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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary –January 27, 2022 Webinar–WRDA2022 PPA coalition

Link to Recording:  https://youtu.be/TVrhOYrxl-I


  1. Call to Order—Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA; Chair was pulled away to another commitment, so ED Sue Lowry called the committee to order at 10:02 a.m. Central.


  1. Introductions of Participants on the call: Kirsten Wallace, Chair; Sue Lowry; Stacey Mulholland; John Boyer; John Anderson; Katherine Zitsch; Richard Friesner; Geoff Bowman; Mike Nardolilli; Wade Loseman; Joy Loughry; Drew Dehoff.


  1. Updates from Van Scoyoc Associates to committee members—(Please utilize the link to the full recording above for additional details from the VSA update). Geoff Bowman noted that some agencies (USACE and Bureau of Reclamation) have started to make public their funding plans with IIJA dollars. He noted the important dates of Feb. 18 as the end of the current budget Continuing Resolution; Feb. 25 as the House T & I deadline for project proposals to be submitted by House members to the Sub-committee and March 1—State of the State, after which the President’s Budget for FY2023 will be released. Geoff is still hopeful that individual budgets for FY2022 will be passed rather than a broad CR based on last fiscal year in order for earmarks that have passed out of committee to be included. Even though the President’s Budget will be released late this year, the Congressional Appropriations subcommittees will begin their work as usual in the March-April timeframe. Discussion held on SCOTUS agreeing to review the WOTUS rule and discussion on Justice Breyer’s announced retirement.


  1. WRDA 2022-
    1. Priorities sent by December 16 deadline to Senate EPW
    2. Developing similar communication to House T & I—seeking other coalition members, but the 8 who signed on to the EPW are all OK with also being on the House version.


  1. Discuss ICWP position on SRF funding/other Infrastructure funding sources—A link was sent to ICWP members with USACE list of projects they plan to fund from IIJA.


  1. Topics/Projects for 2022 Interns—3 students have been selected for this spring’s internship program.


  1. Legislation to track:
    1. Infrastructure Packages—water related opportunities
    2. USGS/DOI FY22 Appropriations and FY23 Budget Release
      1. USGS Streamgage support letter—draft by early Feb.
    3. Support for NOAA-NWS Extreme precipitation estimating tools and improved water supply forecasts—


  1. Other: Kirsten raised a discussion held by staff from the USACE Rock Island District pertaining to the Corps anticipated compliance with state-only permitting.  Kirsten will get verification from her staff who attended the meeting and then disperse more details to the committee.


  1. Set next call or webinar—Set for March 2 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



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


Issues for 2022 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:


2022 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