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Actionline – October 2018

October 31, 2018 – VOLUME 15, ISSUE 10

NACA Post-Election Webinar Will Help You Sort Through the Ashes While the Coals are Still Hot

With the 2019 midterm elections just a few days away, you’re no doubt hearing a lot about how things might turn out. Bu t for now – until the votes are cast and counted – it’s all just speculation.

What’s actually important are the election results and what they mean for your company and industry. With that in mind, ACPPA is partnering with its allies in the North American Concrete Alliance to present a 2018 election debrief webinar for our members the day after the election.

During the webinar on Nov. 7, ACPPA Counsel Christian Klein and his colleagues will discuss:

  • The results of the congressional elections and key governors’ races and infrastructure-related ballot initiatives;
  • Who’ll be in charge on the Hill in the 116th Congress;
  • The outlook for infrastructure and other concrete and cement priorities; and
  • How you can help position your company and industry for success in the new political environment.

The free webinar will take place at 2pm ET on Weds., Nov. 7. To register please click here.


Water Infrastructure, FAA Bills Get President’s Signature

President Trump signed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S. 3021) into law on Oct. 23, marking the end of a successful effort by ACPPA and its allies to reauthorize key water infrastructure programs.

At the heart of the bill is the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a two-year authorization of Army Corps of Engineers harbor, ports waterway and flood protection projects. Unlike past WRDA bills, however, S. 3021 includes drinking water, hydropower and storm and wastewater legislation as well.


“This bill is a major achievement for Congress, the North American Concrete Alliance (NACA) and its members,” American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association President and CEO Richard Mueller said. “NACA has been working to educate lawmakers about America’s massive water infrastructure needs and the benefits of using cement and concrete to build for the long-term. Those messages clearly resonated and the result is one of the most important pieces of water infrastructure legislation in a quarter century.” See more in the “Pressure Pipe Post”…


S. 3021 reauthorizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for the first time in 25 years. The drinking water state revolving fund is set to receive more than $4.4 billion in appropriations over the next three years ($1.174 billion in fiscal year 2019, $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2020 and $1.95 billion in fiscal year 2021). Those amounts are in line with past spending, if not with the nation’s hundreds of billions of dollars in investment needs.

The bill also reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, which provides long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance to improve access to capital for drinking water and sewer projects, at $50 million annually for two years and makes it easier for states to apply for WIFIA loans.

More information about the bill, including full text, summary and analysis is available through: transportation.house.gov. A more thorough analysis of the bill was also included in last month’s Actionline.

In another important infrastructure-related development, the president signed a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill into law on Oct. 5. It provides stable funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which issues grants to public use airports for planning and development purposes. The AIP will receive $3.35 billion per year for the next five years. However, there was disappointment among organizations representing construction and airport interests that the legislation did not increase AIP funding and did not increase the Passenger Facility Charge, which has been capped at $4.50 per flight segment since 2000.

While 115th Congress didn’t take up the massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan proposed by the Trump administration, the water and FAA bills represent progress and recognition on the part of lawmakers that infrastructure needs to be a priority. As the 106th Congress gets to work in January, we’ll be pushing your elected representatives to do more.


Water Appropriations Hang in Pre-Election Limbo

The House and Senate adjourned until after the elections leaving some important business undone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which manages the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs) is operating under a short-term appropriation through Dec. 7

After the election, House and Senate conferees will have to finish hammering out details of a “minibus” that includes FY 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bills.

Assuming the bills get done as expected in late November or December, water infrastructure SRFs are likely to get a slight increase from the $2.25 billion appropriated for FY 2018. The House bill provides $75 million for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) programs and $2.55 billion for the SRFs; Senate bill includes $63 million for WIFIA; $2.88 billion for the SRFs.


Canada’s New Minster of Infrastructure Gets to Work

As of a few weeks ago, Canada has a new minster of infrastructure and communities. François-Philippe Champagne, member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain, was appointed to the post in July and received his official mandate letter on Aug. 28.

Minister Champagne served as a parliamentary secretary from 2015 until 2017, when he was appointed Minister of International Trade. He has a background in business and law, as well as more than 20 years of experience in large international companies, particularly in the fields of energy, engineering, and innovation.

In his mandate letter to Minister Champagne, Prime Minster Trudeau set out the government’s infrastructure priorities, which include implementing the Investing In Canada Plan, enhancing transparency about infrastructure investment, facilitate relations with the provinces to ensure investment flows in a timely manner, continuing the start-up of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (including launching a new Canadian Green Bond), continuing progress on bridge construction and improving physical infrastructure for indigenous communities.

For more on Infrastructure Canada’s recent activities, go to: www.infrastructure.gc.ca/media/index-nr-cp-eng.html.


