Washington, D.C., Jan. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Board of Directors yesterday approved updated public policy priorities for the 116th Congress, calling for bipartisan solutions to better allow public works professionals to plan, design, build, operate and maintain, and oversee America’s vast infrastructure networks essential to our nation’s economy, environment, safety, and way of life. APWA’s foremost priorities fall into three broad categories outlined below, with more comprehensive positions detailed in the individual policy priority documents.

Transportation Policy Priorities

-- Support more fiscally viable methodsof paying for transportation systems such as increasing and indexing the federal motor fuel tax, and collecting revenue based on road usage such as vehicle miles traveled, or similar fee, to ensure all road system users pay their fair share. -- Set time limits for federal agency reviewof transportation projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and support the “One Federal Decision” process laid out under Executive Order 13807, providing a more predictable, transparent, and timely federal review and authorization process for delivering major infrastructure projects. APWA strongly supports the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) “Every Day Counts” initiative and its work towards advancing successful streamlining initiatives. -- Work towards improving safety for the traveling public.APWA is committed to continue working towards improving safety for the traveling public through key initiatives such as the Road to Zero coalition and the FHWA’s Traffic Incident Management initiative. APWA calls for continued investment and support of programs like High Risk Rural Roads, Safe Routes to Schools, Highway Safety Improvement Plan funds, and local bridges, as well as strong support for utilizing technology to improve safety while protecting users’ privacy.

Water Resiliency Policy Priorities

-- Provide robust funding for existing federal programsthat support water and wastewater infrastructure, such as the State Revolving Funds, Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, Rural Utilities Service, Public Water System Supervision grants, and the Public Works and Economic Development program. -- Support a “One Water” stanceby applying a comprehensive, integrated planning approach to all Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act permitting (drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, combined sewer overflow) so that maximum flexibility and cost effectiveness is implemented into the decision-making process. -- Support federal programslike the Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act language from the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 that provide assistance to water systems to increase resilience to natural hazards. -- Adhere to the “One Federal Decision”process laid out under Executive Order 13807, providing a more predictable, transparent, and timely federal review and authorization process for delivering major infrastructure projects.

Emergency Management & Response Policy Priorities

-- Continue and fully fundthe State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative. -- Promote and enhance interoperable emergency communications systemsto connect public works agencies to other responders, including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical professionals during response and recovery operations. -- Develop National Cybersecurity Guidelines/Best Practicesto significantly and constructively impact public works whose services require a 24-hour a day, 365-day a year operation. -- Continue and fully fund mitigation grant programsto enable public works agencies to respond to changing dynamics in natural and man-made hazards. Since 2014, there have been over 500 Presidential Disaster Declarations and APWA values and supports the evolving federal emphasis on mitigation efforts through federal grant programs and training opportunities. According to a 2017 National Institute of Building Sciences report, the nation saves six dollars in future disaster costs for every one dollar invested in mitigation activities.

APWA’s public policy priority documents are drafted by the APWA Government Affairs Committee (GAC) in conjunction with APWA Government Affairs staff, and reviewed and approved by the APWA Board of Directors every two years to align with the U.S. Congressional cycle. These documents are housed on the Government Affairs section of the APWA website (www.apwa.net).If you have any questions about APWA’s Public Policy Priorities, or APWA’s U.S. Government Affairs program, please contact APWA Director of Government Affairs Andrea Eales at aeales@apwa.net, or by phone at (202) 218-6730. For media inquiries, please contact Emily Dowsett, APWA Government Affairs Media Manager at edowsett@apwa.net, or by phone at (202)701-4554.About APWA

The American Public Works Association (www.apwa.net) is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA supports those who operate, improve and maintain public works and infrastructure through advocacy, education, and member engagement. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, MO, has an office in Washington, D.C., and 63 chapters in North America.

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Emily Dowsett American Public Works Association (APWA) (202)701-4554 edowsett@apwa.net

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