On Dec. 12, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced legislation to provide necessary resources to water resource recovery facilities — frequently the largest energy user in municipalities — to upgrade their energy and water efficiency. The Water Environment Federation worked closely with Merkley's office to help create the bill. The infrastructure updates sought would curb emissions from wasted energy and reduce facility costs.
This Week in Washington
On Jan. 25, President Trump announced a deal with Democrats to end the shutdown. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is in direct talks with the White House over finalizing the language. The deal would be a CR for three weeks, which would include the current level of fencing and wall repair money ($1.3 billion for the year.) There are still issues over the backpay provisions that any agreement would include, one source says. Once it's passed, lawmakers would have three weeks to reach an agreement that addresses President Trump's border wall funding request.
On Nov. 14-15, over 70 experts in water sector workforce development met in Alexandria, Va., to chart a path forward for solving workforce development challenges.
Jan. 26, 2018 — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Jan. 26 published a new report that analyzes the current and future workforce needs for the drinking water and wastewater sector. The report also provides recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Congress regarding actions the federal government could take to avoid workforce shortages.