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Actionline – January 2019


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Subcommittee Leadership Takes Shape:
Who Matters and Why in the 116th Congress

The U.S. government shutdown dominated political news coverage over the past month, but behind the scenes the House and Senate were organizing and preparing for the business of legislating over the next two years.

The Democratic takeover of the House has added additional drama to the flurry of activity that always accompanies the start of a new Congress. With the chamber changing hands from R to D, the chairmanship of all House committees also changes. Although the GOP maintained control of the Senate, there’s still been some reshuffling in the upper chamber.

Committees are the workshops of Congress and although every committee can potentially impact the pressure pipe industry, ACPPA pays closest attention to a few key ones:

  • House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee.
  • Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.
  • House Natural Resources and Senate Energy & Natural Resources (ENR) Committees.
  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Each congressional committee is organized into subcommittees that do the nitty gritty work of authorizing or appropriating money for key federal agencies. For this month’s Actionline, we’re providing a snapshot of the new leadership of the panels that control billions of dollars in annual federal water investment and have the biggest impact on water-related infrastructure construction activity. In addition to links to the subcommittee webpages, we’ve provided links to each subcommittee chairman and ranking members personal webpage.

The big question is whether Congress will be able to craft the big infrastructure package that President Trump and congressional Democrats have been touting as the primary opportunity for bipartisan cooperation in 2019. ACPPA’s goal is to make water infrastructure part of that conversation and, in particular, boost funding for drinking water and clean water (e.g., sewers). The individuals on the chart below will be key decisionmakers as the infrastructure debate heats up in the months ahead. We encourage you to learn more about these congressional leaders and let ACPPA know if you have a connection to any (i.e., personal relationship, facility or project in the state or district) so we can leverage the relationship to benefit our whole industry.

Congress – Key Subcommittee Leadership
Subcommittee Jurisdiction Chairman Ranking Member
Water Resources and Environment (House T&I) Authorizing subcommittee for clean water infrastructure, Army Corps of Engineers Grace Napolitano (D-32-Calif.) Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)*
Environment and Climate Change  (House Energy & Commerce) Authorizing subcommittee for drinking water infrastructure Paul Tonko (D-20-N.Y.) John Shimkus (R-15-Ill.)
Fisheries, Water and Wildlife (Senate EPW) Authorizing subcommittee for drinking water, clean water, Army Corps Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) Tammy Duckwork (D-Ill.)
Water and Power (Senate ENR) Authorizing subcommittee for Bureau of Reclamation Not yet named Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
Water, Power and Oceans (House Natural Resources) Authorizing subcommittee for Bureau of Reclamation Jared Huffman (D-2-Calif.) Tom McClintock (R-4-Calif.)
Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (House Appropriations) Appropriations for drinking water and clean water Betty McCollum (D-4-Minn.) David Joyce (R-14-Ohio)
Energy and Water Development (House Appropriations) Appropriations for Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers Marcy Kaptur (D-9-Ohio) Mike Simpson (R-2-Idaho)
Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (Senate Appropriations) Appropriations for drinking water and clean water Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Energy and Water Development (Senate Appropriations) Appropriations for Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

*Westerman is an engineer who worked for 22 years at Mid-South Engineering in Hot Springs and was named Engineer of the Year by the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers in 2013.

Pressure Pipe Post

ACPPA’s Monthly Source for Industry News
January 2019

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.


Member Updates

Northwest Pipe Company Awarded Large Supply Position on the River Supply Conduit Program (01/17/2019)
Northwest Pipe Company has announced it was selected to supply 2.5 miles of the water pipeline for the River Supply Conduit Improvement, Upper Reach, Unit 7 project.

Aging Infrastructure

Corrosion Report Highlights Aging Water Infrastructure (01/18/2019)
The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) released a new report on the nation’s aging infrastructure that highlighted the need for corrosion management systems as an immediate solution for water utilities and municipal systems.
[New Mexico] Improving Aging Infrastructure is on Many Wish Lists (01/14/2019)
We have new players in the governor’s mansion and Legislature. What does that mean for some of our biggest issues on business leaders’ minds this Legislative session?
[Georgia] State Needs to Spend Billions to Update Aging Infrastructure (01/04/2019)
Sewage spills are a sign of a bigger problem that’s underneath your feet. The metro’s municipal water and sewer lines are old and at risk of breaking.

