WEF and AWWA Talk Water on Capitol Hill

Posted April 15, 2011

By Scott Cummings

What an exciting time to be on Capitol Hill - with the cherry blossoms blooming and the government narrowly escaping the first shutdown in 15 years, there is a buzz here in Washington. With much of this buzz is focusing on budget issues, what better time to be discussing the significant return on investment that comes from funding for water infrastructure projects. This is one of the issues covered in the over 400 visits made to the offices of members of Congress over the last two days by the 160-plus attendees of the first WEF/AWWA joint Washington Fly-in Event - and note this event coincided with the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) Congressional Visit and Legislative Breakfast, which brought out over 60 members alone to the event. Other issues discussed with Congress members and staff included chemical security, improvement to the Clean Water Act, and alternative frameworks for water infrastructure financing.

Being a new-comer to this event, it was interesting to see how the mechanisms of legislation work and the importance of establishing relationships between the water quality professionals we represent and our congressional delegation. Our contingent from Alabama met a full range of Congressional staff – from senior Senators to junior staff on their first day of work! Thankfully, the assistance we received from WEF/AWWA staff prepared us when navigating these meetings regardless of who was on the other side of the table. We received background information on the topics we to cover with Congressional members and staff, received pertinent regulatory updates concerning Safe Drinking and Clean Water issues, and even saw a short play starring the executive directors for both organizations illustrating how the office visits were to be conducted.

The event ran smoothly, especially considering it was the maiden voyage as a joint WEF/AWWA event. I expect that the event will not only continue long into the future, but will also grow to become the event that Congress members and staff look to for information and input on policy and legislative issues affecting the water sector. 
 

 04/15/2011Permanent link

WEF and AWWA Talk Water on Capitol Hill  ()
 

Posted April 15, 2011

What an exciting time to be on Capitol Hill - with the cherry blossoms blooming and the government narrowly escaping the first shutdown in 15 years, there is a buzz here in Washington. With much of this buzz is focusing on budget issues, what better time to be discussing the significant return on investment that comes from funding for water infrastructure projects. This is one of the issues covered in the over 400 visits made to the offices of members of Congress over the last two days by the 160-plus attendees of the first WEF/AWWA joint Washington Fly-in Event - and note this event coincided with the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) Congressional Visit and Legislative Breakfast, which brought out over 60 members alone to the event.

Comments (7)


our great country is hurting ... reeling from the economic downturn . mortgage crises . oil & gas prices . budget deficit . let's just hope and pray the WEF/AWWA delegation members can convince our Congressonal leaders of the necessity of funding our water & sewage industries/utilities, protecting our water supplies, cleaning up those that don't meet water quality standards ... without water this planet would be devoid of life as we know it!!

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WEF and AWWA Talk Water on Capitol Hill

 Permanent link

WEF and AWWA Talk Water on Capitol Hill

Posted April 15, 2011

By Scott Cummings

What an exciting time to be on Capitol Hill - with the cherry blossoms blooming and the government narrowly escaping the first shutdown in 15 years, there is a buzz here in Washington. With much of this buzz is focusing on budget issues, what better time to be discussing the significant return on investment that comes from funding for water infrastructure projects. This is one of the issues covered in the over 400 visits made to the offices of members of Congress over the last two days by the 160-plus attendees of the first WEF/AWWA joint Washington Fly-in Event - and note this event coincided with the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) Congressional Visit and Legislative Breakfast, which brought out over 60 members alone to the event. Other issues discussed with Congress members and staff included chemical security, improvement to the Clean Water Act, and alternative frameworks for water infrastructure financing.

Being a new-comer to this event, it was interesting to see how the mechanisms of legislation work and the importance of establishing relationships between the water quality professionals we represent and our congressional delegation. Our contingent from Alabama met a full range of Congressional staff – from senior Senators to junior staff on their first day of work! Thankfully, the assistance we received from WEF/AWWA staff prepared us when navigating these meetings regardless of who was on the other side of the table. We received background information on the topics we to cover with Congressional members and staff, received pertinent regulatory updates concerning Safe Drinking and Clean Water issues, and even saw a short play starring the executive directors for both organizations illustrating how the office visits were to be conducted.

The event ran smoothly, especially considering it was the maiden voyage as a joint WEF/AWWA event. I expect that the event will not only continue long into the future, but will also grow to become the event that Congress members and staff look to for information and input on policy and legislative issues affecting the water sector. 
 

Posted by Stephanie Barringer at 04/15/2011 09:39:17 AM | 


Comments
our great country is hurting ... reeling from the economic downturn . mortgage crises . oil & gas prices . budget deficit . let's just hope and pray the WEF/AWWA delegation members can convince our Congressonal leaders of the necessity of funding our water & sewage industries/utilities, protecting our water supplies, cleaning up those that don't meet water quality standards ... without water this planet would be devoid of life as we know it!!
Posted by: Bob Hennes ( Email ) at 4/27/2011 10:36 AM


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Cummings.JPGPosted by:
Scott Cummings, P.E. at CH2M Hill

Scott Cummings is a member of the Water Environment Federation’s 2012-2013 Board of Trustees and currently a Senior Project Manager for CH2M HILL, for which he manages and designs water and
wastewater treatment and conveyance systems including treatment units, pumping facilities, and piping systems. A WEF member since 1994, Scott has held multiple leadership and committee roles within WEF. He served on the House of Delegates for three years and is the current chair of WEF’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee. He serves on WEF’s Public Communications and Outreach Committee (Stormwater Subcommittee chair). He has also served on WEF’s Task Force on Stormwater, House of Delegates Nominating Committee, House of Delegates Steering Committee, and various House of Delegates workgroups.

Also an active member of the Alabama Water Environment Association, Scott received the Arthur Sidney Bedell award for extraordinary service to his member association in 2004. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Alabama and received a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Auburn University in Alabama.