FEMA Program Changes

Good morning. Please find links below pertaining to recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) /Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program changes. Following each link is a brief summary of the corresponding item. These are not requests for comments-just disseminating the information for your review and reference.


APWA Government Affairs – October 23, 2018

October 23, 2017

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Senate Adopts FY18 Budget Resolution

  • Last week the Senate voted to adopt a Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget resolution which House GOP leaders are expected to accept;
  • The agreement is expected to speed up the process for the proposed tax reform package being finalized by President Trump’s Administration;
  • The House and Senate tax-writing committees plan to release draft legislation by early November;
  • The agreement allows for more defense spending in the first year, in line with the House budget and eliminates House language to expedite $203 billion in entitlement savings, while leaving in place Senate language that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The compromise would keep the Senate’s language allowing tax cuts that add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit, not including the effects of economic growth;
  • The House is expected to take action on the budget resolution on Thursday, October 26.

President Trump Signs FEMA Relief Improvement Act into Law

  • Last week President Trump signed H.R. 1117, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Relief Improvement Act, introduced by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), requiring FEMA to develop a plan to improve its guidance and record keeping for disaster funding;
  • Highlights of the legislation include FEMA providing consistent procedural guidance to disaster funding applicants during emergencies, the establishment of operating procedures for document retention through the life cycle of an emergency and easing the administrative burden for applicants and grantees by providing accurate assistance;
  • The text of H.R. 1117 can be viewed here.

Senate Scheduled to Vote on $36.5 Billion Disaster Measure

  • The Senate plans to vote on H.R. 2266, the Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act of 2017, as early as today;
  • The legislation was introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and passed by the House during the week of October 9;
  • The $36.5 billion aid package includes funding amounts of $18.7 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief fund, $16 billion to address national flood insurance program debt and $576.5 million for wildfire recovery efforts;
  • Pending Senate passage, the measure will then head to the President for his signature;
  • Click here to view the text of H.R. 2266.

FEMA Releases its 2017 National Preparedness Report

  • Last week, FEMA released its annual report assessing the state of the country’s disaster response capabilities;
  • The report is an annual requirement of S. 3721, The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, which amended the Homeland Security Act of 2002 making extensive revisions to emergency response provisions while keeping  FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a key element of the National Preparedness System;
  • The report evaluates and measures gains that individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government have made in preparedness;
  • View the report here.


Senate and House Action Scheduled For the Week

  • On October 24 at 2:00pm ET, the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Security Technologies of the Committee on Homeland Security and the Subcommittee on Higher Education & Workforce Development of the Committee on Education & the Workforce will hold a joint hearing on Public-Private Solutions to Educating a Cyber Workforce–click here to watch live;
  • On October 25 at 10:00am ET, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works  will hold a hearing on a yet to be numbered bill on the Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017–more information can be found here;
  • On October 25 at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works has scheduled a markup to consider the nominations of Michael Dourson, of Ohio, to be Assistant Administrator for Toxic Substances, and William L. Wehrum, of Delaware, Matthew Z. Leopold, of Florida, and David Ross, of Wisconsin, each to be an Assistant Administrator, all of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Paul Trombino III, of Wisconsin, to be Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation, and Jeffery Martin Baran, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC);
  • On October 26 at 10:00am ET, the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management (RAFM) will hold a hearing regarding  “Improving Oversight of the Regulatory Process-Lessons from State Legislatures”– click here to watch live;
  • On October 26 at 10:00am ET, the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources has a hearing scheduled to discuss Cyber Technology & Energy Infrastructure–follow live here.

2018 APWA Florida Chapter Conference & Exposition Florida Public Works EXPO April 16-20, 2018 | Jacksonville, Florida Bridging the Future

Greetings Florida Chapter Members,

We are extending the deadline to submit presentation proposals for the 2018 APWA Florida Public Works Expo to October 27, 2017. The Expo will be held April 17-19, 2018 at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in Jacksonville, FL. As we only have received 17 submissions at this time, please consider submitting a proposal for consideration. All details are below.

