Upper Dublin Water Quality Update

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Jay Scott Smith/KYW Newsradio ABINGTON, Pa. (KYW Newsradio)
April 16, 2019 - 12:00 am

Early Involvement to Address the
PFAS Water Contamination

Since early 2016 I worked with federal, state, and local elected officials as well as citizen groups to reduce PFAS in our water.
Sept 2016: I met with Senator Casey in Washington DC. I pointed out to the Senator, the CDC, EPA, and the Dept. of Defense, that UD is downstream from the Navy Base, and therefore should be included in the discussion and addressing remediation of PFAS contamination of our water supply.

Worked with citizen groups, local elected officials, and AQUA to install a PFAS filer on the Aidenn Lair Well.

PA PFAS MSS Health Study

Along with others, I ensured UD Township residents were included in the PA PFAS MSS Health Study investigation of the level of PFAS contamination in the blood of residents as part of a larger study across the US. The study initially included only residents of Horsham, Hatboro, and Warminster townships. I have successfully worked for 3 years with State elected officials including the Governor, Senators and Representatives and Study researchers to include UD in the study. Study results are pending and will be released upon completion of the country-wide study.

PFAS Multi-site Health Study: Register for March 23, 2022 Community Meeting!

Thank you for your interest in the PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study!

Please register for the March 23, 2022 Community Meeting to learn about study progress and the importance of family and child/adolescent participation.

We will have our Licensed School Psychologist, Kristin Cooley, on hand to answer questions from community members and parents. Kristin has been practicing psychology with children from pre-kindergarten through high school grades for the past 11 years and assisting children with their learning, behavioral, and social/emotional needs.

We will host a Q&A session after the presentation for interested community members.

REMINDER: ENROLLMENT IS OPEN! The PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study is recruiting adults who are age 18 and older and children ages 4 through 17 (with parent or guardian permission). Call 1-877-267-2890 to be screened for eligibility. Study participants will provide blood and urine samples and answer questions about their exposure and medical histories. An adult participant who completes all components will receive $50 in gift cards; child participants who complete all components will receive $75 in gift cards. In addition, participants will receive information on the level of PFAS in their blood and their health test results that they can share with healthcare providers.

The study is being conducted through a research cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

For more information about the PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study, please visit
https://papfas.rti.org and https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/Multi-Site-Health-Study.html. For information about PFAS, visit Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and Your Health.

Calling all Community Members Interested in the PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study

PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study
Kick-Off Meeting

The PA PFAS Multi-site Health Study Kick-off meeting will be 11/16/21 for those interested in being a part of the study.

Recruitment for the PFAS Study will begin shortly. Please submit a contact request below to receive updates.
https://papfas.rti.org/ - contact

Click here to register for the November 16 kick-off meeting from 7-9 pm. https://rtiorg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TaEwTBzWR--MJRHC_n-UKQ

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is studying the human health effects in communities exposed to per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through drinking water.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that were used for decades in fire-fighting foam and in many different industries including those that made waterproofing materials. ATSDR is funding researchers from seven different sites across the U.S. to see how PFAS impacts health. The Pennsylvania site includes the Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster areas in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Researchers at RTI International, Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), Temple University, and Brown University received funding from ATSDR to study PFAS and its possible relationship to health among those exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water in these communities.

The study team plans to enroll 1,000 adults aged 18 and older and 300 children aged 4 - 17 (with parent/guardian permission) to evaluate their PFAS levels, health measures like thyroid hormone levels and liver function, and medical history. Participants will receive individual test results with their PFAS levels which they can share with healthcare providers.

January 4, 2020
Air Force $2.8 million to Stop PFAS Flow

The Air Force will spend more than $2M to permanently stop PFAS from flowing off the Navy Base in Willow Grove and into the water supply. This is a major victory for our community and for those citizens and local officials who have fought to address PFAS.

