NACWA met with specific Congressional offices last week to advance clean water priorities this year—particularly targeting Clean Water Act improvements, Integrated Planning, and infrastructure investment. The House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over clean water issues are continuing their work to advance infrastructure investment and reform legislation.
NACWA is also working to preserve important funding programs which were proposed for elimination in the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Budget Proposal. While no FY18 Budget Resolution or overall spending limits have been decided upon, the Appropriations Committees have begun holding annual hearings on the Budget. This week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears Thursday before the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee and US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appears Tuesday before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
The Trump Administration declared last week to be “Infrastructure Week,” holding several events related to his infrastructure initiative, maintaining a focus on streamlining federal permitting and leveraging the private sector. However, the topic of apprenticeships notably appeared in new materials provided by the White House online. NACWA is monitoring whether this proposal could include a focus on the workforce issues facing clean water agencies. Unfortunately, a minimum of details regarding the infrastructure initiative were provided by the Administration last week. But this week, the President is focusing on workforce issues and additional details may subsequently emerge.