EPA to publish Buy America info for infrastructure act EPA is set to publish in today’s Federal Register a document describing infrastructure finance programs it administers that are subject to Buy America requirements under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The document will appear on EPA’s website . The document will also describe the applicability of any other domestic preference requirements to EPA-run programs, the types of projects covered, the number of entities affected, the amount of funds involved and similar information. While this is not really guidance on how the Buy America provisions will be administered, the document will provide more clarity on the scope of those provisions. AWWA publishes quarterly government affairs overview AWWA’s most recent Government Affairs Overview from its Washington, D.C., office provides an update of current federal activities affecting the water community, plus insights on upcoming policy changes. This latest update highlights recently passed and current major legislation in development. It also provides information on the background and status of regulatory activities under the Toxic Substances Control Act, Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, including the recently proposed drinking water regulatory determinations. PFAS designation as hazardous substances under OMB review EPA has sent a proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to designate two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Designating these compounds as hazardous substances will help the agency advance cleanups and hold responsible parties liable for contamination, including water and wastewater facilities. AWWA continues to actively advocate for an exemption for drinking water and wastewater systems under CERCLA. Major changes loom for cell networks, utilities Think 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G only apply to cell phones? Think again! These cellular technologies are also used for communications in many critical infrastructure sectors, including water/wastewater control systems. Water and wastewater utilities are encouraged to regularly review which control system, fleet tracking and SCADA modem technologies they are currently using. Cellular network providers are in the process of shutting down older 2G and 3G networks to make room for newer 5G and 6G networks. It is imperative that utilities transition away from older 2G and 3G equipment as soon as possible to ensure mission continuity. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has issued its own reminder that carriers are shutting down these networks in 2022. The plans and timing to phase out these services will vary by company and may change. Consult with your provider for the most up-to-date information. Here are some significant examples: AT&T announced it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022. Verizon announced it will finish shutting down its 3G network by Dec. 31, 2022. T-Mobile announced it will finish shutting down Sprint's 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022, and Sprint's 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also announced it will shut down T-Mobile's 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022 but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network. If your mobile carrier is not listed here, you may still be affected. Many carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk and several Lifeline mobile service providers utilize AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks. U.S. Treasury issues final rule on recovery funds The U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued a final rule for administration of coronavirus relief funds that expands the types of projects eligible for such funding. Treasury also provided an easier-to-read overview document of the rule. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which became law last March, provided about $130 billion for a Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Those funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including water, sewer or broadband infrastructure. Treasury released an interim rule on administration of the funds in May. AWWA provided comments to that rule, urging Treasury to expand the scope of projects eligible for relief funds, and Treasury did that in the final rule. The rescue act said projects eligible for the drinking water and wastewater state revolving loan fund programs would be eligible for assistance under ARPA. In the final rule, Treasury said “a broad set” of projects addressing lead remediation, and that were eligible for assistance under an earlier EPA program, would be eligible for help under ARPA. It also listed dam or reservoir rehabilitation to protect drinking water supplies and improve access to safe drinking water for individuals served by private wells.