• WIFIA Program Issues Its Sixth Loan to the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

    The WIFIA program has issued its sixth loan to the Metropolitan St. Lewis Sewer District. EPA's total credit assistance is now over $1.5 billion. The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District's $47.7 million loan will construct a new pump station and replace or rehabilitate over three miles of sanitary sewers. This upgrade will help alleviate wastewater overflow and reduce basement backups for the 1.4 million residents served by Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District and improve water quality in Deer Creek. The District expects to save up to $15 million by financing the project with a WIFIA loan and create 70 jobs.

  • Bipartisan Members from Michigan Introduce PFAS Detection Act

    Last week, a bipartisan pair of representatives from Michigan — Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) — introduced legislation that would authorize funding to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in air, soil, and waterbodies nationwide.

  • White House Seeks to Rollback WOTUS Rule

    On December 11, the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition. The proposal is the administration’s attempt to replace an Obama-era rule to better define waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, which are subject to Clean Water Act requirements and would redefine which bodies of water are covered by federal regulations. The range of waterways subject to federal pollution regulations would be narrower, but the Trump administration said it did not know the on-the-ground impact.

  • Farm Bill Sails Through Congress

    After months of delays, Congress passed an $867 million farm bill known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) easily this week. The Senate passed the legislation on December 11 by a vote of 87-13 in an earlier-than-expected vote, and the House passed it shortly after on December 12 by a vote of 369-47. President Trump has indicated he is likely to sign it. (The Hill, 12/12/18)

  • Partial Government Shutdown a Possibility

    On December 13, Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) told a group of reporters that a partial government shutdown may be all but certain. “It looks like we could be headed down the road to nowhere,” Sen. Shelby said. “That’s what it looks like at the moment because we’ve got nine days to go.”

  • EPA Releases Modifications to 2017 Construction General Permit

    On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the U.S. EPA released modifications to the 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP).  This permit, which directly impacts states lacking regulatory primacy as well as Tribal lands and other areas where EPA is the regulatory authority, became effective on Feb. 16, 2017.  However, the National Homebuilders and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation filed petitions shortly after the permit became active.  The modifications released this week seek to address these petitions. 

  • Congress Passes Two-Week Continuing Resolution to Avoid Shutdown

    On Dec. 6, Congress passed a short-term stopgap funding bill to keep the government running and avoid a shutdown until the 21st of December. Originally, the temporary continuing resolution or “CR” was set to expire on December 7; however, due to the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, both Congress and the President decided to forgo a contentious debate this week and pass a short-term bill.

  • Lame Duck Update: Approps, Farm Bill and Pelosi

    The 115th Congress returned this week following the Thanksgiving holiday for a busy lame-duck session, ready to negotiate on a few remaining issues before wrapping up the 115th Congress for good and heading home for the holidays. This includes passing the remaining appropriations bills, which includes the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, for FY 2019.