Chlorine Taste in Aqua Water

Chlorine tends to be more noticeable in the winter months. While Aqua adds the same amount of chlorine year round and monitor it closely, chlorine doesn’t dissipate as readily in colder water. It can impart a chemical or even bitter metallic taste at times, which could be what this resident is noticing. If you would like us to arrange for a water sample to be collected, contact Evens Ryan from Aqua at 610.645.4235.

Upper Dublin Township:
3 Water Suppliers
3 State Representatives

Upper Dublin has a unique situation in that we have three water suppliers and three State Representatives. Upper Dublin does not have representation on any of these water suppliers' governing boards. Most communities have one water supplier and one state representative. This makes it difficult for Upper Dublin to have a single focused approach to demanding clean water.

Starting in 2016 the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners have been actively involved in the PFAS contamination of our water. In September of 2016, I meet with Senator Casey in Washington D.C. to discuss PFAS contamination in the water suppied to Upper Dublin. The Board have also had multiple Board of Commissioners stated and special meetings with the water providers to our community as well as with our state and federal representatives to work together to remediate the contamination from PFAS.

House Water Filters Website
If you are interested in whole house filtering systems, please see the website below.


Countertop Filter
There are countertop PFAS filtration systems, see below:


New Research Study

In the next few months, there will be a research study in Bucks & Montgomery counties on the levels of PFAS in the blood via a study sample of residents. I have been working with federal, state, and local officials to involve UD residents in this study.

October 28, 2019

UPDATE: At this time, the Dept. of Health has not released a specific action plan for testing. We do know that the testing will not be random, residents can volunteer to participate, and they are looking to include affected areas in the study. Volunteering will include a length entry survey so researchers can confirm that they are targeting the correct populations.

PFAS Blood Testing Study Sample with Congresspersons: Dean, Boyle, & Fitzpatric October 8, 2019

This meeting announced new testing of residents in Bucks and Montgomery County for levels of PFAS in their system. I talked with Dr. Watkins and Dr. Jones who are conducting the study about who would be included in the sample population and they informed me that "Upper Dublin was not discounted in the study". This is good news! The researchers are designing the study protocols now. When the protocols are established, I will let you know how you can apply to be in the study sample.

PFAS Meeting with Governor Wolf & State Representative Todd Stephens August 22, 2019

I met with Governor Wolf and State Representative Todd Stephens this morning at the press conference in Horsham concerning PFAS contamination of drinking water in our area.  

I spoke with Governor Wolf about UD having three water suppliers and no water authority to regulate the levels of PFAS in UD drinking water.  The Governor was unaware of this and also unaware that we have three State Representatives for our township.  I also informed the Governor that long term UD residents have been drinking PFAS contaminated water for decades and should be included in any and all up coming blood tests.  The PFAS contamination in UD is well documented, as two UD-area Aqua wells (Aidenn Lair and North Hills) have been taken off-line as a result of high PFAS levels. The Governor said his goal is to provide clean water for everyone in PA.

Rep. Stephens expressed to me that he would like to work with UD officials to assist UD in combating the PFAS contamination of water supplied to UD.

I look forward to meeting with Rep. Stephens and other officials to make sure UD has clean water.

Aidenn Lair Well Back on Line! May 2019
The Aidenn Lair well is back in service, but that doesn't mean everyone in Aidenn Lair will be getting non-detect PFAS levels in the water supplied to their house.

Back on November 1, 2018 at the Aqua meeting for municipal leaders, I asked Aqua when the Aidenn Lair Well comes back in service who will be getting non-detect PFAS levels in their water and who will have the blended water? In April, I began an email exchange with Aqua to try to get an answer to that question.

Aqua supplied me with the following response.

After the Aidenn Lair GAC system comes online, we plan on sampling in the distribution system in the area around Aidenn Lair to confirm the area of influence and where it is non detect and where it is not.
Given the complicated nature of the flows in the system we won’t have an exact delineation until the confirmation sampling is done.   That timeline is dependent upon waiting several days after the GAC system start up.”

I will keep you informed as we progress through the process.

