• cavallip@pcsb.org
  • 727.893.2500 ext 2587

APWA’s Washington Report – April 23, 2018

APWA’s Washington Report – April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

Be sure to follow @APWAGovAffairs on Twitter.


FAA Reauthorization Bill Vote Expected This Week

  • This week, the House is expected to vote on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4);
  • If enacted, H.R. 4 would reauthorize the agency through FY 2023;
  • Currently, the authorization for the agency expires on September 30, 2018;
  • FAA reauthorization is expected to be one of the last possible bills signed into law before the upcoming November mid-term elections;
  • Previously, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) pushed for privatization of the air traffic control system but that is not included in H.R. 4;
  • On the Senate side, Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-SD) has said he would like the bill conferenced and sent to the President before the August Congressional recess.

Disaster Mitigation Within FAA Reauthorization Bill

  • H.R. 4 includes provisions requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to place greater emphasis on mitigation efforts addressing disasters;
  • The FEMA provisions were initially incorporated within H.R. 4460, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA);
  • Notable measures addressing disaster relief include authorizing $950 million annually from FY 2018 through FY 2022 for Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG), and $4 million annually from FY 2018 through FY 2022 for Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) grants;
  • To view text of H.R. 4460 click here and to view text of H.R.4 as currently offered click here.

U.S. DOT BUILD Funds Available

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced a notice of funding opportunity for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, which replace the previous Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants;
  • $1.5 billion is available through September 30, 2020 on a competitive basis for funding surface transportation infrastructure with significant local or regional impact;
  • Webinars will be hosted by U.S. DOT on how to compete for the BUILD funding, one focused on rural and tribal applicants, and how to prepare a cost-benefit analysis for the application;
  • For additional information about the BUILD funding click here.

House Farm Bill Includes Language for Water Infrastructure

  • Last week, the House Committee on Agriculture approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018;
  • The legislation, which requires reauthorization every five years, covers agriculture policy, as well as nutrition programs such as school lunches and food stamps;
  • The bill, as approved by the Committee, includes additional funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP);
  • EQIP reimburses farmers for capital investments in cover crops, fertilizer storage, and other environmental projects designed to protect source water;
  • Democratic members of the Committee spoke out against the elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) under H.R. 2;
  • CSP paid farmers to use sustainable practices to improve drainage and reduce erosion;
  • The legislation also extends programs offering grants and loans to small water utilities to upgrade their drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities;
  • These programs had been eliminated (under the Rural Utilities Service) in the President’s FY 2019 budget request.

EPA Closes First WIFIA Loan

  • Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first loan from the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) program;
  • The $134.5 million loan to King County, WA will finance nearly half of the costs for construction of its Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station;
  • King County was one of 12 projects selected for loans in 2017;
  • Earlier this month, EPA released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the WIFIA program, after it received $63 million in funding from the FY 2018 omnibus spending bill;
  • This funding, which can be used to leverage private capital and other funding sources, could support up to $11 billion in water infrastructure investment;
  • You can find more resources and information on the program, including an updated FAQ and program handbook, on the WIFIA home page;
  • There is also a series of webinars scheduled to provide potential applicants with more information on the program and application process.

Road to Zero Report Released

  • The Road to Zero Coalition, of which APWA is a member, has released a comprehensive report on how the group will eliminate all roadway related deaths in the U.S. by 2050;
  • Written by the RAND Corporation, with information and input provided by the Coalition members, the report identifies three initiatives:
    • Double down on what works through proven, evidence-based strategies;
    • Advance life-saving technology in vehicles and infrastructure;
    • Prioritize safety by adopting a safe systems approach and creating a positive safety culture;
  • The Coalition meets approximately every three months, with the next meeting scheduled for June 28;
  • To read “Road to Zero: A vision for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050”, click here.

