APWA Washington Report – March 12, 2018

LATEST NEWS

APWA Board of Directors in D.C.

  • March 7-9, the APWA Board of Directors was in Washington, D.C. to hold its spring meeting, and to meet with their respective Congressional representatives;
  • During their time in D.C., Board members were very well received by dozens of Congressional offices and Committees;
  • In addition to their meetings on Capitol Hill, the Board met with staff from the White House Council on Environmental Quality to discuss the President’s Infrastructure proposal;
  • APWA Board members shared personal examples of public works happenings in their communities and spoke about APWA’s public policy priorities: Infrastructure Financing & Funding; Provide for Transportation Infrastructure; Support Water Resiliency; and Recognize & Support Emergency Management & Response.

FY 2018 Appropriations Update

  • The House hopes to pass a $1.2 trillion omnibus spending package this week to wrap up fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations;
  • A few obstacles remain which could prevent the House and Senate from completing their work on FY2018 by the current deadline of March 23, when the latest continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government expires;
  • If the House passes the appropriations measure this week, the Senate will consider the measure next week before both chambers recess for the Easter and Passover recess scheduled for March 23 to April 9;
  • Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) announced last week he will be retiring April 1;
  • Senator Cochran was elected in 1978 and is currently the 10th longest serving U.S. Senator;
  • Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is next in line to succeed Senator Cochran as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee;
  • Senator Shelby was first elected as a Democrat in 1986 and switched to a Republican in 1994;
  • For timely updates please check APWA Advocacy News at www.apwa.net and @APWAGOVAFFAIRS on Twitter.

DOT Announces TIGER Grant Awards

  • On March 9 the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced nearly $500 million in awards from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, to 41 recipients nationwide;
  • TIGER grants, awarded on a competitive basis, are targeted towards projects aimed at providing for capital investment in surface transportation projects;
  • For additional information on TIGER grants and the list of awardees—click here.

APWA Submits Comments on LCR Revisions

  • Last week, APWA submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR);
  • The comments center on APWA’s commitment to reducing lead contamination in our nation’s drinking water;
  • During a January meeting, EPA asked stakeholders for comments on potential areas of revision, as well as those the Agency had not yet considered;
  • You may see the Agency presentation from that January meeting here;
  • APWA made the following recommendations regarding revisions to the LCR:
    • 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.
    • Make regular evaluation of their CCT a requirement for systems that would be reviewed by the state with primary regulatory authority.
    • Implement a “sliding scale” for installing CCT, with smaller systems being given 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.
  • You may read APWA’s comments in full here

FEMA Releases Updates for Flood Risk & Mapping

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration has issued updated standards, guidance, and technical reference documents the Agency uses in its Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (MAP) program;
  • These updates define the specific implementation of the statutory and regulatory requirements for flood hazard mapping and risk analysis for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  • To view the updated guidelines—click here.

FirstNet Webinar this Week

  • On March 14 at 1:00 pm ET, The National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) will host a webinar to provide an overview of the ‘FirstNet Onramp Solutions’ for State and Local applications and data;
  • The goal of Onramp Solutions is to provide secure bridging, interoperability, and access control functionality as a component of FirstNet;
  • For additional information on FirstNet and to register for the webinar—click here.


ON THE HORIZON

  • March 13 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation & the Internet has scheduled a hearing entitled, “Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Investing in Next Generation Broadband”—click here for more information;
  • March 13 at 2:30 PM ET, the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety & Security is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: State and Local Transportation Needs”—click here for more information;
  • March 14 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Administration Perspectives” —click here for more information;
  • March 14 at 10:00 am ET, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Department of Energy (DOE) Modernization-Legislation Addressing Cybersecurity and Emergency Response”—click here for more information;
  • March 14 at 10:00 am ET, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has scheduled a hearing on the federal regulatory process–click here for more information;
  • March 14 at 10:00 am ET, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development has scheduled a hearing to review the FY 2019 budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation–click here for more information;
  • March 15 at 9:30 am ET, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation & Housing & Urban Development has scheduled a hearing to examine the FY 2019 budget request for the U.S. DOT–click here for more information;
  • March 15 at 10:00 am ET, the House Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Preparedness, Response, and Rebuilding: Lessons from the 2017 Disasters”–click here for more information;
  • March 15 at 10:00 am ET, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment has scheduled a hearing on America’s water resources infrastructure–click here for more information;
  • March 15 at 2:00 pm ET, the House Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, & Environment has scheduled a hearing to examine the federal permitting process–click here for more information.