County Countdown – April, 22, 2024

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Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership.

Watch the video above and explore NACo resources below.

ARPA Guidance Update: A Win For Counties

Last month's U.S. Treasury update offers substantial flexibility for counties using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), incorporating key suggestions from NACo.

  • County personnel: Extended personnel costs now cover a larger list of eligible positions through the end of 2026.
  • Subrecipient flexibility: Subrecipient entities are not required to comply with the Dec. 31, 2024 obligation deadline, easing pressure on county timelines.
  • Reclassification of funds: After Dec. 31, if a county has funds that have been obligated but not expended, the county may reclassify those funds for other eligible uses.
  • Reporting reminder: All SLFRF recipients must submit Project and Expenditure reports by April 30. For details, visit NACo’s ARPA Hub.

Counties Directly Eligible for Competitive Transportation Grants

On March 25, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the availability of $5.2 billion in competitive funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Counties are directly eligible.

  • Streamlined applications: A simplified process will assist counties in applying by the May 6 deadline.
  • Broad funding scope: The USDOT Notice of Funding Opportunity packages the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program, Mega grants and INFRA grants, allowing counties to apply using a single application. Learn more here.

Federal Uniform Guidance Revisions

Recent updates from the White Office Office of Management and Budget simplify federal grant processes, significantly impacting how counties manage federal funds.

  • Reduced burdens: Key changes include simplified grant applications and higher thresholds for single audits.
  • Implementation by FY 2025: Counties should be prepared for these changes to take effect October 1, 2024.

EPA Sets New Standards For PFAS In Drinking Water

The EPA's new regulations set stringent limits on PFAS levels, impacting counties that manage water utilities.

  • Tough standards: Limits for PFOA and PFOS are set at four parts per trillion, with significant cost implications for counties.
  • Stay tuned: NACo will provide updates and guidance to help counties comply with these new standards.

Insights From NACo's U.S.-Mexico Border Visit

 County leaders' recent visit to the U.S.-Mexico border shed light on urgent needs and challenges at the border, emphasizing the importance of intergovernmental collaboration.

  • Valuable perspectives: The trip highlighted the critical role of counties in managing border security and migrant welfare.
  • NACo advocacy: Counties continue to advocate for sensible immigration reforms that support county efforts.

Featured this Week

Treasury Department
Advocacy

Treasury Department releases new obligation guidance for the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund

On March 29, the U.S. Department of Treasury released new FAQs related to their Obligation Interim Final Rule for the ARPA Recovery Fund.

Highways
Advocacy

Counties directly eligible for $5.2 billion in competitive transportation grants

Counties are directly eligible for $5.2 billion in competitive transportation grants.

Project management
Advocacy

White House OMB releases final revisions federal Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200)

The White House OMB released final revisions to the federal Uniform Guidance that outline compliance and reporting requirements for federal financial assistance.

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Urge Congress and EPA to Consult with Counties on any Future Regulations on PFAS

Urge the U.S. Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to study the health and environmental impacts of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds and to work closely with state and local governments on any regulatory or legislative actions related to PFAS.

Erie County, N.Y. Mark Poloncarz asks a question at the El Paso County Migrant Support Service Center Photo by Charlie Ban
County News

County leaders seek greater coordination on migrants after border visit

A trip to the southern border in El Paso County, Texas offered county officials a chance to see how the asylum system works, amid a sustained increase in people surrendering to immigration authorities.

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Local Government Leaders Urge Congress to Protect Recovery Fund Flexibility

The National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities and the Government Finance Officers Association issued a statement urging Congress to oppose a Congressional Review Act joint resolution.

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