APWA Participates in Water Week

  • Last week, APWA Mid-Atlantic chapter members joined with water professionals from around the nation to participate in Water Week;
  • Joining with a dozen other national organizations, APWA met with Congressional offices to advocate for elevating water as a national priority;
  • APWA members met with key members of Congress serving on the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, and House Committee on Energy & Commerce;
  • To read the policy positions from Water Week click here, and to read APWA’s Water Resources Priorities click here.

Senate EPW Holds Hearing on Groundwater

  • Last week, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works held a hearing on regulations related to pollution through groundwater;
  • Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) is considering legislation that would overturn current EPA policy;
  • The current policy requires a federal discharge permit whenever any pollutants are released into groundwater directly connected to protected rivers, lakes, and streams;
  • These permits are issued and regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES);
  • Recent decisions in federal appeals courts found that pollution discharges via groundwater violates the Clean Water Act (CWA);
  • If those rulings stand, according to Chairman Barrasso, thousands of additional permits would be required, including permits for homeowners with septic tanks;
  • In light of the cour decisions, EPA is accepting comments on whether to change their policy until May 21.

FEMA Disseminates NFIP Affordability Report

  • Last week, FEMA released their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Affordability Report which includes measures on how Congress could aid low-income NFIP policy holders;
  • Additionally, the report details steps taken by FEMA to reduce the financial burden caused from purchasing flood insurance;
  • To read the report click here.

DHS Releases CERRA Emergency Preparedness Guide

  • The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) team has released an updated guide on emergency preparedness access and implementation;
  • APWA serves on the CERRA Working Group, consisting of national organizations, government sector and coordinating councils, and federal department and agencies;
  • The CERRA guide aims to assist government, commercial, and nongovernment organizations to effectively coordinate, react, respond, with emergency management and law enforcement before, during, and following disastrous events;
  • To review the updated CERRA guide click here.

NIST Releases Updated Cybersecurity Framework

  • Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the latest version of their Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Guide, known as Version 1.1;
  • Areas of emphasis in Version 1.1 include instruction on self-assessing cybersecurity risk and vulnerability disclosure;
  • This voluntary guide is intended to serve as another tool for private companies and government agencies to manage critical infrastructure cybersecurity risks;
  • This is the second version as NIST first published Version 1.0 in 2014;
  • To view Version 1.1 click here.

DHS Webinar on Physical Security & Cybersecurity

  • On May 3 from 1:00 pm-2:30 pm ET, DHS Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3) and the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC), are scheduled to host a webinar on how physical security and cybersecurity teams can find common ground to reduce costs and improve an organization’s overall security;
  • For additional information on the webinar click here.


  • April 23 at 10:00 am ET, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Communications has scheduled a field hearing on securing our communities, with a focus on high-risk urban areas – click here for more information;
  • April 24 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry has scheduled a hearing on the state of rural America – click here for more information;
  • April 24 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs has scheduled a hearing on mitigating America’s cybersecurity risk – click here for more information;
  • April 25 at 11:30 am ET, the House Committee on Small Business has scheduled a hearing on the Small Business Perspective of American Infrastructure – click here for more information;
  • April 25 at 2:00 pm ET, the House Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing on the National Environmental Policy Act and environmental lawsuits – click here for more information;
  • April 25 at 3:00 pm ET, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs has scheduled a hearing on the nomination of Christopher C. Krebs to serve as Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, US Department of Homeland Security – click here for more information;
  • April 25 at 3:30 pm ET, the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has scheduled a hearing titled “Preparing Small Businesses for Cybersecurity Success” – click here for more information;
  • April 26 at 10:00 am ET, the House Committee on Homeland Security is scheduled to hold a hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security – click here for more information;

April 26 at 10:00 am ET, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment has scheduled a hearing with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s FY 2019 budget request – click here for more information.

Training Comes to Life

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Subscribe to News/Jobs/Training delivered via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 751 other subscribers


Register for Upcoming Continuing Education

Training Location

Public Works Academy Logo