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June 29, 2018 – VOLUME 15, ISSUE 6

WRDA’s in the Spotlight, But Don’t Forget About Appropriations

When it comes to infrastructure (water or otherwise), the “big game” on Capitol Hill this summer is Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization. The House passed its version of the bill to authorize Army Corps of Engineers navigation and flood control projects (H.R. 8) on June 6 by a vote of 408 to 2. The Senate WRDA bill (S. 2800), which was approved unanimously by the Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee on May 21, is more expansive. Rather than simply focusing on the Corps, the EPW Committee also included provisions designed to enhance federal wastewater and drinking water programs overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

(For more information on what’s in the bills, see the May 2018 edition of Actionline.)

But when it comes to water infrastructure, WRDA isn’t the only game in town. A must-do item on Congress’s list is passing appropriations bills to provide money next year for programs already authorized. Although the federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, not a single FY 2019 appropriations bill has been signed into law and only three have passed both chambers of Congress.

ACPPA has tended to focus on the Interior, Environment & Related Agencies bill, which funds the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. In 2018, water infrastructure-related programs funded through the Interior-Environment bill received more than $3 billion.

However, several other appropriations bills also impact water infrastructure markets. The Energy & Water Development bill funds the Army Corps of Engineers; the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies bill funds the Department of Agriculture’s rural water programs; the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and Related Agencies bill supports HUD’s community development block grants; and the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies bill funds public works and economic development projects through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

ACPPA has prepared the chart on the next page to provide members with information about each of the appropriations bills, including status, impacted water infrastructure-related programs, FY 2018 outlays and the Trump administration’s funding requests for 2019. When looking at the 2019 request column, it’s worth noting that administrations often make low-ball requests confident in the knowledge the Congress won’t zero-out a popular program.

As the end of the fiscal year nears and appropriations activity heats up, keep watching this space for further analysis and the status of infrastructure-related spending bills. We’d also like to hear from ACPPA members who are helping to build projects paid for through any of the various programs identified on the chart. Send your comments to ACPPA Counsel & Lobbyist Christian Klein at christian.klein@potomac-law.com.

Where Does Federal Water Infrastructure Money Come From?

Interior, Environment & Related Agencies
(H.R. 6147 and S. 3073 have both been approved by full committee)

Department/Agency and Program What Does the Program Do? FY 2018 Appropriation 2019 Trump Administration Requested Amount
EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program Loans to support municipal wastewater treatment and related projects $1.694 billion $1.394 billion
EPA Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program Loans to public water supply projects to meet federal drinking water standards and address serious health risks $1.163 billion $863 million
EPA Water Infrastructure Financing & Innovation Act (WIFIA) Financing assistance for wastewater and drinking water projects with costs of $20 million or more ($5 million in rural areas0 $55 million to provide $4.4 billion in credit assistance $17 million to provide $2.1 billion in credit assistance
Dept. of Interior Bureau of Reclamation Grants for wastewater reclamation and reuse projects $54.4 million $3 million
Dept. of Interior Indian and non-Indian rural water supply Grants and loans for water supply projects $113 million $33.9 million

 

Energy & Water Development
(H.R. 5895 approved by House and Senate)

Department/Agency and Program What Does the Program Do? FY 2018 Appropriation 2019 Trump Administration Requested Amount
Army Corps of Engineers environmental infrastructure assistance Planning, design and construction assistance and grants $70 million $0

 

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies
(H.R. 5961 and S. 2976 both approved by full committee)

Department/Agency and Program What Does the Program Do? FY 2018 Appropriation 2019 Trump Administration Requested Amount
Dept. of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service, Water and Waste Disposal Program Grants and loans to support municipal water supply and waste disposal projects Grants: $400 million; direct loans: $1.2 billion; guaranteed loans: $50 million Grants: $0; direct loans: $1.2 billion; guaranteed loans: $0

 

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies
(H.R. 6072 and S. 3023 approved by full committee)

Department/Agency and Program What Does the Program Do? FY 2018 Appropriation 2019 Trump Administration Requested Amount
Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program Grants to support community development projects, including water and waste disposal $3.3 billion $0

 

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
(H.R. 5952 and S.3072 both approved by committee)

Department/Agency and Program What Does the Program Do? FY 2018 Appropriation 2019 Trump Administration Requested Amount
Dept. of Commerce Economic Development Administration Public Works and Economic Development Program Grants for up to 50% percent of multipurpose economic development programs, including water and sewer $117.5 million allocated for public works programs $0

 

Source: Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs, Congressional Research Service (2018) and Congress.org.


Workforce Bill on the Move in the Senate

Legislation to improve federal career technical education (CTE) programs took an important step forward on June 26 with the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee’s unanimous approval of its Carl Perkins Act reauthorization bill. Senate committee action has been a long time coming: The House passed its version of a Perkins bill (H.R. 2353) by voice vote on June 23, 2017.

ACPPA members have expressed concern about increasing difficulty finding workers with the technical skills necessary to support the manufacture of concrete pressure pipe and the association is therefore making workforce development a top priority. ACPPA joined a letter coordinated by the National Association of Manufacturers urging HELP Committee leadership to move quickly to enact a Perkins bill into law and has made CTE a priority within the North American Concrete Alliance.

Among other things, the HELP Committee’s bill would give states more flexibility in designing career technical education programs, while establishing tighter timelines and performance indicators to measure the success of state efforts. Other broad objectives of the legislation are to enhance coordination between schools, businesses and government to ensure students graduate with skills local businesses actually need, increasing student participation in work-based learning opportunities and promoting the use of industry-recognized credentials.

Given that workforce legislation has languished in the Senate for more than a year, the move by the HELP Committee is welcome news. Although the Senate’s agenda for the summer is jam packed, we’re hopeful that the growing need for more technical workers in many sectors, bipartisan and broad industry support for the bill and the Trump administration’s desire to get Perkins done this year will combine to help get the legislation over the finish line before the elections.

As ACPPA continues to work to educate lawmakers and allies about concrete pressure pipe industry workforce issues, please send anecdotes about the how the worker shortage is impacting your company and customers to ACPPA Counsel & Lobbyist Christian Klein at christian.klein@potomac-law.com.


Summer’s a Great Time to Introduce Lawmakers to CCP

ACPPA is standing by to help members coordinate visits by members of Congress, candidates and state and local government officials to your facility. Hosting a visit is an excellent way to raise the visibility of your company and industry and to build connections between lawmakers and your executive team. ACPPA’s Washington team can provide guidance about whom to invite, connect you with schedulers and district staff, suggest an agenda for the meeting and provide talking points. To get the process started, please contact ACPPA Counsel & Lobbyist Christian Klein at christian.klein@potomac-law.com.

 


Pressure Pipe Post

ACPPA’s Monthly Source for Industry News

June 2018

To keep members aware of the activities of government and standards organizations, we regularly sweep public databases and publications for the industry-specific terms indicated below. We then provide our members with links to documents identified in the search. Please note that in some cases the URLs may link to subscription-only databases. The purpose of this service is to identify emerging threats and trends as well as opportunities for collective action by ACPPA.

NEWS RESULTS

Industry Members & Activities

De Gasperis and Kohn Families Donate $20 Million for New Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital
06/21/2018 http://dmnnewswire.digitalmedianet.com/article/De-Gasperis-and-Kohn-Families-Donate-20-Million-for-New-Mackenzie-Vaughan-Hospital-5460891
The Giovanni De Gasperis Eugene Kohn Learning Centre will be the most technologically advanced education facility within a Canadian community hospital.
How to Evaluate and Manage Pipeline Infrastructure
06/20/2018 https://foresternetwork.com/daily/water/water-pipe-repair/evaluate-manage-pipeline-infrastructure/
Asset management has emerged as a methodology that water agencies have adopted to evaluate and manage their pipeline infrastructure. The profiles of public works and water utility departments discussed in this article reflect how, over the course of 25 years, water agencies have transitioned from replacing a pipe simply because it’s old to evaluating pipelines regularly, using multiple criteria to decide when and whether first to replace or repair pipelines facing deterioration, even potential catastrophe.
World’s Water Experts Gather in Vegas With an Eye Toward Innovation
06/12/2018 http://www.wflx.com/story/38409688/worlds-water-experts-gather-in-vegas-with-an-eye-toward-innovation-at-awwas-annual-conference
An estimated 12,000 water professionals gathered today at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas to explore innovative solutions to water challenges during the 137th American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE18).
It’s What America is Built On
06/07/2018 https://www.wateronline.com/doc/it-s-what-america-is-built-on-0001
Much of our nation’s public water supply system was built in the early 1900s as the industrial revolution brought millions from farms and rural areas to urban manufacturing and population centers. Another water system expansion occurred in the post-World War II era with the vast expansion of suburbs.

