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April 21, 2009
     
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Government Relations


Peter Silva

Peter Silva

Peter Silva Nominated as EPA Assistant Administrator for Water

President Obama announced that he would nominate former California water official Peter Silva as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) next assistant administrator in the Office of Water. Silva will oversee both drinking water and wastewater issues for the agency and will be charged with implementing both the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Currently, Peter Silva advises the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Before working in this capacity, he served on the California Water Resourced Board as an appointee. He is a civil engineer by training with a background in municipal water management.

 

Senate Committee Works on State Revolving Fund Reauthorizations

A State Revolving Fund reauthorization bill may soon be considered in the Senate. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has listed a reauthorization of both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund in her Committee’s “top priorities” for the year. To that end, senior committee staff members are reportedly negotiating a bipartisan bill.

The House of Representatives already passed its version of a Clean Water SRF reauthorization earlier this year, but has not acted on a Drinking Water SRF reauthorization. House committee jurisdiction is such that the two SRFs have heretofore been considered separately in that body. The Senate, however, has generally considered them jointly. Therefore, if the Senate passes legislation reauthorizing both funds, the House committee with DW-SRF jurisdiction will presumably consider and pass a bill, though it is possible that the DW-SRF reauthorization will be dropped altogether.

SRF reauthorizations have proven politically untenable in recent years because of contentious funding formulas and labor laws. This year, however, the Democrat’s larger majorities give them greater leeway. Furthermore, the Senate committee has a solid blue print to work from since it was able to pass S. 3617 through the Committee last year and all indications are that the new bill will resemble last year’s.

The Senate is tentatively planning to introduce and mark-up its version of an SRF reauthorization during the first week in May.

 

President Obama Nominates Rand Beers as Homeland Security Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate

President Barack Obama nominated Rand Beers as U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), the Department’s primary risk-reducing division. Beers will oversee five major offices in this role, including Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), Infrastructure Protection (IP), Intergovernmental Programs (IGP), Risk Management and Analysis (RMA) and US-VISIT.

“More than anyone I know, Rand Beers can be trusted with protecting the security of the United States,” said DHS Secretary Napolitano. “He will be an invaluable asset to NPPD. I thank Rand for his service as Acting Deputy Secretary, and I am grateful that his leadership and vast depth of experience will continue to benefit the Department of Homeland Security.”

As Acting Deputy Secretary, Beers helped guide the Department’s continuity of operations during a major leadership shift. He assumed the role beginning Feb. 11, replacing former Deputy Secretary Paul Schneider, and relinquished it April 3, when new Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute received Senate confirmation. Previously, Beers led President Obama’s DHS agency review team during the transition, where his team helped set the stage for Secretary Napolitano’s confirmation and prepare the incoming Obama administration on all homeland security issues.

Beers’ responsibilities at NPPD will include continued operations leadership, as well as oversight on intelligence, cybersecurity, technology and coordination with state, local and tribal partners. IP leads a complex national mission to protect the country’s critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) from threats by analyzing intelligence and executing public and private coordination in order to mitigate risks and effects. CS&C works to prevent or minimize disruptions to our critical cyber and communications infrastructure to protect the overall security of the United States.

Beers brings a long career in national security and law enforcement policy to NPPD. He has served in leadership roles under four presidents, including as White House/National Security Council Director for Counterterrorism and Counternarcotics; Director for Peacekeeping; Senior Director for Intelligence Programs; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Combating Terrorism; and Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In 2006, Beers founded the National Security Network, a foreign policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. from the University of Michigan.

 

DHS to Host Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Learning Series Webinar

On April 28, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection will host another “Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Learning Series” Webinar.

The popular Webinar series continues with current topics and issues of interest to owners and operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources. This important series provides the tools, latest trends, issues and best practices within the infrastructure protection arena.

This Webinar on “Engaged Partnership for Disaster Response” will be led by Jim Caverly, director of the Partnership and Outreach Division, on April 28, 2009, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. EDT. For more information, please click here.