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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary –December 9, 2021 Webinar–WRDA2022 PPA coalition

Link to Committee Recording:  https://youtu.be/L7D_tzpHLgs

  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair called to order at 10:02 a.m. Central.
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call: Kirsten Wallace, Chair; Sue Lowry; Alice Perry; Kay Whittington; Mabel Jones; Drew Dehoff; Kevin Pregent; Kim Lutz; Geoff Bowman; Richard Friesner; Mike Nardolilli; Scot Arends; John Anderson; Amy Shallcross; Joy Loughry; Scott Verhines; Jennifer Zygmunt.
  3. Updates from Van Scoyoc Associates to committee members—please see the above link to the recording for the full details of the VSA update.

Geoff began his update reminding the committee of the importance of 3 dates: December 15—the date of reaching the national debt ceiling; December 17—Senate EPW’s deadline for Senator requests to be included in WRDA 2022 and February 18 is when the current CR expires.

The President’s FY23 budget will be delivered first week of February which will be before we know the fate of FY22 appropriations—whether there will be a year-long Continuing Resolution or a hybrid with a few of the 12 budgets passed and the others covered by a CR.  Geoff noted the various congressional retirements that have already been announced—several who are currently powerful committee chairs.  WOTUS—comment period is open and litigation is likely as implementation moves forward.

  1. WRDA 2022-
    1. Develop list of priority topics
    2. December 16 deadline to Senate EPW

ICWP will find as many coalition partners as possible to sign on to a PPA letter to submit to the EPW portal by December 17.  If other partners are located but miss the Senate deadline, a similar request will be made to House T & I.  Sue will draft the coalition letter to circulate to a number of potential signatories.  The committee members were asked to forward to any other entities they knew who have concerns with the indemnification and perpetual O & M clauses of the PPAs.

  1. Discuss ICWP position on SRF funding—Geoff discussed the recent guidance offered by administrator Regan and it appears the funds will not be immediately available to increase current SRF funds. Richard mentioned that it would be good to showcase the good work being done as a result of SRF funding.  As the Roundtable agenda is developed, Sue will get with Richard for his contacts at EPA to make a presentation on success stories.
  2. Topics/Projects for 2022 Interns
  3. Legislation to track:
    1. 2021 Infrastructure Packages—water related opportunities
    2. USGS/DOI FY21 Appropriations –both Senate and House marks had good increases for the programs ICWP cares about in the USGS WMA.
  1. Set next call or webinar –Set for Thursday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. Central.


Legislation and Policy Committee:  Stay abreast of national legislation important to ICWP membership; Educate and advocate for state/interstate positions to Congress and federal agencies

2019 Accomplishments:

  • Submitted a letter on of Interior Re-organization
  • Sent letter to ASA Rd James regarding PAS funding for full range of authorized purposes
  • Submitted WRDA20 support letter to Senate EPW committee

2020 Accomplishments:

  • Submitted WRDA20 support letters to House T&I committee, Senate EPW and to House and Senate leadership

Issues for 2021 Workplan

  1. WRDA2022 Preparation Topics
  2. USGS Streamgaging support—getting letter to more audiences and reviewing stakeholder list for omissions
    1. Opportunity for a states’ support letter
    2. Whether to expand to Water Use and other topics beyond Streamgaging
  3. Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
    • Baseline funding for USDM
  1. Support for a new ag-centric product (better capture flash drought)
  1. Reauthorization topics for WUDR
  2. National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
  3. NOAA/DOI Improved Forecasting Action Plan
  4. NWS Atlas 14 –Support for PRECIP legislation
  5. Legislation Following:


2021 Action Plan Items

  1. Provide broader leadership on PPA Liability and Indemnification Barriers
    1. Pursue Congressional hearing on this issue
    2. Arrange for meeting with USACE Office of Counsel
  2. Develop Advocacy “How To” webinar series
  3. Discussion of lessons learned at NGWOS basins are added
  4. Facilitate a national conversation on Extreme Precipitation Products and Models
    1. Invite organizations to form coalition to work on issue

Arrange Forum in 2021 to hear current state of Atlas 14 and other non-federal products that provide similar extreme precip estimates