PWEA’s Government Affairs Committee provides summaries of recent federal and state legislative and regulatory activities, as well as other information useful to Pennsylvania’s water quality professionals.
Impact on Environmental Agencies with first Trump Administration Budget Blueprint
(abstracted from the March 17, 2017 edition of WEF’s This Week in Washington)
Roughly 3,200 employees (20% of the work force) would be cut from the EPA’s 15,000 member workforce, and the budget would be reduced from $8.1 billion in FY 2016 to $5.7 billion-- its lowest level in 40 years.
The proposed budget does continue to provide funding for drinking and wastewater infrastructure, including $2.3 billion for the State Revolving Funds (SRFs), which is a $4 million increase over the 2017 Continued Resolution and $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, which is the same level of funding as 2017. The budget eliminates over 50 EPA categorical programs, and regional efforts such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program. It severely cuts funding to the EPA’s Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, the EPA Office of Research and Development, and in the areas of climate work and the Clean Power Plan.
Infrastructure is Getting Major News Coverage - Water Receives Poor Grade on ASCE's Infrastructure Report Card
(abstracted from the March 10, 2017 edition of WEF’s This Week in Washington)
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committee on America’s Infrastructure has issued its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. It gave America a grade of D+ , the same grade as the 2013 report. Wastewater received a grade of D+. We all know what a D+ grade meant when we were in college or high school; not something you wanted to bring home to your parents! In the ASCE report, a D+ means “The infrastructure is in poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life. A large portion of the system exhibits significant deterioration. Condition and capacity are of serious concern with strong risk of failure.” Get ready for increased pressure to improve infrastructure. Hopefully funding will follow. This is the time for PWEA members to contact their legislators emphasizing the importance of funding for infrastructure improvements.
Don’t forget to check the latest news from PADEP.