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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary — August 25, 2022

Meeting Summary

Legislation and Policy Committee

August 25, 2022

1pmMT/ 2pmCT/ 3pmET

Link to Meeting Recording: https://youtu.be/uFPUARdc4p8


  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair called the committee to order at 2:00pmCT.
  2. Introductions of participants on the call: Kirsten Wallace (L&P Committee Chair), John Anderson and Geoff Bowman (Van Scoyoc and Associates), Beth Callaway (ICWP Executive Director), Andrew Dehoff (ICWP Chair), Abby Ebach, Beth Brown, Joy Loughry, Kim Lutz, Mike Nardolilli, Wade Loseman, Richard Friesner, Chace Tavelli,  Phone: Katherine Zitsch
  3. Topics in the works
    • USGS WUDR program – options for engagement via legislation and/or support for states through direct outreach
      • The committee requested feedback from the Water Data & Science committee, since many of those members may have a direct interaction with the WUDR Program. The next WD&S meeting is August 31st. Action items: 1) Committee members should bring questions for next L&P meeting discussion.
    • FY2024 agency budgets
      • The Committee requested feedback from the Water Data & Science committee for the upcoming budget priorities for two agencies:
        • NASA/USGS – specifically on the National Land Imaging Program (Landsat Next mission)
        • NOAA
      • The committee agreed it would be beneficial to work on priority messaging for additional for the following agencies/ program areas:
        • USACE
          • Planning assistance to states
          • Sustainable rivers program
          • ERDC
        • USDA/NRCS
  • Federal Water Sub-cabinet update
    • ICWP to meet w/ NOAA Administrator Dr. Spinrad September 16th
  • US Chamber of Commerce Resiliency Coalition
    • Status: ICWP signed onto a Coalition letter to Congress in support of S.3531 National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act – August 2, 2022
  • HR7792 – Water Data Act (Rep. Stansbury)
    • Status: combined into a broader wildfire relief package – H.R. 5118 which passed/agreed to in House on 7/29
  • WRDA 2022
    • Status: Senate EPW and House T&I are working on WRDA 2022 negotiations now; WRDA will probably be an after-election event
    • Next steps: ICWP to engage with House and Senate staff after the mid-term elections
    • Geoff – Word is there may be a new $30M authority created for Planning Assistance for States within disadvantaged communities
  1. Updates from Van Scoyoc Associates to committee members—Please refer to the above link to the recording for details. Highlighted topics:
    • Key upcoming dates for legislation
      • September 13th—Congress returns in session; 11 days until they leave again
      • September 30th – end of FY2022
      • November 8th – election midterms
    • Notable Congressional activities:
      • Congress may need to do continuing resolutions to fund the federal government between fiscal years. The unanswered question is duration, how far will Congress need to go into FY2023. The Democrats want until end of calendar year; minority wants it to expire before Thanksgiving. Sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year will be a full bill for FY2023.
      • Inflation Reduction Act – Bureau of Reclamation programs: $4B for BoR states to address drought and drought mitigation, grants, contracts available to 2026. This includes payments to farmers to voluntarily reduce water use, conservation projects of CO River water, ecosystem habitat projects direct addressed by drought. No accompanying text to establish congressional intent so it will be many months before implementation guidance. $550M from BoR grants to disadvantaged communities.
      • PFAS – There may be an announcement soon that EPA is going to regulate PFAS under Superfund statutes.
      • There’s likely to be an upcoming EPA rulemaking on cybersecurity requiring state oversight.
  2. Tracking other legislation/congressional activities
    • Infrastructure Packages – water related opportunities – Need to target what programs our members are emphasizing
    • L&P Committee priority – NWS Atlas 14 – Funding via IIJA
    • S2372 Recovering America’s Wildlife Act – contains water technical assistance funding
    • Support for NOAA-NWS Extreme precipitation estimating tools and improved water supply forecasts – Atlas 14 development with IIJA funds
  1. Next meeting – TBD