NACWA, together with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties and other key stakeholders met June 1 with representatives from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to discuss NAPA’s ongoing study on affordability-related issues in the clean water sector. NAPA is a congressionally-chartered, non-partisan organization that helps public organizations improve their effectiveness. NACWA had previously met with NAPA in early 2017, providing them with access to the multiple white papers and other materials NACWA has developed on clean water affordability issues over the past decade. NAPA is wrapping up its information collection and is preparing to begin drafting its report, which NAPA has committed to completing by the end of September.
The Consolidated Appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2016 directed the EPA to contract with NAPA “to conduct an independent study to create a definition and framework for community affordability.” The focus of the project has been on identifying updates to the affordability assessment in EPA’s 1997 CSO Financial Capability Guidance, and how to best utilize the Agency’s 2012 Integrated Planning Framework and its supplemental information on conducting financial capability assessments released in 2014. Pending legislation in both the House and Senate would also require updates to EPA’s Financial Capability Guidance which seem to be in line with the direction of NAPA’s study.