For more than 20 years, ENS Resources has worked on behalf of clients and ensured they have a voice in Washington, D.C. We have built a solid reputation for ethical work, developed bipartisan relationships throughout all branches of government, and solidified our firm as a leader in advocacy and government relations. We would like to share a few examples of our successes.
ENS Resources Advances Landmark Water Project:
East Bay Municipal Utility District
For more than thirty years, community leaders in the northern California region discussed, debated, and ultimately faced off in court over a proposed water diversion from the American River. During periods of severe drought, East Bay counties faced potentially dire shortfalls in their water supply — which could have resulted in economic hardship and even water rationing. On the other side, citizens of Sacramento viewed the proposal as a water grab that would degrade a cherished city parkland. After a lengthy and contentious battle in both the courts of law and public opinion, the communities of Sacramento and the East Bay finally found common ground and launched the Freeport Regional Water Project, which is hailed as a model of regional cooperation. Embraced by environmentalists and government officials alike, the project creates a new water diversion system for the Sacramento River that will guarantee adequate water for customers in the entire region.
Although regional cooperation was essential for success, a project of this magnitude and complexity required the backing of federal decision makers. ENS Resources worked on behalf of its client, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), to gain the support of California Senators Boxer and Feinstein as well as key staff in the Clinton and Bush administrations. With the firm’s solid reputation as well as longtime relationships with elected officials, ENS Resources persuaded members of the California delegation to take an active role in shaping the final settlement. ENS Resources not only ensured the Freeport Project received vital and timely attention, but ultimately secured regulatory approval and federal funding assistance to ensure a successful outcome.
ENS Resources Raises Association’s Presence in Washington:
California Association of Sanitation Agencies
More than 100 agencies and private sector stakeholders throughout California work together to ensure clean water statewide. Collectively, they form CASA, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies. Together they educate the public and elected officials as well as affect legislation and policy making. When the CASA Board of Directors wanted to increase the association’s influence in Washington, D.C., they turned to ENS Resources.
The ENS team put together a strategy to make CASA a recognized expert for water-related issues. By promoting CASA members’ expertise and their day-to-day understanding of water issues, ENS Resources has ensured that federal lawmakers turn to CASA for input. CASA members have been invited to give Congressional testimony for changes to the Clean Water Act. In addition, Congress turned to CASA for advice on homeland security legislation as it relates to publicly owned wastewater treatment systems.
Additionally, ENS organizes an annual D.C. conference for CASA. This three-day event gives association members the opportunity to lobby influential members of the California delegation; meet key staff members from House and Senate committees that deal with water quality; confer with senior staff from the Environmental Protection Agency; and discuss finance issues with staff from the Budget and Appropriations Committee. With the expert assistance of ENS Resources, CASA has become a recognized water quality authority in Washington, D.C.
ENS Resources Boosts Sustainable Green Energy:
Bay Area Biosolids To Energy Coalition
Each day, millions of tons of biosolids are generated in the course treating wastewater from domestic and industrial sources. Biosolids have traditionally been subjected to treatment to remove heavy metals and other contaminants in order to protect human health and the environment and to allow for the use of biosolids for land application purposes. Alternatively, where permitted biosolids can be incinerated. However, these traditional approaches to managing biosolids are becoming increasingly unreliable because of increased regulatory compliance costs, greenhouse gas reduction mandates to protect air quality, local community bans on land application, or environmental justice considerations.
Innovative solutions to manage biosolids and address these new costs of doing business was determined to be a priority for nineteen San Francisco Bay Area clean water agencies, representing more than 4 million people, to ensure that reliable options are available to manage and dispose of biosolids. These agencies determined that the embedded energy within biosolids and the need to divert green wastes and food wastes offered an opportunity to leverage a new sustainable energy production solution that could provide long-term reliable clean energy and reduce reliance upon unreliable. Working with ENS Resources, a strategy was developed to advance a federal state and local collaboration. A central component of this strategy involved working with Congress and the U.S. Department of Energy to achieve a diversified bioenergy portfolio within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The strategy was successfully implemented with congressional budget decisions calling upon the U.S. Department of Energy to diversify its research and technology development and demonstration program priorities to include municipally-derived biosolids as a source of renewable energy. Because of this success, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a competitive solicitation of $90 million to advance bioenergy technologies, including biosolids. Today, the embedded energy in biosolids and the opportunity to combine biosolids with food wastes is widely accepted as a reliable sustainable source of energy to power our nation’s grid and the growing market of powering electric vehicles.