Clean Water

[New Hampshire] Officials Working on Discoloration Issues (01/30/2019)
Some residents in the city’s north end are seeing brown water flowing from their faucets, and officials hosted a special meeting Thursday night to address concerns.
Navy Denies More than 4,400 Claims Related to Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune (01/24/2019)
The Navy has decided to deny more than 4,400 civil claims totaling more than $63 billion related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Speaking at the Pentagon, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters that he made the decision earlier this week after the Navy judged it had “exhausted our avenue of satisfaction for the claimants.”
[California] Gavin Newsom Budget Calls for Drinking Water Tax to Help Poor Communities (01/10/2019)
Tackling what promises to be a controversial issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a tax on drinking water Thursday to help disadvantaged communities clean up contaminated water systems.
Frontier Airlines illness: Cleveland Airport Water Fountain Tests Come Back Clean (01/04/2019)
Health officials say testing shows the water at Cleveland’s airport is safe after six passengers became ill on a Frontier Airlines flight to Florida earlier this week.
Florida Officials Delayed Telling Residents About Tainted Water, Emails Show (01/03/2019)
Linda Lawson thought little of drinking the water from the decades-old well in her backyard, less than half a mile down the road from the Florida State Fire College in Ocala. That changed when her daughter-in-law answered to state workers knocking on her door one afternoon. They came to test the water, a worker said.

Coal Ash/Fly Ash

Concrete Alternative Proves Potential Under Test (01/26/2019)
Methods for producing concrete using industrial waste such as fly ash instead of concrete have been developed by scientists at Kaunas University of Technology, (KTU) Lithuania. The final product is said to be as strong as the traditional concrete, more resilient to damaging effects of acid and more stable in cases of expose to extreme heat and cold.
[Indiana] Editorial: Coal-Ash Cleanup (01/18/2019)
Electricity from coal-burning plants has powered Indiana’s homes, building and factories for decades. But the bills soon may be coming due for a long-ignored byproduct of that process.
[Virginia] Letter: Coal Ash Debate Needs ‘Objective Evaluation’ (01/16/2019)
The article “Report: Coal ash elevates health risks at Dutch Gap,” misses the point in the current discussion of fly ash containment and attempts to make specious connections with the apparent intention to inflame opinion without contributing relevant information to the discussion.


States Along Colorado River Working To Avert Crisis From 19-Year Drought (01/28/2019)
A 19-year drought has created a crisis for states along the Colorado River. They face a deadline this week to come up with a deal to share water, or the federal government says it will step in.


[California] An 80-Year-Old Sewer Line Threatens Metrolink Tracks And Power Lines (01/30/2019)
It would be hard to find a worse place for an 80-year-old sewer line to threaten to collapse.
[North Carolina] The Long Road to a Sewer Plant Rebuild (01/30/2019)
Waynesville will wrap up two-a-half-years of preliminary analysis and studies to rebuild its outdated sewer plant this spring.
[Georgia] Neighbors Say Sewage Smell is Seeping into Their Homes, Making them Sick (01/29/2019)
“It was so strong it just took your breath away,” Harriett Dawson said. “My eyes were burning and I could hardly open (them).”


Digitizing Utilities (01/09/2019)
How smart water technologies can equip utilities to address aging infrastructure & the retiring workforce
These Technologies Could Put an End to Leaky Water Mains (01/07/2019)
Across the northern United States and Canada, homeowners are checking their snow blowers, stocking firewood and draining outdoor pipes in preparation for cold weather. For municipalities, though, winter-proofing water mains isn’t so easy—the pipes travel long stretches underground, and this time of year, frozen ground and temperature differentials cause fine cracks to develop into full-blown leaks, often with catastrophic results.

