Environment, Energy & Land Use Steering Committee

Responsible for all matters pertaining to air, water, energy, and land use, including water resources/management, stormwater, pesticides, air quality standards, solid, hazardous, and nuclear waste handling, transport, and disposal, national energy policy, renewable/alternative energy, alternative fuel vehicles, energy facility siting, electricity utility restructuring, pipeline safety, oil spills, superfund/brownfields, eminent domain, land use, coastal management, oceans, parks and recreation.

Policy Briefs

NACo Submits Detailed Comments on Proposed “Waters of the U.S.” Rule


On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) officially released the Trump Administration’s new proposed “Waters of United States” (WOTUS) rule, defining which bodies of water across the country are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This action represents the second step in the process taken by the EPA and Army Corps to review and replace the Obama Administration’s 2015 WOTUS rule.

Currently, the pre-2015 WOTUS rule is in effect in 28 states and the 2015 WOTUS rule is the law of the land in 22 states. The agencies plan to release a final rule by the end of 2019.

PDF icon WOTUS June 2019.pdf

Status of Pending EPA Regulations of Interest to Counties


PDF icon EPA Regs July 2019.pdf

Unfunded Mandates and Other Regulatory Impacts on Counties

Unfunded Mandates and Other Regulatory Impacts on Counties 

PDF icon Unfunded Mandates (June 2019).pdf

Support Authorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)


Urge federal lawmakers to pass a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill during the 116th Congress and continue a regular two-year authorization cycle.


WRDA bills authorize water resources studies and projects and set policies for navigation, flood control, hydropower, recreation, water supply and emergency management for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps). This legislation is usually passed on a biennial basis and addresses county interests related to ports, inland waterways, levees, dams, wetlands, watersheds and coastal restoration.

Congress has recently returned to regular order, passing WRDA legislation on a two-year authorization cycle in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The current authorization will expire at the end of 2020 and the congressional authorizing committees are expected to consider a new WRDA bill during the 116th Congress.

As owners, users and regulators of water resources and infrastructure, counties are directly impacted by the policies and funding authorized in the legislation. We often work with the Army Corps as a non-federal partner to strengthen local infrastructure.

PDF icon WRDA (November 2019).pdf

Support Efforts to Make Clean Water Act Requirements Affordable and Achievable Through Integrated Planning


Urge your U.S. House of Representative member to support and cosponsor draft legislation titled the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), which addresses affordability issues within Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations and emphasizes the use of integrating planning within the EPA to meet CWA mandates.


In an effort to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) affordability issues, Rep. Gibbs plans to introduce the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act to address concerns raised by local governments regarding CWA regulations costs’.

The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act directs the EPA to establish an integrated planning and permitting process for municipal wastewater and stormwater management to ease compliance with CWA requirements. In addition, the legislation requires the EPA to consider the extent local governments and residents can afford tighter CWA requirements. The bill also establishes an EPA Office of Municipal Ombudsman to work with communities on integrated planning and CWA compliance issues. Lastly, the bill instructs the agency to work with at least 15 pilot communities to develop integrated plans within the first five years after enactment. NACo is encouraging House members to support and cosponsor the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.

PDF icon Integrated Planning June 2018.pdf

Latest Resources

Join a steering committee and make a difference. Learn more about getting involved in NACo's Environment, Energy & Land Use Steering Committee:

Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee


Melissa Cribbins
Coos County, Oregon


Vice Chair

Kitty Barnes
Catawba County, North Carolina


Penelope Gross
Fairfax County, Virginia


Ron Peters
Tulsa County, Oklahoma


Victoria Reinhardt
Ramsey County, Minnesota


Douglas Smith
Martin County, Florida


Subcommittee Chair

Kathie Gannon (Land Use)
DeKalb County, Georgia


Gregory Todd (Energy)
Duchesne County, Utah


Carl Zalak (Air Quality)
Marion County, Florida


Subcommittee Vice Chair

Mary Lou Berger (Water)
Palm Beach County, Florida


Robert Cole (Energy)
Santa Rosa County, Florida


Ken Cornell (Land Use)
Alachua County, Florida


Michael Covert (Land Use)
Beaufort County, South Carolina


Tara Gaston (Energy)
Town Supervisor
Saratoga County, New York


Anna Hansen (Air Quality)
Santa Fe County, New Mexico


Herbert Richards (Water)
Council Member
Hawaii County, Hawaii


Brigid Shea (Air Quality)
Travis County, Texas


Kenton Ward (Water)
Hamilton County, Indiana



  • Associate Legislative Director – Environment, Energy and Land Use  
    (202) 942-4269