ENS Resources Facilitates Comprehensive Response to Reduce Severe Fire Threat in Tahoe Basin:
South Tahoe Public Utility District
Amador County College Preparation Initiative – To establish a formal community college presence in Amador County, Consumnes River College, part of the Los Rios Community College District, Amador County, and the Amador County Unified School District collaborated to create the Amador Learning Center. To further this effort, ENS worked with the County to obtain federal assistance for the Amador County College Preparation Initiative. The goal of this successful collaborative effort was to provide dual enrollment fire technology, emergency medical technology and related programs that will enable career-focused students to take college courses and earn college credit while in high school. Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Glock stated, “the College Preparation Initiative will further the establishment of a strong community college presence, expand vocational opportunity, make available trained emergency personnel and encourage post-secondary success for our students.”
Innovative Rural Transportation Projects – ENS has worked closely with the County of Amador and the Amador County Transportation Commission (ACTC) to identify and secure federal assistance for several transportation priorities. These include:
Sutter Hill Transit Facility and SR 88 Improvement Projects – ENS assisted the Amador County obtain assistance for two vital transportation projects authorized for over $1.5 million in federal transportation funding. The Sutter Hill Transit Facility is shared by the Amador County Transportation Commission and Amador Regional Transit System, in addition to transit transfer facility, park and ride facility which includes offices, meeting center and a venue for distance learning that will double as a college classroom with video conferencing. The SR 88 Improvement Project seeks to alleviate congestion, improve operations and enhance safety. SR 88 is part of the National Highway System, which passes through Pine Grove and serves as the main street to this established foothill community. Increasing traffic volumes on SR 88 have created a need to address the issue of traffic congestion in Pine Grove. (Additional funding has been obtained for this project through federal lands highway grant assistance)
Emergency Vehicle Preemption – To increase traffic safety and prevent crashes involving first responders, the Amador County Sheriffs Office, the County and ACTC worked with ENS to identify and quickly secure funds for the installation of traffic signal pre-emption system for emergency vehicles in Amador County. ENS was able to promptly identify a highway safety improvement grant funding to install emergency vehicle preemption systems and provide ‘emitters’ for participating emergency vehicles at all intersections in Amador County.
The condition of the Basin’s forests and the risks of fire, whether caused by man or nature, present disasters waiting to happen, with severe potential for loss of life, massive property destruction, and inestimable pollution of the Lake. (CA-NV Fire Commission Report, 2008)
Severe drought conditions, bark beetle infestation, grossly overstocked forests and a checkerboard wildland-urban interface has created a perfect storm scenario for wildfire in the Tahoe Basin. In 2007, within eight days the Angora Fire burned 3,100 acres of pine and mixed conifer forest and destroyed 254 homes, thankfully, no lives were lost. The Angora Fire highlighted that public and private water distribution infrastructure in the Tahoe Basin was inadequate (and never designed) to provide the fire flows necessary to meet the threat of catastrophic fires.
In response to this threat, the South Tahoe Public Utility District (STPUD) directly facilitated a basin-wide partnership of public water agencies to upgrade the region’s water infrastructure. ENS Resources worked with STPUD to develop and implement a strategy that has obtained strong support from Congress and the Administration for this dynamic and vital regional effort.
Since 2008, the Lake Tahoe Fire Protection Partnership has secured $13 million in federal funding, which is matched with over $14 million in local funding. To date, the project has facilitated the installation of over 88,312 lineal feet (nearly 19 miles) of upsized (six inches or larger) waterlines, over 177 hydrants installed where none had existed, 5 new booster pump stations to increase water flow, 6 new emergency generators, 10 new water tanks providing 4.7 million gallons of storage and numerous multi-agency interconnections for mutual aid in the event of fire.
Supporting Rural Community Priorities: