APWA – Washington Report – July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018

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LATEST NEWS

NFIP Update—Set to Expire July 31—ACTION NEEDED TODAY!

  • Late last week the House passed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Extension Act of 2018, which would extend the program through November 30, 2018;
  • The Senate plans to take up the measure as early as today; however, if an agreement is not reached before midnight on July 31, 2018, the NFIP will expire;
  • If that were to happen, FEMA will be unable to issue new policies, and the borrowing authority, which is currently set at $30.4 billion would be reduced to $1 billion;
  • Last fall, the House passed H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which would extend the program through September 30, 2022;
  • The Senate earlier this month agreed to an amendment offered by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to extend the NFIP through January 31, 2019;
  • However, neither the House nor the Senate has taken up the legislation offered by the other body;
  • APWA Government Affairs has issued a legislative action alert today requesting APWA members contact their Senators and urge them to pass an extension for NFIP–click here to access the alert;
  • To view the text of the extension measure—click here.

FY 2019 Appropriations Update

  • The House is out of session for the traditional August recess and will return to D.C. on September 4;
  • The Senate is in session this week, and will be out of session August 6 through 10, returning to D.C. the week of August 13;
  • Last week the Senate began consideration of a fiscal year (FY) 2019 “minibus” appropriations package that includes four appropriations measures;
  • Included in the package (HR 6147) is funding for Transportation-Housing and Urban Development and related agencies, Interior and Environment and related agencies, Financial Services-General Government, and the Agriculture-Food and Drug Administration;
  • Progress was slowed in the Senate last week due to consideration of amendments, but should the Senate pass the four bill FY 2019 minibus this week, it will then be scheduled for a conference with the House;
  • To date, not a single FY 2019 appropriations bill has been conferenced between the two chambers to be sent to President Trump for his signature;
  • The current fiscal year ends September 30, 2018.

FAA Reauthorization Update

  • Last week the Senate did not vote on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018;
  • The measure (HR 4) is not scheduled for action this week but may receive consideration in the Senate during the week of August 13;
  • It is still uncertain whether the AV START Act (S. 1885) will be attached as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act;
  • The AV START Act, which is a bill to advance autonomous vehicles, was passed by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at the end of 2017, but has since been delayed due to concerns raised over deaths related to autonomous vehicles.

Infrastructure Proposal Introduced by Chairman Shuster

  • Last week, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster (R-PA) introduced a discussion draft for infrastructure investment;
  • The day the proposal was released, APWA’s Government Affairs team posted an “Advocacy News” item outlining it, and that article, as well as a link to Chairman Shuster’s draft may be read here.

Senate WRDA Bill Scaled Back

  • A draft copy of revised text for the Senate Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) indicates a severe reduction for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program;
  • The Secure Required Funds for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act, which APWA supports, receives limited funding in the bill ($9 million over two years);
  • The program was originally proposed to be authorized at $200 million for five years;
  • The reduction comes due to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report stating the measure would boost the deficit by more than $3 billion over 10 years;
  • The revised language would reduce the deficit by $1 million, CBO now says;
  • The Senate bill also contains language on the following issues:
    • Reauthorizing and increasing funding for the WIFIA program;
    • Codifying EPA’s integrated planning framework under the Clean Water Act;
    • Water infrastructure and workforce investment;
    • Creating a stormwater infrastructure funding task force; and
    • Providing a sense of the Congress relating to State Revolving Funds;
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said the Senate is tentatively planning to vote on the bill this week, prior to recess;
  • However, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has vowed to hold the bill to force a vote on permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund;
  • Once passed by the Senate, the amended bill would return to the House for its approval.

House Appropriations Committee Approves DHS 2019 Fiscal Year Appropriations Bill

  • Last week the House Appropriations Committee approved its proposed FY 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill which, if enacted, would provide $51.4 billion in discretionary funding;
  • Within the bill, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would receive $11.69 billion, of that amount $7.23 billion would be targeted for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF);
  • The bill would also provide $1.9 billion for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD);
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2019 $55.1 billion DHS Appropriations bill last month;
  • Neither the Senate nor the House have set a date for a final vote on their respective bills.

FEMA will hold a Webinar on Preparing for a National Catastrophic Event this week

  • On August 1, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm ET, FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration will conduct a webinar titled “Preparing for a National Catastrophic Event”;
  • This webinar will provide an overview examining how the Nation’s Fire and Emergency Service community could have limited capacity and capability to maintain and administer a sustained response to a catastrophic event;
  • Click here to register for the webinar.

FEMA Releases Planning Considerations for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks

  • FEMA has made available their Planning Consideration Guide for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA);
  • CCTA’s are considered attacks that pose the potential for mass casualties and infrastructure damage anywhere and at any time;
  • The intent of the proposed Planning Considerations is to assist community partners, including all levels of government, infrastructure owners and operators, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and volunteer organizations with their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs);
  • To read a copy of the FEMA Planning Considerations and for additional details—click here.

National Homeland Security Consortium Meets this Week

  • Incoming Emergency Management Technical Committee Chair Mark Ray of Crystal, MN, and APWA Government Affairs Manager Marty Williams are attending the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) meeting in Portland, OR on July 31;
  • NHSC, which meets twice annually, consists of 21 national organizations representing local, state, and private professionals who are responsible for services vital to the safety and security of the United States.

FEMA Announces National Training Program Grants

  • Last week, FEMA announced the release of its Notice of Funding Opportunity for the FY 2018 Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grants (HSNTP/CTG);
  • The HSNTP Grants will award $8 million to qualified applicants who can help improve the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from all-hazards;
  • This is a competitive program and will award grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and eligible non-profit organizations including colleges and universities;
  • FY 2018 HSNTP grant applications are due no later than August 24, 2018 and awards are expected to be announced September 30, 2018;
  • For additional information—click here.

DHS Hosts National Cybersecurity Summit this Week

  • On July 31, DHS will conduct a National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City, NY;
  • Summit participants will include Vice President Mike Pence, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and CEO’s from the private sector;
  • The goal of the summit is to present a plan for a collective defense blueprint to safeguard our nation’s critical infrastructure;
  • To livestream the event—click here.

DHS Earth EX 2018 Registration is Now Open

  • The DHS Office of Infrastructure and Protection (OIP) Emergency Services Sector will be conducting their second annual Earth EX infrastructure protection exercise on August 22, 2018;
  • Earth EX provides an opportunity for first responders to test their respective responses and plans for Black Sky Hazards;
  • Black Sky Hazards are considered catastrophic events that severely disrupt the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations;
  • For more information, including how to register–click here.


ON THE HORIZON

August 1 at 10:30 am ET, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine EPA’s agenda, protecting the environment, and allowing America’s economy to grow – click here for more information