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Water and Natural Resources

Water and Natural Resources
On September 5, 2019 the Bureau of Reclamation announced awards through the WaterSMART: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Grants program. The program awarded $4.1 million to 63 different projects in multiple states throughout the western United States. 

The Ferguson Group is partnering with eCivis, the National Association of County Administrators (NACA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Silicon Valley Clean Water, and Pinellas County Utilities to offer a comprehensive webinar on the benefits of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and the upcoming WIFIA selection process. Registration for the webinar, on Tuesday, May 14th at 2 PM EST, can be found here

On May 8th, North Carolina Congressmen G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) and Mark Meadows (NC-11), along with Texas Members Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and Ted Olson (TX-22) introduced H.R. 2548, the Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects (HELP) Act
As you know, both corporate and individual tax rates were reduced in last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Lower tax rates make tax-exempt vehicles like municipal bonds less attractive to both corporate and individual investors; with lower tax rates, they have less incentive to look for tax-exempt investments. Reduced demand for municipal bonds and other tax-exempt investment vehicles like private activity bonds (PABs) means that cities will have to increase the interest rates on new bond issues in order to attract investors.
With the omnibus having been passed by Congress, substantive legislative work will wind down until after the elections in November. There are, however, a few outstanding tax/financial issues to note.
Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy held a seven-hour, 4 panel hearing on the fate of tax extenders—temporary tax extenders like those for biofuels or short-line railroads. While they were just extended retroactively for 2017, they have again expired and currently are not available for 2018.
Congress has officially passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. After making a few last minute changes to accommodate Senate rules and procedures, Senate Republicans passed the bill Tuesday night along party lines, 51-48. Today, the House passed the bill with those changes by a vote of 224-201.
EPA Announces 12 Applicants for FY 2017 WIFIA

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially announced the projects selected to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. WIFIA provides low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects investing in water infrastructure including wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and water recycling.

In accordance with Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” the Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Reform Task Force is seeking input on its existing regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. The notice, which was published in the Federal Register on July 20, lists regulations subject to the review; however, the agency will also accept comments on regulations that are not listed in the notice. For a list of regulations identified by the Corps, refer to the list at the bottom on the Federal Register notice (Docket Number COE-2017-0004).

 

Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda Issued by the Trump Administration (Post #4)
Since our last post on February 14, President Trump has issued three more Executive Orders. The pace is slowing, so we are posting less often, but we will continue to keep you updated. Click the link below for summaries of each action.

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