Pressure Pipe Post

ACPPA’s Monthly Source for Industry News
October 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

Election 2018

Governor Race: What You Need to Know About Richard Cordray, Where He Stands on Issues
10/29/2018 https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/governor-race-what-you-need-know-about-richard-cordray-where-stands-issues/oBwNzJkyryRnibJkR7mxWM/
Some politicians try hard to be cool and hip, but none of them are named Richard Cordray.
Whitmer Seeks to Take Governor’s Office Back for Dems
10/26/2018 https://www.macombdaily.com/news/elections/whitmer-seeks-to-take-governor-s-office-back-for-dems/article_39193cdc-d930-11e8-a0d7-4ff857e9805c.html
After a lifetime spent around Lansing Gretchen Whitmer is seeking to turn the Michigan governor’s office blue after eight years of Republican leadership.
Republican Schuette Outlines Gubernatorial Platform
10/26/2018 https://www.macombdaily.com/news/elections/republican-schuette-outlines-gubernatorial-platform/article_e9cc4f26-d929-11e8-a64a-736282ca22da.html
A familiar name to Michigan voters is looking to succeed Rick Snyder for a four-year term as governor of Michigan.
Voters to Decide Candidates, State Proposals, Local Charter Amendments
10/24/2018 https://www.candgnews.com/news/voters-to-decide-candidates-state–proposals-local-charter-amendments-110451
In the Royal Oak Review’s coverage area, voters will choose candidates and decide three state proposals and four local charter amendments in Royal Oak and Clawson.
Vote Yes on Measure R
10/23/2018 http://www.dailycal.org/2018/10/23/vote-yes-on-measure-r/
Measure R, dubbed “Vision 2050,” is an intelligent approach to infrastructure planning. Vision 2050 would create a 30-year infrastructure plan for Berkeley, with an emphasis on climate resiliency, cutting-edge technology and efficiency.
What Do the Candidates Think? Q&A with the 5 Johnson City Commission Hopefuls
10/12/2018 https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Politics/2018/10/12/Q-A-with-5-Johnson-City-Commission-candidates.html
Johnson City voters will select at least one new commissioner out of a five-candidate field in November.

Materials

Charah Solutions Partners with Oklahoma Construction Materials to Install New Fly Ash Storage Silos at Oklahoma City Rail Terminal
10/30/2018 http://www.crossroadstoday.com/story/39382298/charah-solutions-partners-with-oklahoma-construction-materials-to-install-new-fly-ash-storage-silos-at-oklahoma-city-rail-terminal
Charah Solutions, Inc. announced it has partnered with Oklahoma Construction Materials and completed installation of new fly ash storage silos at OCM’s rail terminal near Oklahoma City.
More than Meets the Eye
10/01/2018 https://csengineermag.com/article/more-than-meets-the-eye/
It’s no secret that infrastructure across the United States has reached a point of no return. Every building material we use — concrete, steel, rubber, wood, asphalt — all have expiration dates.

Policy

Stormy Waters Settle as Steubenville Council Approves Final Measures for Utility Rates
10/23/2018 https://wtov9.com/news/local/stormy-waters-settle-as-steubenville-council-approves-final-measures-for-utility-rates
Steubenville City Council has approved final measures for its water and sewer rate increases.
[Canada] Beaconsfield Rewarded for its Drinking Water Conservation Efforts
10/12/2018 https://www.morningstar.com/news/canada-news-wire/CNW_20181012C2761/beacons
field-rewarded-for-its-drinking-water-conservation-efforts.html
At the Water Excellence ceremony held by Réseau Environnement, the City of Beaconsfield was awarded a certificate of recognition for its various initiatives relating to conserving drinking water, as part of Réseau Environnement’s Municipalité Écon’eau program.
Industry Alliance Bullish on Water Infrastructure Act
10/11/2018 http://www.concreteproducts.com/news/11307-industry-alliance-bullish-on-water-infrastructure-act.html?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default
“NACA has been working to educate lawmakers about America’s massive water infrastructure needs and the benefits of using cement and concrete to build for the long-term. Those messages clearly resonated and the result is one of the most important pieces of water infrastructure legislation in a quarter century,” American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association CEO Richard Mueller said.
Water Resources and Development Act a Win for Industry
10/10/2018 http://rockproducts.com/news-late/17889-water-resources-and-development-act-a-win-for-industry.html#.W9ntW2hKiUk
The bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, S. 3021, is the most sweeping infrastructure package to be considered this Congress. It grows the economy, keeps communities safe, cuts red tape and is fiscally responsible.

