EPA Local Government Advisory Committee Adopts Infrastructure Investment Recommendations for Communities, Climate and Environmental Justice

SEATTLE (February 17, 2022) – Today, the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) adopted recommendations to present to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan on the agency’s implementation of the bipartisan law. on infrastructure. The committee was asked to provide input on how to implement historic infrastructure investments in a way that meets the administration’s climate and environmental justice goals and meets the needs of local governments.

“EPA is committed to maximizing the impact of this historic investment in communities across the country to reduce pollution where it is needed most, improve climate resilience, and create well-paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “To achieve this vision, we must rely on the wisdom and expertise of our local, state, tribal and territorial partners. I thank LGAC members for providing thoughtful and meaningful input as EPA takes the next steps to deploy these transformational resources.

“I appreciate the collaboration and intentional outreach to local governments to get feedback on the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law,” said Megan Dunn, Council Chair and Council Member for District 2, Snohomish County, Washington and EPA Local Government Advisory Committee Member. “Municipalities and tribes will be at the forefront of the implementation and beneficiaries of these investments. Strong partnerships are the cornerstone of effective use of these new resources for infrastructure, environmental justice and the fight against climate change.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) represents a major investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Melissa Cribbins, commissioner for Coos County, Oregon and a member of the EPA’s local government advisory committee. “As a local elected official, I have had the good fortune to work directly with the EPA to discuss this opportunity and provide information and ideas on how it can better serve our communities. This funding represents the future infrastructure in many of our rural communities, and we need to ensure that investments are made as strategically as possible.

Recognizing the importance of infrastructure investments to local communities, the LGAC has spent the past seven weeks reviewing and developing cross-cutting guidance on numerous EPA infrastructure programs. Key recommendations include:

  • Expand the technical assistance available to help local governments access finance, upgrade their infrastructure, and ensure climate and equity are integrated into their projects.
  • Provide training and education at all levels of government on environmental justice and encourage the use of available tools and data to make informed and fair decisions.
  • Issue guidance to encourage infrastructure projects that do not contribute to climate pollution.
  • Encourage state partners to engage with communities, solicit project ideas from local governments, and include them in decision-making processes.
  • Add flexibility in eligible costs to allow for investments in workforce development, community outreach and regional partnership development.

The committee’s full letter of recommendation will be posted on the EPA website once signed by LGAC management.

The LGAC is made up of 35 members including representatives from 30 different states and tribal nations, representing a diverse cross-section of cities, counties, and communities across the United States. The administrator appointed 34 new members to the committee last year, as well as 16 members to the LGAC’s Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee.

context

Established in 1993 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Local Government Advisory Committee provides independent and objective policy advice to the EPA Administrator on a wide range of local government issues. The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee was established by the EPA in 1996 to advise the Administrator on environmental issues of concern to residents of small communities.

LGAC members represent counties, cities, small communities, tribes and states and bring diverse viewpoints and perspectives from across the country. LGAC’s initial work is conducted within its Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee and four working groups: Air and Climate, US Waters and Water Infrastructure, Healthy Communities, and Environmental Justice. Visit the EPA website: Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) | US EPA for more information.

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EPA Region 10 serves communities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and 271 tribal nations. To learn more about EPA’s work in the Pacific Northwest, visit: epa.gov/epa-region-10-pacific-northwest. Join us on Twitter: @EPANorthwest and Facebook : @eparegion10.