Feb. 20, 2009
Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed a few days ago, the various water sector organizations (WEF, NACWA, AWWA, AMWA and others) have been hustling to keep their members informed as to how stimulus funds will be awarded and administered. I'll post information from those organizations when it becomes publicly available. In the meantime, here are some of the key issues that are being worked on:
• EPA is developing a guidance document to the states that will explain how it will handle funding from the ARRA; that guidance should be issued within the next few days.
• The states, in turn, will need to update their intended use plans, which will identify projects and each state's approach to setting priorities.
• ARRA has "buy American" provisions that require funds for construction to use iron, steel and manufactured goods that are produced in the United States, unless a waiver is provided by EPA. There are details to be worked out regarding how this provision will be administered.
• Fast job creation is a critical issue. Although the legislation indicates that funds must be committed within 12 months, there will likely be intermediate goals to get projects started sooner.
• Documentation of the number and type of jobs created will be monitored closely.
• The definition of eligible projects to be included under green infrastructure is being detailed and early indications are there will be a broad view of what will be allowed under this provision.