 

Infrastructure

Michigan’s Underground Infrastructure is Out of Sight, but Should Be on Our Minds
06/27/2018 https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/06/michigans_
underground_infrastr.html
Three years and millions of dollars in state and federal funding later, Flint residents are still dealing with the ramifications of the decision to switch Flint’s municipal water source from the Detroit water system to the Flint River in 2014. Untreated water caused lead from old pipes to leach into water running to homes and businesses in Flint.
The Rise of the Intelligent Sewer
06/26/2018 https://www.wbcsd.org/Overview/News-Insights/3blnews?mid=201081&pgno=1&fdpgno=1
By 2010, Kansas City’s underground infrastructure was faced with a challenge. Its sewer systems were outdated—the 1,060 miles of pipe in the combined sewer system dated back to 1857, which, to put in perspective, is four years prior to the start of the Civil War.
Pretty Means Nothing when Infrastructure is Crumbling Underneath
06/18/2018 https://ucononline.com/2018/06/pretty-means-nothing-infrastructure-crumbling-underneath/
Brown or blackish water comes out of the sink, toilets back up, the television is nothing but snow, internet is down or there’s no signal for cell phones (millennials shudder at the thought). This dark vision is actually happening in one U.S. city and unfortunately, conditions are ripe for this sad story to be repeated around the country if our underground infrastructure continues on its current course.

 

International

Editor’s Note: The pieces in this section – many of which could appear under other headings in this edition of the Pressure Pipe Post – are displayed here to provide Actionline readers a reference for industry issues that matter around the world.

[Germany] Cementless Fly Ash Binder Makes Concrete ‘Green’
06/21/2018 http://www.chemeurope.com/en/news/1155913/cementless-fly-ash-binder-makes-concrete-green.html
More than 20 billion tons of concrete are produced around the world every year in a manufacturing process that contributes 5 to 10 percent of carbon dioxide to global emissions, surpassed only by transportation and energy as the largest producers of the greenhouse gas.
[India] Why Pollution May Not have a Season Anymore
06/14/2018 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/why-pollution-may-not-have-a-season-anymore/articleshow/64593466.cms
Winter pollution in the New Delhi region may be deadly, but summer doesn’t give much respite either.
[Australia] State Government Doubles Drought Assistance
06/13/2018 https://www.2nm.com.au/news/local-news/76994-state-government-doubles-drought-assistance
The State Government has announced they will be doubling the drought assistance available to drought-stricken farmers across the state and here in the Upper Hunter.
[India] Only Fly Ash Bricks for City Buildings
06/10/2018 https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/odisha/only-fly-ash-bricks-for-city-buildings-236665
The state government will use fly ash generated from various power plants functioning in the state to safeguard environment. To begin with, officials have decided to make use of fly ash bricks mandatory for buildings in the urban areas.
[China] Robots Patrol Launched in Northwest China Underground Pipe Network
06/03/2018 https://www.apdnews.com/e-china/852084.html
Robots have been dispatched to patrol an underground pipe network in the city of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, according to local authorities.
[Canada] Trump Trade War – Canada to Impose Countermeasures Action Against U.S.
06/01/2018 https://steelguru.com/steel/trump-trade-war-canada-to-impose-countermeasures-action-against-us/510888
The Canadian government is also considering whether additional measures may be required.

