NACWA participated in a meeting with senior EPA Office of Water officials on August 10 to discuss a number of priority issues, joining other water sector groups and associations for the discussion.
Central to the conversation was EPA’s budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which begins on October 1. As noted in the previous story, Congress has not yet passed a budget and must address this issue when it returns in September. EPA staff at this point are anticipating some form of Continuing Resolution (CR), at least in the short term, to continue funding operations. But the amount that might be included in a CR is unclear, and the Agency does not know yet how certain of its key programs impacting clean water utilities will fare.
EPA also noted that it is moving forward with funding the 12 projects selected for the initial round of Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. The Agency has requested additional information from the 12 selected entities, and anticipates closing on the first loan in early 2018. EPA is also planning additional rounds of funding eligibility for WIFIA in the near future, although the exact amount of money available will in part depend on how much money Congress appropriates for the program for FY 2018.
Although there has been no formal nomination yet by the Trump Administration of an Assistant Administrator for Water, there continues to be strong speculation that David Ross, currently with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, will be the nominee. NACWA will continue to track developments and report to the membership on any updates.