NWC – News Alert April 16, 2020 – Draft Senate WRDA Bill to be Released Next Week

April 16, 2020

Senate EPW committee to open process to vet draft WRDA package


On Wednesday, April 22, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee is scheduled to undertake an “information-gathering process” on draft legislation for American’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020. This bill is intended to be the vehicle that moves the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in 2020.

The informational gathering process is two-fold. Essentially, the first part is a paper hearing for EPW committee members. The Committee is accepting written statements from five stakeholders on April 22, which will be shared electronically with EPW members and posted on the EPW website. By April 24, EPW member questions will be shared with the five stakeholders, with written responses due back to the Committee by May 1.

Concurrently, or just before April 22, EPW will post two draft bills to its website, including WRDA 2020 and another bill, The Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, which may move in conjunction with WRDA 2020. The Committee requests that all stakeholder comments on the draft bills be submitted by 4pm ET on Friday, May 1. Details on how to comment, as well as the process, can be found here.

When the bills are posted, we will let our members know.


NWC News Alert – Third COVID-19 Bill Stalled in the Senate

News Alert

March 24, 2020


Third coronavirus bill remains stalled in the Senate—votes are possible on Tuesday

Since the cloture votes on the third coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package failed last Friday and Monday, Senate Republicans and Democrats have been frantically negotiating. According to news sources, Senators are close on a deal. Outstanding issues included details for direct cash payments to individuals; employee and employee support and protections, suspension of payroll taxes; aid to airlines and other struggling industries. To read more, click here or here.

Concurrently, yesterday U.S. House of Representatives Democrats have introduced their own $2.5 trillion aid package entitled “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act” (H.R. 6379). To read the bill, click here. To read a summary of the bill, click here


Water Supply Rule is officially withdrawn

On March 24, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) notice to withdraw the “Use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reservoir Projects for Domestic, Municipal & Industrial Water Supply” (known as the Water Supply Rule) was published in the Federal Register.  The Water Supply Rule, originally proposed by the Corps on December 16, 2016, was intended to clarify agency policy on reservoirs. However, after states and other entities expressed concerns that the policy overturned states authority, The Corps announced earlier this year that the proposed rule would be withdrawn. To read the withdrawal notice, click here.


Department of Labor working on guidance for paid sick time exemptions

On March 18, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.

6201/ P.L. 116) which included two weeks of paid sick leave for employees of businesses with between 50–500 employees. These businesses will be able to claim a tax credit on their taxes. For businesses under 50 employees, there is a caveated exemption, which will be defined by the Department of Labor (DOL) (expected in April 2020). This provision also applies to public sector employees but without the tax credit. For more information, click here or here.


Administration releases list of industries considered ‘critical’ during coronavirus

On March 19, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a memorandum on “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” which follows President Trump’s “Coronavirus Guidance for America” on critical employees within infrastructure industry. Those industries considered “critical” during the coronavirus pandemic includes chemical, commercial facilities, communications, critical manufacturing, dams, defense industrial base, emergency services, energy, financial, food and agriculture, government facilities healthcare and public health, information technology, nuclear, transportation systems and water. To read about the types of essential workers in each category, click here to read the memo.


NWC News Alert – Washington Update

NWC News Alert – Washington Update

January 8, 2020

Good afternoon everyone and Happy New Year! Welcome to a new decade! Before we get too far into 2020, we have a couple of updates for you. As always, if you  have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.


House panel holds first WRDA-related hearing for 2020


On Thursday, January 9, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and the Environment Subcommittee  is holding a hearing on potential next steps for a 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)  authorization bill. Entitled “Proposals for a Water Recourse Development Act of 2020, the hearing will commence at 10:00am ET. The panel will feature two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers witnesses—R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General—to brief members on the agency’s 2019 Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development and discuss potential inclusions in a WRDA 2020 bill. More information about the hearing, including witness testimony, background information and a live webcast can be found here once available.


House WRDA 101 Session scheduled in late January


Just off the presses: We just confirmed with committee staff that NWC is hosting a WRDA 101 session on the House side on Friday, January 31, 2020 from noon-1:30pm. We are working with the committee to identify speakers and will have more information soon. If you will be in DC during this time, please consider joining us! Please RSVP to Carole (carole@waterways.org) no later than Jan. 27 if you plan to attend.


President’s budget to be released in February


It is expected that the President’s 2021 budget for federal agencies will be officially announced on Feb. 10. Unlike previous years which released budget highlights, the administration plans to distribute a comprehensive budget proposal. More information to come….


NWC Legislative Summit, March 9-11, 2020: REGISTER NOW


Plan to attend NWC’s 2020 Legislative Summit, March 9-11th in Washington, D.C., to hear from high-ranking Congressional and Executive branch officials and industry leaders about the policy and program expectations for the coming year. Invited speakers include the leadership of both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; from the Executive Branch, the Honorable R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.)  Chairman and Ranking  Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Representatives  Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Chairwoman and Ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and the Environment Subcommittee  respectively. Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. The 2020 NWC Legislative Summit will be held at The Madison Washington DC, A Hilton Hotel which is conveniently located on 15th Street near the White House. Again this year, we will be co-hosting our annual Congressional Reception with the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association. Tuesday March 10 from 5:30pm -7:00pm in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room SD-106. Don’t miss out! Register now! We look forward to seeing you in Washington.


SAVE THE DATE: NWC Annual Meeting, September 23-25, 2020


Our 2020 Annual Meeting will be held September 23-25, 2020 at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas. Look for registration in early July.



NWC News Alert: National Waterways Conference Introduces New President


NWC News Alert

September 25, 2019


National Waterways Conference Introduces New President


The Board of Directors of the National Waterways Conference, Inc. is pleased to announce that Ms. Julie Ufner will take over as President and CEO effective November 4, 2019.  Ufner will succeed longtime NWC President Amy Larson, who will step down at the end of the year, ensuring a seamless leadership transition.


“My goal is to build on the successes of Amy and the NWC membership.  NWC is the only national organization advocating for water resources issues with a collective membership representing navigation, flood control, water supply, hydropower, and recreation sectors.  I am honored to become a part of this well-respected organization,” Ufner said.


Previously, Ufner held several other positions in Washington, D.C., including Associate Legislative Director for Environment, Energy and Land Use at the National Association of Counties (NACo). Since 2002, she has worked with NACo’s 3,069 counties on the development and implementation of federal policies with the U.S. Congress, the White House, and numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Ufner began her career in Washington with U.S. House of Representatives member Phil English (Pa.) who served on the Ways and Means Committee.

In announcing the Board’s decision, newly elected Chairman David Yarbrough, Director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, stated, “We are thrilled that someone with Julie’s expertise and experience will take the helm.  She is a successful policy advocate, and well respected for her stakeholder engagement and partnership building acumen.”


Mrs. Larson, who has served as NWC’s President since March 2008, similarly praised the Board’s selection.  Reflecting on her tenure, Larson stated, “It has truly been an honor and a privilege to have worked with so many dedicated professionals for the past eleven and a half years.  My decision to step down was not easy, but I know that NWC will continue as the nation’s premier water resources organization under Julie’s leadership.  I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this amazing group of people.  Their dedication and support for me personally and for the nation’s water resources reflect their integrity, commitment and professionalism.


The immediate past Chairman, Randy Richardson, Executive Director of the Port of Memphis, stated, “NWC has been extremely fortunate to have had an exceptional leader like Amy Larson as President for the last eleven years.  I look forward to Julie’s tenure and wish Mrs. Larson great success as she transitions to consulting on water resources policy issues in Washington, D.C.”