January 5, 2023

APWA Delivers Public Works Policy Priorities to 118th Congress

Emergency management, transportation, water resiliency remain top focus areas

Washington D.C.—The world’s largest organization of public works professionals today said its membership wants Congress to focus on emergency management, transportation, and water resiliency legislation as the new 118th session unfolds.

The American Public Works Association polls its members biennially to determine the policy priorities important to them. While the overarching three areas remain unchanged from the 117th Congress, points within each priority have modified to reflect past successes and new focus.

“Our members tell us how Congress can make their lives as public works professionals better so they can make their communities better,” APWA President Keith Pugh said. “Our APWA Government Affairs team then uses the members’ priorities as a roadmap to drive that change. Public works professionals need this seat at the legislative and regulatory table to be better able to handle quality-of-life issues at home.”

“During the 117th Congress, one of the biggest policy priorities for our members was the enactment of a comprehensive investment in public works and infrastructure, and we accomplished that when the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act became law in 2021,” APWA CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE, said. “Our new priorities continue the emphasis on a retrofitted transportation network, but APWA members also want help dealing with water resiliency issues such as lead and PFAS found in drinking water and a greater emphasis on public works as first responders.”

APWA’s emergency management priorities are planning, mitigation, communication & coordination, and cybersecurity & telecommunications. Also, members want to be included during the development and implementation of first responder cybersecurity and telecommunications policies and programs.

APWA’s transportation priorities target infrastructure resilience, safety, and streamlining. APWA backs transportation programs supporting safety improvements for rural roads, work zones, public transit, railroads, trails, and for achieving road to zero goals, and improving traffic incident management.

Water resiliency top-line needs include implementation of the authorized funding for replacing lead drinking water service lines under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), conversations with regulators and other relevant stakeholders on the safety and science surrounding Per- and
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and streamlining.

Throughout each top priority, APWA is urging the 118th Congress to support dedicated and full federal funding for workforce programs authorized by IIJA.

“Fully funding and standing up IIJA authorized workforce development programs will allow our workforce to remain well-trained and on the cutting edge of their career fields to best support our country’s infrastructure needs, economy, and quality of life,” the priorities say.

Of the APWA members who responded to the poll, 85 percent said they agree or strongly agree that emergency management should be continued and updated for the 118th Congress, 92.6 percent responded that way for transportation, and 89 percent said they agree or strongly agree about water resiliency.

About APWA
The American Public Works Association ( is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy, and the exchange of knowledge. APWA is headquartered in Kansas City, MO, has an office in Washington, D.C., and 63 chapters and 97 branches throughout North America.

Mark Shade
APWA Government Affairs Media Manager
(202) 218-6736;