Thank you!
Amy Blaida
APWA FL President-Elect
2018 FL Public Works Expo Chair

2018 APWA Florida Chapter Conference & Exposition Florida Public Works EXPO April 16-20, 2018 | Jacksonville, Florida Bridging the Future

Please note: the submission deadline for 2018 proposals is October 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.  Final decisions will be made on November 10, 2017. Submitting to speak at the Expo is easy! Click here for the APWA Florida Online Call for Presentations Form. No matter your role in public works, there is something for everyone at the Florida Public Works EXPO. Public works professionals from both the public and private sectors attend year after year to stay up-to-date on emerging trends, and innovative practices and strategies. The exhibit floor attracts many companies who come to demonstrate their state-of-the-art products and services. Speakers at the Expo are people like you who have met the challenge of managing public works projects and organizations. They view speaking at the Expo as a chance to advance their careers and to invest in the future of the public works profession by sharing what they know. What topics are we looking for? (Don’t feel limited by these topic suggestions; out-of-the box thinking is encouraged) The Florida Public Works EXPO provides education about all public works disciplines:

  • State-of-Art Operations
  • Roads, Streets, Bridges (pavement performance, work zone safety, snow and ice control, etc.)
  • Traffic Engineering (street, arterial, and intersection design, traffic calming, community mobility issues, etc.)
  • Right-of-Way Issues
  • Solid Waste Management Issues
  • Engineering and Technology (emerging design and technology trends)
  • Emergency Management/Preparedness and Infrastructure Security Issues
  • Fleet Services and Management (maintenance and replacement practices, green fleet issues, emissions reduction, customer service, shop and parts management, etc.)
  • Facilities Management (inventory systems, condition assessments, green design, LEED certification, public works yard management, etc.)
  • Urban Forestry (sidewalk issues, tree replacement programs, recycling green waste, etc.)
  • Construction Management (project management, project delivery systems, bidding, contracting, etc.
  • Stormwater and Flood Control
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Current and Emerging Trends
  • Economic, societal, technology, and demographic trends and their impact on public works services
  • Sustainable public works design and operations, smart growth, low impact development, climate change impacts on infrastructure planning, renewable energy, Workforce issues, emerging technologies and new uses for current technologies
  • The Business Side of Public Works
  • Public/private partnerships
  • Financing public projects
  • Budgeting
  • Communicating with elected officials, residents, and employees
  • Media relations and public/community involvement
  • Public Works Leadership
  • Core values and competencies of the best public works leaders
  • Critical issues facing public works today and visions for the future
  • Human resource issues (employee recruitment, retention, motivation, etc.)
  • Systems thinking related to public works services and infrastructure planning.

Submission Guidelines: Click here for the APWA Online Call for Presentations Form. Submission Deadline: The 2018 Call for Presentations will close October 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm EST. Learning Objectives: All proposals must include three (3) learning objectives that indicate exactly how the attendee will benefit from the presentation. Instructions for developing appropriate learning objectives are included on the online form. Session Length:  All presentations will be in sixty (60) minutes long segments. Scheduling: Due to the complexity of determining topic placement, we are unable to accommodate specific date and time requests. No Sales-pitches Please: Direct promotions of products, services, or monetary self-interest are not appropriate education sessions. APWA members are traditionally vocal in their displeasure with sessions that appear to be sales presentations or promotions. APWA audiences prefer sessions that present case studies from the user perspective. Registration and travel expenses: Speakers at APWA’s Florida Public Works Expo are also considered attendees of the event and are expected to pay their own travel expenses and the appropriate member or non-member registration fee. Speakers that plan to attend only on the day of their presentation may be eligible for a complimentary single-day registration. Paid Professional Trainers and Speakers are welcome to use the Online Submission Form, but be sure to check the “paid speaker” box. How Are Presentations Selected? All submissions are reviewed and evaluated by a committee of public works professionals representing various public works disciplines. The evaluation process is competitive based on these criteria: (1) Relevance and Clarity (learning objectives are clearly stated using active verbs indicating exactly what the benefit would be to the learners); (2) Practical Application (presentation provides take-away knowledge material that can used by the learners in their day-to-day work settings); (3) Leading-edge (presentation addresses critical issues, emerging trends, innovative methods and technologies); (4) Systems thinking (evidence of systems-thinking regarding public works operations); (5) Balance (the review committee will review for balance to ensure that all of the public works disciplines have a representative number of presentations and that no one speaker or organization is disproportionately represented.)