Water Funding

[New Mexico] Editorial: Delving into Water Rates (01/13/2019)
City Hall is planning to undertake a study of Santa Fe’s water rates. Don’t panic yet. Mayor Alan Webber says there’s no preconceived goal – like rate increases or shifting the burden among different kinds of customers, such as residential versus commercial users.
Carney: Iowa’s Need for Water Fund is Acute (01/04/2019)
With Iowa’s next legislative session beginning soon, there has been increasing interest in the effort to fund the Iowa Water and Land Legacy, or IWLL, trust fund. In 2010, 63 percent of Iowans voted for a constitutional amendment to create the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, a permanent and protected funding source dedicated to clean water, productive agricultural soils, and thriving wildlife habitat.

Water Infrastructure

EPA Releases Year in Review, Highlighting Its Accomplishments and Environmental Progress (01/29/2019)
On January 28, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Year in Review: 2018 (YIR).
Forget the Wall: Water is the U.S.’s Pressing Infrastructure Issue 01/19/2019
As President Donald Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion in taxpayer funding for a border wall, a growing number of voices are calling for such funds to be diverted to a far more pressing issue: water.
New Disaster Bill Includes $849M for Water Infrastructure (01/18/2019)
The House bill would help states and territories make water systems affected by natural disasters more resilient and less vulnerable to storms in the future. Typically, federal disaster aid pays to rebuild water systems to their pre-disaster condition, essentially rebuilding a system that has already proven vulnerable to disaster damage.
Trump Signs Bipartisan Clean Water Infrastructure Bill into Law (01/15/2019)
Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska; and Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, issued statements Jan. 15 after President Donald Trump signed into law the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation that will provide public water utilities in communities across the country with greater flexibility to develop management plans to meet federal standards under the Clean Water Act.
Water Coalition Urges Congress to Fund Water Infrastructure (01/14/2019)
On Jan. 10, a coalition of 91 national, state and local water organizations sent a letter to Congress urging water infrastructure funding. The letter asked for a broad range of water infrastructure projects to be considered during the 116th Congress, including drinking water, wastewater, water reuse and storm water infrastructure.
Shutdown Impacts: Water Infrastructure, Environment and Public Lands (01/11/2019)
As our nation’s wastewater infrastructure faces an estimated $271 billion deficit to meet current and future demands over the next 20 years and an estimated $1 trillion is necessary to maintain and expand service to meet drinking water demands over the next 25 years, the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) are key federal programs that support investments in local water systems.

Water Mains

Detroit Agency Braces for Water Main Breaks During Polar Vortex (01/29/2019)
Agency spokesman Bryan Peckinpaugh said snow and freezing temperatures already have led to 18 minor water main breaks throughout the city of Detroit, and more are expected.
Water Main Break in NYC Causes Morning Commute Chaos (01/28/2019)
A water main break in Chelsea and an unauthorized person on the subway tracks at the 42nd Street-Bryant Park station caused calamity on the rails Wednesdaymorning.
Water Main Break Affects Downtown Detroit (01/14/2019)
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says a 42-inch main broke near McDougall and Larned, causing a loss of pressure and exposing the system to potential contamination. As a precaution, DWSD issued a boil water advisory for customers south of I-75 between the Lodge Freeway and Mt. Elliott.
Water Main Creak Floods Several Streets in LA’s Chinatown District (01/03/2019)
Repair crews worked Thursday to fix a broken water main in Chinatown that flooded streets and the parking lots of a fast food restaurant and pharmacy.

Water Supply

Salem Seeks Millions to Improve Drinking Water System (01/28/2019)
City leaders in Salem, Oregon, met with state legislators last week to discuss the earliest stages of funding an $80 million plan to fortify the city’s water system and ensure drinking water is free from harmful algal toxins.
January Storms Fill Up California’s Water Reservoirs (01/24/2019)
Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock says while the news is good now, it’s too early to tell what the water supply will be in when the winter rainy season is over.
California’s Water Supply Below Normal, Snowpack Survey Shows (01/03/2019)
Despite rainfall from the recent winter storms, the Sierra snowpack is 67 percent of its average for this time of year, the state Department of Water Resources reported Thursday. Total rainfall for this water year, which began Oct. 1, has been below average.


Water Supply

H.R. 29 | Introduced by Rep. Gohmert, Louie (R-Texas) | Public Water Supply Invasive Species Compliance Act of 2019 | 01/03/2019
This bill exempts certain water transfers between public water supplies in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana from prohibitions on illegal trade of plants and wildlife.
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