Senator Hughes Supporting UD Residents May 1, 2019

I have been working with Senator Hughes to find a way to have Upper Dublin included in the upcoming PFAS studies. Senator Hughes has gone to bat for Upper Dublin residents! He sent a letter to Dr. Watkins the Co-Investigator of the upcoming Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry multi-site PFAS study. Senator Hughes has encouraged the PA Dept. of Health to include UD residents in these upcoming tests. Letter to Dr. Watkins.

PFAS PEATT Pilot Study Community Meeting April 29, 2019

On Monday April 29, 2019 the PFAS Community Meeting of the PEATT Pilot Testing in Warrington, Warminster and Horsham areas was held at the Horsham Library. This meeting answered questions about the results of last year’s PFAS blood test pilot study and upcoming tests. Dr. Watkins, Director of the Bureau of Epidemiology for the PA Department of Health, led the meeting. She is the state Epidemiologist. Dr. Watkins explained that the PA Department of Health is applying to be included in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry multi-site PFAS study. She is the Co-Investigator of the upcoming PFAS tests.

Kim Menard represented Upper Dublin with questions about the results of the Pilot Study and of the upcoming tests. I made the case to Dr. Watkins that Upper Dublin be included in any and all PFAS testing of residents, as in previous meetings.

Dr. Watkins also said PA did hire a toxicologist. This is good news because PA can now set PFAS levels as other states have been able to do.

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Community members want more than talk from state’s PFAS Action Team
Jay Scott Smith
April 16, 2019 - 12:00 am

Jay Scott Smith/KYW Newsradio
ABINGTON, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- Horsham residents made their voices heard amid frustration over a dangerous chemical found in drinking water.
At special meeting Monday night residents of Horsham and surrounding areas made it clear to members of the state’s "Action Team," tasked with addressing the contamination of water around the Willow Grove Air Base, that they want action and not just talk.

PFAS Action Team Update April 15, 2019

On April 15, 2019, the PA PFAS Action Team updated the community on the ongoing PFAS contamination. Upper Dublin residents spoke to the Action Team of our concerns. Upper Dublin was well represented in the comments section by: Jill Spector Florin, Kim Menard, Mark Cuker, and Upper Dublin Commissioner Rebecca Gushue with Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry Jerry Oleksiak was apart of the panel. I brought to the Action Team's attention that Upper Dublin should be included in the population sample of the up coming blood tests for PFAS levels in residents’ blood. Since 1956, I have lived most of my life in Upper Dublin I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, a thyroid disease, in 1993. PFAS has been linked to thyroid disease. There are many residents in Upper Dublin who have lived here for decades and want to know if they are at risk. Knowing that Aqua was compelled to take two Upper Dublin wells off line is indicative of the impact of PFAS levels in Upper Dublin and that Upper Dublin residents need to be tested in the upcoming blood test and all future testing.

April 8, 2019 PFAS Discussion with Senators Casey & Carper and PA State Rep Stephens

On April 8, 2019 Senators Bob Casey & Tom Carper held a Discussion and Legislation announcement led by State Representative Todd Stevens addressing PFAS contamination with local municipal representatives. I was fortunate to be a part of this discussion representing Upper Dublin. Senator Carper has introduced a bill in the Senate addressing PFAS contamination in our area and throughout the country. This bill has been co-sponsored by Senator Casey and at least 30 other senators. This act declares PFAS as a hazardous material and that it should be included in the Superfund for clean up. The act goes on to demand that the EPA take action now! It also demands that the CDC, the EPA and, the DOD be more transparent and to accelerate their efforts to find a replacement fire fighting foam that does not contain hazardous materials.

During this discussion, I brought attention to Upper Dublin’s unique situation with the PFAS problem. Not only is Upper Dublin down stream from the Willow Grove Naval Air Base but, it is unique in being served by three water suppliers, of which Upper Dublin has no say or even a seat at the table of these providers to eliminate PFAS from our community's water. Although we lack representation on these water suppliers’ governing boards, Upper Dublin has been able to fight to eliminate PFAS contamination for our residents.
I also brought to the Senators’ attention that Upper Dublin should be included in the up coming blood tests for PFAS levels in residents’ blood.

