, ,

Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary September 26, 2019 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Chair Kirsten Wallace; UMRBA at 9:03 Central. 
  • Introductions of Participants on the call:  Kirsten Wallace, Chair, UMRBA; Sue Lowry, ICWP Executive Director; Sam Swartz, Wyoming SEO; Matt Unruh, KWO; Drew Dehoff, SRBC; Richard Friesner, NEIWPCC.
  • Legislation to track:
    • Resilient Communities Revolving Loan Fund Act—this topic will likely not get incorporated into WRDA.  Kirsten continues to discuss this legislation with Rep. Craig’s office and will let the committee know if there is some appropriate action for the committee to take. 
    • Items to advocate for in WRDA 2020—The committee agreed to focus our comments on 3 issues to address in WRDA:
      • PAS—change cost share for technical services to allow for in-kind services from project sponsors to count, as they do with water resources  planning services
      • Project Partnership Agreements—3 topics-a) donated goods, b) O&M in perpetuity and c) indemnification language in the contracts.
      • Forecast Informed Reservoir operations:  Expansion into the Missouri River basin and other pilot areas have been discussed.  Sue will try to get more information on this topic before we write an ICWP support letter to the committee. 

Committee requests for WRDA were due Oct. 4th, but included criteria that the USACE had to have been involved in the technical write up for any project, which is difficult.  After the Mobile meeting concludes, we will get an updated schedule and let that guide when and to whom an ICWP letter gets sent. 

  • Priorities survey will be in the packet for Mobile attendees to complete.  Sue will send the survey out to the full membership right after the Mobile meeting and ask for it to be completed by October 31. 
  • Update on PAS letter sent to ASA James—Sue updated the committee that Mr. Dalton called her right after the flood focus letter was sent when the Board approved in on Sept. 16.  He said he knew of no directive and would be seeking clarification prior to the Mobile meeting. 
  • National Drought Resiliency Partnership Action Plan

Kirsten let the committee know that UMRBA is participating in the DEWS for the mid-west.

  • ICWP Congressional strategy
    •  Sue will have 2 trips to DC in December and can start to make committee contacts.  She plans to focus on House Resources and T &I and EPW and Energy and Nat. Resources on the Senate side, as well as Appropriations.  She has a few contacts in these committees already and will be working to get contacts in each. 
    • WUDR reauthorization Participate with WD&S and Planning?  No one on the call had suggested changes for legislation. 
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
    • Interbasin Transfers all-ICWP webinar set for Nov. 19; 2 p.m. Central
  • Set next call or webinar—Sue will query the committee membership to see if an interim chair can be found to serve during Kirsten’s maternity leave. Next call set for October 31 at 9 a.m. Central