Latest News

EPA Clean Watersheds Needs Survey Highlights Wastewater Infrastructure

  • The represents the most recent report on wastewater, stormwater, and other clean water infrastructure needs in the U.S., and shows $630B is needed over the next 20 years to protect waterbodies and meet the Clean Water Act’s water quality goals;
  • Survey’s findings include:
    • A 73% increase in investment needs since the last survey, although the new report includes categories of infrastructure not accounted for in 2012
      • Among preexisting categories’ needs rose 37%
    • Stormwater upgrade needs rose by $91.5B, a 385% increase, driven in part by the broader range of projects eligible for federal funding but also because many urban areas are demanding stricter treatment of polluted stormwater with needs standing to grow even further due to climate change
      • The report noted, “heavy precipitation events can overwhelm previously adequate storm sewer infrastructure and, according to the Fifth National Climate Assessment, frequency and intensity of these events is projected to increase over the century”
  • The 2022 Report to Congress, summary document, and past surveys can all be found on the newly updated along with a new .

EPA Announces $25M for Drinking Water Assistance

  • EPA announced the ;
  • EPA also announced its selection of training and technical assistance providers who will have ;
  • These providers meet communities where they are and help them with water infrastructure challenges through circuit-rider and multi-state regional technical assistance programs, training and site visits, and focused efforts to diagnose and trouble-shoot system operational and compliance-related problems and identify solutions.

EPA Unveils Water System Restructuring Assessment Rule

  • The outlines a framework for states, public water systems, and the communities they serve to evaluate options for restructuring to help ensure safe, reliable drinking water;
  • Restructuring may include operational changes, upgrades to or replacement of water system infrastructure, interconnection with another system, consolidation, or transfer of ownership;
  • The proposed rule also would allow states to require an assessment of a water system and would establish incentives for the system to identify options and submit restructuring plans, particularly systems that regularly fail to meet requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA);
  • The three main elements of the rule are: a new mandatory assessment authority for states; requirements for implementing an assessment; and incentives for systems to restructure
    • Incentives include eligibility to use Drinking Water State Revolving Funds to implement restructuring, protection under SDWA from previous enforcement actions for up to two years and, protection from fines or penalties for compliant water systems that consolidate with or acquire non-compliant systems
  • EPA also included three guiding principles of restructuring to help ensure mandatory assessments and restructuring plans are the result of collaborative efforts between states, local authorities, utilities, and community leaders
  • The principles are:
    • Evaluate restructuring alternatives based on the needs of the community
    • Engage affected communities directly in restructuring decision making
    • Ensure community capacity to make affordable investments in drinking water
  • There will be an and EPA will also host two listening sessions in June to allow for maximum public participation and engagement.

˾ Members in D.C. Serving on EPA Advisory Group

  • ˾ members take part in conversations with Biden administration officials as part of the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS)˾ members took part in conversations with Biden administration officials as part of the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS);
  • The two groups include local officials, both elected and appointed, who engage periodically with EPA to provide perspective of local governments on federal programs and regulations including challenges and proposed improvements;
  • They discussed climate change and impacts on communities, addressing PFAS, and environmental justice;
  • If you are interested in applying for a position with a federal advisory group, reach out to ˾ Government Affairs.

˾ Cybersecurity Certificate Education Series Continues June 4

  • For those who have registered prior to the May 30 deadline, a reminder that ˾’s Foundational Cybersecurity Concepts Certificate Program will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET, June 4 through June 6;
  • This six-hour certificate program is for any public works professional with a desire to protect critical systems and data;
  • The course will provide public works professionals with additional skills to better avoid, react to, and anticipate threats;
  • Live sessions will be recorded, and the course is eligible for 0.6 CEU credits upon completion
    • Participants must pass the course exam with an 80% or higher to receive a certificate and eligible CEUs.

CISA Releases Emergency Services Sector Artificial Intelligence Information

  • The Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) has released reference materials on the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) related to the Emergency Service Sector (ESS);
  • ESS, overseen by CISA, is tasked with saving lives, protecting property and the environment, assisting communities impacted by disasters, and aiding recovery during emergencies;
  • Additionally, the is implemented within the context of the ESS.
  • As a member of the ESS Sector Coordinating Council, ˾ was consulted during this process and provided input on each of the following documents:

FEMA Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Application Now Open

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the application period for the is now open, $10.8M in grant funding will be provided through the program;
  • RCPGP supports the core capabilities by providing funds to eligible state and local governments
    • This includes offering funding towards enhancing innovative regional solutions and expanding on existing regional efforts to improve catastrophic preparedness
  • The deadline to apply through the , is July 25.

˾’s Recent IIJA Webinar Now Available Online

  • IIJA Cybersecurity and You – Engaging with CISA for Safer and More Secure Infrastructure, ˾’s seventh IIJA Webinar, is
  • Share with colleagues, family, friends, and those interested in all things public works and infrastructure related!
  • Stay tuned for ˾’s eighth IIJA webinar, coming later this summer.

On the Horizon

All times ET.

  • June 4 at 10 a.m., The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss ;
  • June 5 at 10 a.m., the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing with FHWA Administrator Bhatt on the ;
  • June 10 through 14, FEMA’s will host a five-day training for emergency managers focusing on the following themes:
    • June 10 –
    • June 11 –
    • June 12 –
    • June 13 –
    • June 14 – .

Explore ˾’s Member Advocacy Tools: