Creative Approaches to Federal Funding
Members of the team counsel corporations, trade associations, local governments and other public entities on congressional and executive branch policy, legislative and regulatory matters, with an emphasis on creative federal funding and infrastructure development. We have secured funding for major transportation, water and other local government client projects through authorizing legislation, appropriations, grants and innovative financing. For private sector clients, the team focuses on identifying and expanding market opportunities.
At the core of our approach is the development of substantive, comprehensive and creative strategies to increase federal funding for public agency and local government clients in highways, transit, aviation, water, wastewater, economic development, urban revitalization, housing, law enforcement, health, historic preservation and other areas. To achieve maximum benefit for clients we develop and propose new programs, changes in eligibility requirements, funding formulas and new financing mechanisms, and we advocate to get the proposals and changes enacted into law.
We also assist major domestic and international corporations in removing outmoded and costly legislative, regulatory and policy barriers, expanding market access and increasing competition. Members of our practice have secured legislative and policy incentives promoting innovative project delivery and advanced technologies, saving time and money in transportation projects and creating market opportunities. In particular, we have resolved complex Buy America, hazardous materials, motor carrier, rail, pipeline, maritime and vehicle safety legislative, regulatory and compliance issues in Congress and at the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
Deep Experience with DOT, OMB & Congress
We have been involved in the development of every surface transportation and aviation reauthorization proposal and DOT appropriations act over the last 30 years, and the practice is distinguished by the presence of a former secretary of transportation and a 13-year veteran of the Office of the Secretary of DOT, who brings substantial insights into policy, programs and authorizing and appropriations legislation before the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress.
Innovative Water Infrastructure Practice
Over the next 25 years, more than US$2 trillion needs to be invested in US water infrastructure for drinking water and wastewater projects alone. By all accounts, traditional resources and programs are insufficient to meet these needs. New approaches and partnerships are essential. This is our focus. With communities confronting increasing costs and constrained resources, we have been at the forefront of helping utilities and local governments address their water infrastructure challenges through innovative strategies and public-private solutions.
- Creating Powerful New Tools for Water Infrastructure Investment
We worked with the nation’s leading water utility associations to develop the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and led the multi-year advocacy effort to enact it into law in June 2014. This landmark new program will provide federal loans for water infrastructure projects at US Treasury interest rates, providing an unparalleled source of low cost capital for water infrastructure projects, and particularly public-private partnerships (P3). WIFIA is open to all types of drinking water and wastewater projects, as well as projects under the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, navigation and other purposes.
WIFIA expressly allows private entities to apply for and receive low-cost WIFIA financing as part of P3 projects. The availability and cost of capital is always a critical issue in P3 projects. With WIFIA, private partners and concessionaires will have access to an unprecedented, low-cost financing tool to facilitate P3 deals. We are in an unparalleled position to help companies and communities take advantage of this powerful new financing tool.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which included WIFIA, also created a new Water Infrastructure Public Private Partnership program for Army Corps of Engineers projects. This new P3 program can open a new frontier for private investment in major water infrastructure projects ranging from locks and dams to port infrastructure and water supply projects.
- Working with Communities to Meet their Water Infrastructure Needs
We have one of the preeminent municipal government and public agency policy practices in the nation. We have extensive experience in working with local governments and water authorities to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements, secure federal funding, and navigate the Army Corps of Engineers funding process. We have successfully helped communities address water quality regulatory issues; secure EPA funding; and pursue authorizations and appropriations for major flood control, ecosystem restoration, dredging and other Army Corps of Engineers projects. At the same time, we are consistently working with local governments on innovative ways to address their water infrastructure needs through new financing tools and by making connections between the private and public sectors.
- Structuring and Executing Complex and Innovative Transactions
We combine policy expertise and broad connections throughout the water infrastructure sector with leading transactional capabilities. We are home to internationally recognized lawyers in infrastructure project finance and P3 transactions, with expertise on the structuring, financing, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure assets, both domestically and overseas. Our professionals have represented project sponsors, lenders, institutional investors, construction companies and municipalities in a wide range of sectors, including groundbreaking water P3 projects. From creating opportunities to structuring and executing innovative transactions, we have unmatched ability to help clients across the water infrastructure sector achieve their goals.
With two decades of experience, we are the leading law firm with a local government practice in Washington DC. Our clients include dozens of cities, counties and local and regional authorities. We represent our clients on a full spectrum of issues affecting local government responsibilities. The breadth of our local government practice affords unique advantages to our clients through coalition-building, information-sharing, and access, as well as broad-based and bipartisan / non-partisan contacts in Congress and the Administration. Our size and scope enables full-service in-house representation without subcontracts.
- Established Practice with Breadth of Experience
We recognize that effective federal advocacy for local government requires a specialized focus and substantive expertise. Acknowledging the importance of the associations representing those interests, we also determined that individual localities must interact directly and regularly with the federal government to resolve specific local concerns and to partner with other localities on positions that the broad-based associations’ constituencies could not address. By focusing on developing subject matter policy and program capabilities in local government issues and tailoring special services to public agency clients, we have established a long record in representing counties and cities, as well as transportation/transit authorities, utilities, special districts, state agencies, public health consortia and hospitals, universities, community development corporations, and similar entities.
Our team focuses on technical expertise coupled with procedural knowledge to proactively advise and position local governments on the merits and in the context of viable federal prospects. We work closely with local officials to plan and pursue a comprehensive and aggressive federal relations strategy that includes a balanced approach to opportunities through all three branches of the federal government.
- Full-Service Approach to Advocacy
We have a proven track record of success in positioning our clients for federal grant awards and other resources. In addition, our local government practice is unparalleled with specialized expertise in economic development, transit, highways, aviation, and healthcare funding and policy. There is no limitation or constraint on the scope of services we can provide.
We understand and respect the unique nature of municipal representation and are ever mindful of our role as an extension of the elected and appointed leadership of the municipality, while being sensitive to the fact that public sector entities operate under close public and media scrutiny. Our clients trust our advice and counsel because they are aware of our integrity and discretion, and know our interactions with federal officials will always reflect positively on their behalf.