EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee Adopts Infrastructure Recommendations
ATLANTA (Feb. 17, 2022) - Today, EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) adopted recommendations to present to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan on the agency’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The committee was asked for input on how to implement the historic infrastructure investments in a way that achieves 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 cut pollution where it’s needed most, improve climate resilience, and create good-paying jobs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “To achieve this vision, we must depend on the wisdom and expertise of our local, state, Tribal, and territorial partners. I thank the members of the LGAC for providing their thoughtful and meaningful input as EPA takes our next steps to deploy these transformational resources.”
"The impact of local government as it relates to the delivery and provision of services to the American people is vital to the quality of life of our residents and to the resilience of our country. The local government advisory committee was given a wonderful opportunity to share local concerns and perspectives on the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and was allowed to collaborate with those at the federal level to ensure that the infrastructure investments meet the needs of local governments. We appreciate the opportunity to have a dialogue with our partners at the federal level about the importance of these investments in our local communities," said Julian A. McTizic, Sr, Mayor of the City of Bolivar, Tennessee, and Vice-Chair of the EPA's Small Community Advisory Board.
“Florida’s relationship with the EPA is crucial, particularly my home county of Palm Beach nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Okeechobee, and the Everglades. As a local elected leader, ensuring local partners have a seat at the table with the EPA is critical in order to address the true needs necessary to meet the goals of environmental justice, protection and quality. It’s an honor to serve on the LGAC. I’m happy to present our committee recommendations related to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help future generations grow up in neighborhoods free from environmental hazards,” said Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County, FL.
“It is important that local government has a voice in the conversation influencing the utilization of the historic BIL funds in the most impactful and meaningful way that best benefits our local communities. It is also appreciated that EPA considers the limitations small communities face when discussing such funding opportunities,” said Zane Hedgecock, Mayor Pro Tem, Wallburg, NC.
Recognizing the importance of infrastructure investments to local communities, the LGAC devoted the last seven weeks to reviewing and developing cross-cutting advice across many of EPA’s infrastructure programs. Key recommendations include:
- Expanding the technical assistance available to help local governments access funding, upgrade their infrastructure, and ensure climate and equity are incorporated into their projects.
- Providing training and education at every level of government on environmental justice and encouraging the use of available tools and data to make informed, equitable decisions.
- Issuing guidance to encourage infrastructure projects that do not contribute to climate pollution.
- Encouraging state partners to engage with communities, solicit project ideas from local governments, and include them in decision-making processes.
- Adding flexibility in allowable costs to enable investments in workforce development, community outreach, and the development of regional partnerships.
The Committee’s full letter of recommendation, voted out unanimously today, will be posted to EPA’s website once signed by the LGAC leadership.
The LGAC is comprised of 35 members including 17 women, 16 people of color, and representation from 30 different states, Tribal nations, and U.S. territories, representing a diverse cross-section of cities, counties, towns, 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.
Chartered 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 broad range of issues affecting local governments. The Small Community Advisory Subcommittee was established by EPA in 1996 to advise the Administrator on environmental issues of concern to the residents of smaller communities.
LGAC members represent counties, cities, small communities, tribes, states and territories and bring diverse views and perspectives from around the country. The LGAC’s initial work is conducted in its Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee and four workgroups: Air and Climate, America’s Waters and Water Infrastructure, Healthy Communities, and Environmental Justice. Visit EPA’s website: Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) | US EPA for more information.