 

Materials & Technology

Look Who’s Patented 3D Printable Concrete
06/27/2018 http://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2018/6/27/look-whos-patented-3d-printable-concrete
This would certainly be a very useful capability, as the many attempts at 3D printed buildings using concrete extruders have had mixed success. However, most, if not all, of them have been using standard concrete materials.
Common Industrial Applications of Coal
06/27/2018 http://www.mycoloradogazette.com/profiles/blogs/common-industrial-applications-of-coal
Coal is one of the cheapest and is a significant source of energy. Coal is extensively used worldwide for electricity production. Coal has a great variety of usages which is why it’s used in the manufacturing sector. The most common industrial application of coal is cement manufacturing, steel manufacturing, electricity generation and also as a liquid fuel, all over the world.
[New York] Malone Receives State Funding to Create Digital Infrastructure Databank
06/25/2018 http://www.mymalonetelegram.com/mtg01/malone-receives-state-funding-to-create-digital-infrastructure-databank-20180625
The grant, which comes from the New York State Archives through its Local Government Records Management Fund, will enable the village and the towns of Malone and Bellmont to create digital records of information that is now only available on maps and other paper documents.
The Next Frontier to Be Mapped Lies Underground
06/22/2018 https://www.f3nws.com/news/the-next-frontier-to-be-mapped-lies-underground-743ff35a
When we think of urban sprawl, our imagination tends to go outwards and upwards. A ring of skyscrapers circling the downtown core, perhaps, or a sea of suburban townhouses off the freeway. Rarely do we think downwards: about the intricate webs of pipes and cables that lie beneath our sidewalks.

 

Policy

Does the Clean Water Act Apply to Groundwater?
06/25/2018 https://www.progressivecattle.com/news/industry-news/8459-does-the-clean-water-act-apply-to-groundwater
After years of focusing on the definition of “Waters of the United States (WOTUS),” a new issue is brewing related to the scope of the Clean Water Act.
[Utah] Keeping Toilets Flushing: Sewer Rates to Go up 45 Percent in St. George Next Month
06/22/2018 http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/06/22/jcw-keeping-toilets-flushing-sewer-rates-to-go-up-45-percent-in-st-george-next-month/
St. George residents will soon be paying more for a number of city-provided services, including those related to the city’s Water Services Department.
State Senate Passes Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program to Fight Lurking Monster in NY’s Aging Infrastructure
06/13/2018 https://blog.timesunion.com/tedisco/senate-passes-safe-water-infrastructure-action-program-to-fight-lurking-monster-in-nys-aging-infrastructure/2687/
S.W.A.P. creates a new state program to repair and maintain vital local drinking water, sewer, storm water management, gas line and water tower infrastructure to protect lives and save tax dollars by avoiding costly repairs when systems break.

REGULATORY RESULTS

Sewer

Department of Agriculture | Notice of Funds Availability and Solicitation of Applications | Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines
06/20/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-06-20/pdf/2018-13235.pdf
The Agency will make available $1,000,000 in grant funds to qualified private, non-profit organizations to establish a lending program for eligible entities.

 

 Water Infrastructure

Environmental Protection Agency | Interim Final Rule | Previously-Incurred Costs in the WIFIA Program
06/26/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-06-26/pdf/2018-13714.pdf
With this interim final rule Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the Water Infrastructure

Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) regulations to clarify the process for, and conditions under which, a recipient of WIFIA credit assistance can include costs incurred, and the value of integral in-kind contributions made, before receipt of assistance in the calculation of total eligible costs and can be reimbursed for certain of those costs by WIFIA loan proceeds.


 

Water Supply

Department of the Interior | Notice of Availability | Availability of Rural Water Supply Program Approved Appraisal Reports
06/14/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-06-14/pdf/2018-12793.pdf
Reclamation has made available to the public seven Rural Water Supply Program approved appraisal reports.

 

Delaware River Basin Commission | Final Rule | Regulatory Program Fees and Water Charges Rates
06/07/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-06-07/pdf/2018-12258.pdf
Notice is provided of the Commission’s regulatory program fees and schedule of water charges for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018

LEGISLATIVE RESULTS

Drinking Water

S. 3121 | Introduced by Sen. Paul, Rand (R-Ky.) | A Bill to Require Maximum Competition in Water-Related Procurement Projects
06/25/2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3121
A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 to require maximum open and free competition in procurement for projects receiving assistance under those Acts, and for other purposes. As of Actionline press time the text of this bill was not yet publicly available.
S. 3015 | Introduced by Sen. Harris, Kamala (D-Calif.) | Water Affordability Act
06/06/2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3015
To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish a low-income sewer and drinking water assistance pilot program, and for other purposes.

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