EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee Adopts Infrastructure Recommendations
CHICAGO (Feb. 23, 2022) –EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) has 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.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join other local government leaders in bringing these recommendations to Administrator Regan,” said City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Chair of the LGAC Air & Climate Workgroup. “Learning from the on-the-ground experience of local governments helps ensure that federal support is responsive to the diverse needs of communities. I believe these recommendations related to climate resilience, equity, workforce development, and more will contribute to the success of EPA programs and maximize their benefits to communities across the country.”
“Local governments know their communities and are best suited to decide where to most effectively invest infrastructure dollars. It is vitally important that infrastructure projects improve our environment and reduce carbon emissions. This can be done by education and technical assistance from the EPA,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “In my city of Carmel, we have been investing in environmentally friendly infrastructure projects for more than two decades including building a network of 141 roundabouts that has relieved congestion, saved fuel, improved air quality and is safer for our community. Roundabouts have reduced our fatality rate throughout the city to 2 per 100,000 population, less than one fifth of the national average and saved thousands of tons of carbon emissions.”
"The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can provide communities throughout the country the opportunity to make transformational changes. For those of us serving urban communities that need major upgrades in their infrastructure and resources for clean-up of old industrial sites, we are excited about these opportunities,” said Genesee County Treasurer Deborah Cherry. “The LGAC recognizes that technical assistance, training and directly working with our communities will be important to make the BIL successful and transformational. The recommendations made center around assisting communities to use the resources as effectively as possible."
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 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.