Amy Blaida
Director of Business Development
Whitaker Contracting Corporation
(813) 468-4576

APWA Washington Report – September 25, 2017

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Congress Likely to Consider Additional Hurricane Relief Funding

  • Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), and House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX), stated that Congress will likely consider supplemental disaster relief funds in October;
  • To date, no specific bill, nor course of action for the supplemental funding has been decided upon;
  • Earlier this month, President Trump signed Public Law 115-56 providing $15.25 billion in emergency supplemental funding for damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and extending the National Flood Insurance Program through December 8, 2017.

House to Act on Disaster Tax Relief

  • Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX), has introduced a bill (not yet numbered) to provide private flood insurance with the intention of making the process easier, and meeting mandatory insurance coverage standards;
  • The House is expected to vote on the bill this week and, if enacted, the measure would also allow a property owner with a private policy to meet continuous coverage requirements for the purpose of re-enrolling in a subsidized federal plan;
  • The bill would also provide victims of the recent hurricanes with the ability to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without a penalty, and suspend the limit on deductions for donations to hurricane relief.

EPA Calls for Environmental Assessment for Water Financing Program

  • Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register that the agency will be conducting a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) program;
  • The assessment will analyze the potential environmental impacts related to providing individual long-term, low-cost supplemental loans, or loan guarantees for regionally and nationally significant eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects;
  • EPA will use the information in the PEA to determine whether to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS);
  • Public comments are welcome, and must be submitted by October 20, 2017 via the Federal Register website.

House to Consider FAA Extension Legislation

  • The House will take up legislation this week to extend the authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for six months;
  • In addition to the extension through March of 2018, the legislation includes $5 billion for FAA salaries, and $1.67 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP);
  • A long-term extension for FAA has been stalled in the House, and faces skepticism in the Senate.

FirstNet Targets Early 2018 for Full Implementation

  • The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and authorized by Congress in 2012, is scheduled to be fully implemented by March 2018;
  • FirstNet’s mission is to develop, build, and operate a nationwide, dedicated broadband network for use by first responders enabling them to communicate through voice, video, and data across different agencies and jurisdictions;
  • Currently, 23 states have opted-in to FirstNet, and no states and territories have opted-out—for additional information on FirstNet, click here.

Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

  • On September 27, at 2:20 pm ET the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission are scheduled to conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS);
  • Should the event be cancelled, the make-up date is scheduled for October 4, at 2:20 pm ET;
  • The EAS test is made available to radio, television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite systems, and is scheduled to last approximately one minute–click here for additional information.

EPA in the Spotlight

  • In an effort to share information about the various federal agencies APWA works with on a regular basis, the Washington Report will periodically “spotlight” a federal agency, and this week, it is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • The EPA mission is protecting human health and the environment;
  • Scott Pruitt, former Attorney General of Oklahoma and current EPA Administrator, was sworn in on February 17, 2017;
  • EPA’s primary role is to develop and enforce regulations related to the environment and public health such as clean water, clean air, brownfields, and superfund clean-up, among others;
  • EPA also issues grants and loans for water infrastructure projects, as well as for environmental remediation and cleanup projects.
  • You may learn more about the Agency at their website.


  • On September 26, at 10:00 am ET, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Water Stakeholders’ Perspectives”—click here to follow the hearing;
  • On September 27, at 10:00 am ET, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on forest management to mitigate wildfires—for more information, click here;
  • Also on September 27, at 10:00 am ET, the Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee on “Threats to the Homeland”—click here to follow the hearing;

At 3:00 pm ET on September 27, the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations is scheduled to hold a hearing entitled, “Exploring Solutions to Reduce Risks of Catastrophic Wildfires & Improve Resiliency of National Forests”—click here to follow the hearing.