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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary — June 2, 2022

Link to Meeting Recording:  https://youtu.be/PJ_qPH3KGvg

  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 (incoming ICWP Executive Director), Sue Lowry (outgoing ICWP Executive Director), Andrew Dehoff (ICWP Chair), Charlie Ferrantelli, Kay Whittington, Peter Evans, Robby Short, Stacey Mulholland, Chace Tavelli, Wade Loseman, Joy Loughry, Christopher Estes.
  3. 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
      • June 7th – House WRDA bill goes to floor vote
      • June 13th – House subcommittee markups of FY2023 appropriations
      • July 4th – last day for the House before 1 ½ month recess
      • August 5th – Senate’s last day of session before August recess
      • September 6th – Senate reconvenes
      • September 13th – House reconvenes; will have 17 days to wrap up appropriations.
      • September 30th – end of FY2022; last day of House session before elections.
      • Appropriations – won’t know what’s in these bills until the June subcommittee markups are complete.
    • WRDA 2022
      • House bill – floor vote on June 7th. Includes more than 115 environmental infrastructure projects. There will not likely be any amendment opportunities in House. Action item: ICWP to submit a letter of support to House leadership and T&I in time for floor vote; further discussion needed on Corps PPA and liability issues to be highlighted.
      • Senate bill — Any adjustments will need to be worked through individual senators’ offices and then they will work a proposal through the EPW committee. Action item: ICWP to submit a letter of support to Senate EPW in the next couple of weeks (with a heads up to House T&I).
      • Corps of Engineers environmental infrastructure authorizations
        • There are 300 of these nationwide; the House is proposing adding authority for additional 115.
        • Existing Section 219 authorizations will run into a more competitive environment for appropriations; while Congress authorizes projects the Executive Branch focuses budget resources on funding the three main Corps mission areas (navigation, flood control, aquatic ecosystem restoration).
      • Clean Water Act Section 401 proposed revised rule – EPA announced June 2nd. The Agency is taking comment for 60 days; more information can be found here: epa.gov/cwa-401.
  4. Discuss support for raising the state cap for USGS WUDR grants— Action item: Beth to connect with Eric Smith of USGS and discuss possible value of raising state funding caps (which would require legislation) and whether ICWP could be of any assistance in engaging states to take full advantage of funding allocations.
  5. Issues from Roundtable
    1. Federal Water Subcabinet – Sue summarized the meetings held with the USGS leadership during the Roundtable in Washington DC.
      1. ICWP is drafting a letter in coordination with WSWC/NWSA that will request further engagement from the federal Water Subcabinet (directed to DOI Assistant Secretary Trujillo and EPA Assistant Administrator Fox).
      2. Topics to be highlighted in the letter:
        1. Drought and the value of the National Drought Resiliency Partnership
        2. Coordinated spending for infrastructure activities
        3. Request for semiannual briefings with the subcabinet to gain opportunity to ask questions and develop our working relationship.
        4. Action item: Consider inviting Water Subcabinet members to participate in ICWP’s fall Annual Meeting. This would be a good opportunity for continuing regular engagement.
  6. Legislation to track (most are a list of carryover items from the last L&P meeting):
    1. Infrastructure Packages—water related opportunities
    2. USGS/DOI FY23 President’s Budget
    3. Support for NOAA-NWS Extreme precipitation estimating tools and improved water supply forecasts— Atlas 14 development with IIJA funds
    4. 2372—Recovering America’s Wildlife Act—contains water technical assistance funding and seems to have fairly broad support.
    5. R.7792 Water Data Act
      1. Introduced May 20th
      2. Action item: L&P committee to revisit the value of a future letter of support as the bill progresses (in similar fashion to support letters for the WRDA 2022 bills).
  7. Other items for the Committee’s consideration— Christopher Estes is on deck to present on public trust doctrine sometime for a L&P Committee meeting sometime this fall.
  8. Next meeting – Set for Thursday, July 14th at 2pmCT.


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
  • *NEW* Submitted WRDA22 support letter to House T&I committee.

Issues for 2022 Workplan

  • WRDA2022 Preparation Topics
  • 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
  • Drought Planning/Preparedness-NIDIS Support (& the DEWS)
    1. Baseline funding for USDM
  • Support for a new ag-centric product (better capture flash drought)
  • Reauthorization topics for WUDR
  • National Water Model—promoting water supply forecasting capabilities
  • NOAA/DOI Improved Forecasting Action Plan
  • NWS Atlas 14 – Funding via IIJA
  • Legislation Following:

2022 Action Plan Items

  • Provide broader leadership on PPA Liability and Indemnification Barriers
    • Pursue Congressional hearing on this issue
    • Arrange for meeting with USACE Office of Counsel
  • Develop Advocacy “How To” webinar series
  • Discussion of lessons learned at NGWOS basins are added