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Water Infrastructure Advisory Committee

Background

The State of Tennessee is dedicating $1.35 billion dollars in funding for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure enhancements as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP). Several entities within state government currently have responsibilities in statute and rule relating to water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure, including but not limited to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), and the Comptroller of the Treasury. Further, a variety of stakeholders both internal and external to state government, including communities and organizations representing their interests, have a vested interest in ensuring strategic use of this funding to improve Tennessee’s water infrastructure. Given the volume of funding that the State of Tennessee will be receiving and distributing, it is prudent for the State of Tennessee to form a multidisciplinary advisory group, a Water Infrastructure Advisory Committee (WIAC), to support identification of water infrastructure priorities to advance with this funding, identifying projects and activities well suited for these funds, ensuring responsible, transparent, and compliant administration of these funds, and tracking progress, outputs and outcomes associated with projects and activities. The WIAC will be chaired and convened by TDEC and report out to the Governor’s Office Financial Stimulus Accountability Group (FSAG).

Membership

The WIAC will include representation of a wide variety of interests germane to water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. TDEC will serve as convener and chair of this group and provide basic administrative support. Representation on the committee follows.

  • Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (Chair)
  • Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Office of the Governor
  • Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration
  • Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury
  • Tennessee General Assembly
  • Local Government – Counties, Municipalities, and Non-Entitlement Units
  • Utilities & Water Systems – Large and Small, Drinking Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering Interests
  • Development Districts
  • Academia
  • Environmental Interests
  • Environmental Justice Interests
  • Contractor and/or Building Supply Interests

Goals & Objectives

The WIAC will:

  • Advise and guide the prioritization of programs, projects and activities (a) supporting enhanced water infrastructure, (b) meeting ARP eligibility requirements, and (c) supporting achievement of other objectives as defined by the Governor’s Office and Tennessee State Government agencies;
  • Support the implementation of water infrastructure programs, projects, and activities awarded ARP funds;
  • Support the disbursement of funds associated with water infrastructure programs, projects, and activities;
  • Support the strategic coordination of state- and local-government-allocated ARP funds;
  • Support timely communication of information relating to Tennessee’s planned use of ARP funds to interested stakeholders and the public;
  • Provide transparency and accountability regarding Tennessee State Government’s use of ARP funds for water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure enhancements;
  • Support Tennessee State Government and sub-recipient compliance with ARP regulatory requirements and reporting obligations; and
  • Engage in other activities supporting use of ARP funds in Tennessee as requested by the Governor’s Office and Tennessee State Government agencies.

Roles/Responsibilities for WIAC Members

  • Attending and participating in regularly scheduled meetings, which are anticipated to occur at least twice annually, but more frequently if needed, from September 2021 to December 2026.
  • Respectfully representing interests and concerns of the organization/peer group that the member is representing as it relates to water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure in Tennessee.
  • Participating in TDEC report outs to the advisory committee on approved projects for ARP funds.
  • Review of any materials provided to the advisory committee and provision of input as requested.
  • Identification of additional information, research, or expertise as needed.

Meeting Materials

Questions? Contact TDEC.ARP@tn.gov