Category: Federal Government

PACE: The Economic Incentive for Environmental Protection

In the fall of 2019, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties (NACo) collaborated with PACENation to produce a three-part webinar series aimed at outlining the benefits of PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to local governments, educating local officials about PACE financing and explaining how the program can be used for

Continue reading

Second Circuit Rules against Cities and States in Sanctuary Jurisdictions Case

In 2006, Congress created the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) to provide “flexible” funds for state and local law enforcement programs. Last week, the Second Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to rule in favor of the Attorney General’s decision to add conditions to receiving federal Byrne JAG grants. In

Continue reading

Managing Through the Coronavirus: What Local Leaders Need to Know

As more cases of COVID-19, the Coronavirus, are identified in the United States, local leaders must answer the question about their own role in responding to the outbreak. The good news is that cities, towns and villages have longstanding emergency protocols for public health emergencies such as this and now is the time to show leadership. Here are three things

Continue reading

Integrated Planning Offers A Better Way to Comply With the Clean Water Act

Last January, President Trump signed bipartisan legislation to benefit cities, towns, and villages with municipal storm sewer systems (MS4s) and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act codifies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) integrated planning framework in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The legislation is short – just 6 pages –

Continue reading

Federal and Local Action Continue on PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved one step closer last week to regulating two PFAS substances under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Last week, the agency announced a proposed regulatory determination for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water – the two most well-known and studied PFAS chemicals. The proposed regulatory determination marks a key milestone

Continue reading

Ninth Circuit Hears from Local Governments on FCC Small Cell Preemption

Local governments continue to combat federal telecommunications preemption on behalf of their communities and residents. A panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit Court heard oral argument for a legal challenge mounted by local governments to 2018 orders by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) limiting local authority over wireless equipment in public rights-of-way. The hearing

Continue reading

House Republicans Outline Carbon Emissions Reduction Legislation

Building on President Trump’s support for the 1 Trillion Trees initiative expressed during the State of the Union, House Republican leaders, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), recently unveiled a package of bills aimed at reducing carbon emissions. The plan centers around three themes: carbon capture, clean energy investment and conservation. The initial set

Continue reading

What Congress Learned from West Wendover

This week, I had the opportunity to represent my city, West Wendover, Nevada, before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. As the Mayor of West Wendover and President of the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, I was asked to share the Nevadan experience, opportunities and challenges around

Continue reading

House and Senate Introduce Bill to Protect PEG Stations

Members of the House and Senate, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) have introduced the “Protecting Community Television Act (S. 3218/H.R. 5659),” which is intended to preserve local cable franchises by clarifying the statutory definition of a franchise fee. This bill was introduced with the endorsement of the National League

Continue reading

White House Proposes Changes to Environmental Review Law

Earlier this month, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) unveiled proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to modernize and clarify the regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective and timely NEPA reviews by federal agencies. With the proposed changes, CEQ aims to reduce paperwork and project delays. NEPA was signed into

Continue reading