
- Last week, House Democrats unveiled a $760 billion over 5 years infrastructure proposal titled, “Moving Forward Framework for the People;”
- While an official bill was not introduced, the framework does outline funding principles and priorities for a broad infrastructure package to include roads, bridges, transit, water, climate action, broadband, the electric grid, pipelines, electric vehicles and more;
- During the January 29 press conference, where several House Leaders were present to introduce the framework, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA), House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (OR), and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (MA), a timeline for consideration of a broad infrastructure package was not provided, nor were specific funding sources identified;
- That same day, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing titled, “Paving the Way for Funding and Financing Infrastructure Investments,” five witnesses from the public and private sector were called to share their ideas for financing infrastructure, though how to fund transportation infrastructure was the primary subject discussed;
- APWA Government Affairs will continue to track any developments in Congress related to reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which expires September 30, 2020, and any additional broad infrastructure legislation;
- For additional information on APWA’s public policy priorities, please be sure to visit www.apwa.net and click on the Government Affairs tab.
Comments on Lead and Copper Rule Revisions Due February 12
- On October 10, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler unveiled the Agency’s new proposed Lead and Copper Rule (LCR);
- The revisions are the first major overhaul to the LCR since its inception in 1991, and focus on actions community water systems would need to take in six areas:
- Preparing and regularly updating a publicly available inventory of lead service lines and requiring systems to “find-and-fix” sources of lead when a home sample exceeds 15 parts per billion (ppb);
- Requiring corrosion control treatment based on tap sampling results and establishing a new trigger of 10 ppb;
- Requiring water systems to replace the public portion of the lead service line when a customer chooses to replace the portion owned by the customer;
- Requiring water systems to follow new, improved sampling procedures and adjust sampling sites to better target locations with higher lead levels;
- Requiring water systems to notify customers within 24 hours if a sample collected in their home is above 15 ppb, and requiring regular outreach to homeowners with lead service lines;
- Requiring water systems to take drinking water samples from the schools and childcare facilities served by that system.
- You may find additional materials on the proposed rule on the EPA website, including an infographic, a fact sheet, a reference guide for Public Water Systems, a FAQ document and the Agency press release;
- APWA issued comments to EPA in March of 2018 to inform the Agency of five key actions which would need to be taken in order to create this proposed rule:
- Require all systems with known lead service lines, regardless of population served, to install and maintain corrosion control treatment (CCT);
- Dedicate additional EPA and other federal funds to providing resources (direct funding, technical assistance, incentives, etc.) to small and disadvantaged systems to help in installing and maintaining CCT;
- Require regular evaluations of their CCT for systems which would be reviewed by the state with primary regulatory authority;
- Implement a “sliding scale” for installing CCT, with smaller systems being designated a longer period to install and optimize CCT;
- Make completing a full inventory of lead service lines an Agency priority, with the goal of allowing water utilities to use the inventory to assist in replacement of those lines in their service area.
- Much of the proposed rule aligns with APWA’s comments from 2018, however, APWA has been working with its relevant technical committees to produce new comments based on the new proposed rule;
- You may find more information or provide your own comments on the Federal Register website;
- If you have questions or comments about the new proposed Lead and Copper Rule, please contact APWA Government Affairs Manager Sean Garcia.
FTA Announces Transit Bus Funding Availability
- On January 30, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to apply for fiscal year (FY) 2020 competitive grant funding for transit bus projects;
- The NOFO states eligible projects include those which will rehabilitate, replace, lease or purchase buses and related equipment;
- Additionally, the NOFO encourages applications to be consistent with the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (R.O.U.T.E.S.) and the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) initiatives;
- FTA has scheduled a webinar from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET on February 11, 2020 addressing the requirements, eligibility to apply, and the review and submission processes;
- For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit the FTA website or www.grants.gov.
FEMA Now Accepting Youth Preparedness Council Applications
- Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it is now accepting applications for the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC);
- Established in 2012, the YPC joins young leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness in their communities by completing disaster preparedness projects at the national and local level;
- YPC members will meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives and projects;
- YPC members will also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, D.C. held on July 21 and 22, 2020;
- The application is open to those in grades 8-11, and the deadline to apply is March 8, 2020;
- Please click here for more information.
DOL Now Accepting 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Award Applications
- Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced it is now accepting applications for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award;
- The program recognizes employers who have demonstrated commitment to hiring and retaining veterans;
- Last year, 427 employers were honored, including several local governments;
- The application deadline is April 30, 2020, and for more information, application criteria and instructions, please see the department’s official announcement and the HIRE Vets website.
FEMA to Host NSGP Webinar this Week
- On Tuesday, February 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET, FEMA has scheduled a webinar on the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP);
- The NSGP offers funding support for physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations, and promotes emergency preparedness coordination and collaboration between public and private community representatives as well as state and local government agencies;
- FEMA has offered this webinar over the past few weeks to provide additional information on the NSGP;
- Please click here to register for the webinar.
ON THE HORIZON
- February 4 at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation’s Subcommittee on Transportation & Safety has scheduled a hearing titled, “Keep on Truckin’: Stakeholder Perspectives on Trucking in America” – please click here for more information;
- February 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET, President Trump will deliver his fourth State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives;
- February 5 at 10:00 a.m. ET, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, & Hazardous Materials has scheduled a hearing titled, “Tracking Toward Zero: Improving Grade Crossing Safety & Addressing Community Concerns” – please click here for more information;
- February 5 at 10:00 a.m. ET, the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy & Mineral Resources has scheduled a hearing titled, “H.R. 5598, ‘Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection & Pollution Prevention Act‘“ – please click here for more information;
- February 5 at 10:00 a.m. ET, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works has scheduled a hearing titled, “Oversight of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service” — please click here for more information;
- February 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET, the House Committee on Education & Labor’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Human Services has scheduled a hearing titled, “The Future of Work: Protecting Workers’ Civil Rights in the Digital Age” – please click here for more information;
February 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET, the House Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, & Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled, “Strengthening Community Recycling Programs: Challenges & Opportunities” — please click here for more information.