Projects

[New York] Hempstead to Replace Lead Pipes
10/25/2018 http://liherald.com/longbeach/stories/hempstead-to-replace-lead-pipes,108414
Town of Hempstead officials announced last week that the town would replace 100-year-old lead water pipes that service Point Lookout residents because they pose a potential health risk.
[North Carolina] Work for New Chilled Water Facility Begins
10/19/2018 https://today.duke.edu/2018/10/work-new-chilled-water-facility-begins
The first step in the construction of Duke’s next major utility project will begin Monday on Central Campus.
[Florida] Water Main Break Floods St. Armands Street
10/12/2018 https://www.yourobserver.com/article/water-main-break-floods-st-armands-street
“This is crazy, but what are you going to do?” said Shirley Steele, who was watching workers tend to the problem from the sidewalk along Madison Drive near North Boulevard of the Presidents. “I’m sure it’s going to get fixed fast.”
[Texas] Kenedy Working to Modernize City Lines
10/11/2018 https://www.mysoutex.com/karnes_countywide/news/kenedy-working-to-modernize-city-lines/article_04cc20fc-ccba-11e8-858b-f30011ec1171.html
Efforts by city workers to improve water and sewer lines here continue as old cast iron and cement pipes are coming out of the ground in favor of new material.
[Connecticut] MDC Testing New Material for West Hartford Sewer Pipe, Checking Other Lined Pipes in Town
10/10/2018 https://we-ha.com/mdc-testing-new-material-for-west-hartford-sewer-pipe-checking-other-lined-pipes-in-town/
The Metropolitan District Commission and its contractors are continuing the process of clean-up, restoration, and inspection of sewer pipes on Linbrook Road, where the failure of a liner in a 27-inch pipe resulted in a blockage that led to the roadway and many basements being flooded with sewage on Oct. 3.
[Oklahoma] Councilors Take Steps Toward Water System Improvements
10/09/2018 http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/councilors-take-steps-toward-water-system-improvements/article_877991ae-9b84-580f-bd20-1b35705ab9c8.html
City councilors moved forward on Monday efforts to secure a $17.64 million loan that will be used to fund improvements to the city’s drinking water infrastructure.

Workforce

SkillsUSA and NASSCO Team Up to Support Outstanding Skilled Trades Students
10/25/2018 https://www.seattlepi.com/business/press-releases/article/SkillsUSA-and-NASSCO-Team-Up-to-Support-13336088.php
“The underground infrastructure industry offers extremely viable and robust career opportunities in the water and wastewater sectors,” said Sheila Joy, NASSCO’s executive director.
Entities Work to Fight Construction Worker Shortage in Hampton Roads
10/22/2018 https://pilotonline.com/inside-business/news/continuing-education-work-development/article_5d9d8158-d63d-11e8-8e00-cbed01c3ff05.html
Construction workers are retiring, and not enough young people are entering the field to replace them. That work shortage is causing headaches for contractors in Hampton Roads and across the country.

REGULATORY RESULTS

Sewer

Department of Justice | Notice | Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Modification Under the Clean Water Act
10/24/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-24/pdf/2018-23184.pdf
The Consent Decree, which was entered by the Court on April 1, 2008, settled claims brought by the United States and the State of Indiana for violations of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., in connection with Fort Wayne’s operation of its municipal wastewater and sewer system

Water Infrastructure

Environmental Protection Agency | Notice | Information Sessions in Chicago, Boston and Atlanta; Implementation of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014
10/12/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-12/pdf/2018-22014.pdf
The U.S. EPA is announcing plans to hold information sessions on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois; Tuesday, December 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts; and Tuesday, January 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose of these sessions is to provide prospective borrowers with a better understanding of the WIFIA program’s status, eligibility and statutory requirements, application process, and financial benefits and flexibilities.

Water Supply

Executive Office of the President | Memorandum | Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West
10/25/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-25/pdf/2018-23519.pdf
Unless addressed, fragmented regulation of water infrastructure will continue to produce inefficiencies, unnecessary burdens, and conflict among the Federal Government, States, tribes, and local public agencies that deliver water to their citizenry.
Department of Energy | Notice | Notice of Transfer of Exemption; The Harrisburg Authority, Capital Region Water
10/23/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-23/pdf/2018-23118.pdf
By letter filed October 1, 2018, The Harrisburg Authority informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the Harrisburg Water Supply Project No. 11845, originally issued September 12, 2000 has been transferred from The Harrisburg Authority to Capital Region Water.
Environmental Protection Agency | Notice | Notice of Approval and Opportunity for Public Comment and Public Hearing for Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for New Jersey
10/16/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-16/pdf/2018-22488.pdf
Public notice is hereby given that the state of New Jersey has revised its approved Public Water System Supervision Program. New Jersey has adopted drinking water regulations for the Revised Total Coliform Rule.
Environmental Protection Agency | Notice | Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for the State of North Carolina
10/05/2018 https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-10-05/pdf/2018-21752.pdf
Notice is hereby given that the State of North Carolina is revising its approved Public Water System Supervision Program. North Carolina has adopted drinking water regulations for the Revised Total Coliform Rule. EPA has determined that North Carolina’s regulations are no less stringent than the federal rule and the revision otherwise meets applicable Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.

LEGISLATIVE RESULTS

Drought

H.R. 6961 | Introduced by Sinema, Kyrsten (D-Ariz.) | Drought Relief through Innovative Projects (DRIP) Act
10/22/2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6961
This bill requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a program to award grants to qualified partnerships to: (1) remove non-native plant species that contribute to drought conditions, and (2) replace the non-native plant species with native plant species.
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