February 4, 2019
Follow up contact with Dr. Nail, Director of the Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology to see if there is an update on including Upper Dublin in future testing. I have also contacted the EPA, the CDC, PA Senator Hughes, and Congresswoman Dean to include Upper Dublin in future studies.

December 2018

A pilot study was conducted to determine the amounts of PFAS in the blood of the participants. These results have been published. I have contacted Dr. Anil Nair, Director of the Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, Bureau of Epidemiology, PA Department of Health. I asked him to include Upper Dublin residents in the next study because we are directly downstream from the Naval Air Station. His response to me was "We certainly consider including other areas as well if we get additional funding for an expanded project."

November 1, 2018

Aqua held a meeting to update PFAS for local municipal leaders at there office in Willow Grove. At this meeting, knowing that Aqua blends its water from multiple wells at 11ppt or more of PFAS to supply water to its customers, I asked the Aqua leadership directly, what will be the radius from the Aidenn Lair well that residents will be supplied non-detect PFAS levels of water? Aqua did not answer my repeated questions.

August 22, 2018

State Senator Vincent Hughes conducted a meeting at the Upper Dublin Township Building to discuss what the state can do to help Upper Dublin with PFAS contamination. In attendance were Paul Leonard, Township Manager, Commissioner McGuckin and myself.

August 2018

Working together, state representatives, citizens, and Upper Dublin officials, in August 2018, the Aidenn Lair well was taken off line. A filtration system is being fitted on the well. Completion of the installation is set for May 2018. At this time the Aidenn Lair well will be back on line emitting non-detect levels of PFAS/OS. The Aidenn Lair well, provides water to Aidenn Lair and surrounding area (Dublin Hunt, Dawesfield, Harris Rd. etc.) with water. Upper Dublin and other local township managers are meeting to join forces to push all water suppliers to non-detect PFAS levels. Aqua is not sure if the North Hills well, will return to service.

July 2018 Closing the Aidenn Lair Well

At the July 10, 2018 Board of Commissioners meeting I made a motion that was supported unanimously by the Board to direct Upper Dublin staff to contact Aqua to either lower the PFAS levels fo water coming from the Aidenn Lair well to non-detect or take the Aidenn Lair well off line. In August, State Representatives, citizen groups, and Upper Dublin Township Commissioners working together with Aqua, had the Aidenn Lair well taken off line. The well is being fitted with filters to supply non-detect levels of PFAS in the water supply in the supply from the Aidenn Lair well. Since all the water from Aqua wells are blended we still don't know if the water supplied tom our homes will be non-detect since not all Aqua wells supply water at non-detect levels of PFAS. The UD Commissioners are continuing to pursue zero detect levels form all the wells supplying water to our residents.

From the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners Stated Meeting Minutes:
Dr. Scarpello: The well in Aidenn Lair is an AQUA well and it has high levels of PFOS's and I'd like to recommend that well be closed. (p. 18)
Dr. Scarpello motioned, with Ms. Ferry seconding, to give direction by the Board of Commissioners to request AQUA to bring Township blended water and the Aidenn Lair Well into compliance with new proposed standards and if Aqua cannot bring the Aidenn Lair well into compliance that it be taken off line.

July 2018 Supporting HB 705

Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners passed a resolution supporting Pennsylvania House Bill 705, "Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water" Act sponsored by Rep. Tom Murt that would require all water providers in PA to supply water with PFC levels of 5ppt or below.


September 22, 2016 Senator Casey's PFC Discussion

Taking a personal day from work, I joined Township Manager Paul Leonard to attend The PFC Contamination of Drinking Water in Pennsylvania Discussion with Senator Casey, in the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. The discussion centered on PFC (also known as PFAS) contaminates in our local water supply attributed to the former Willow Grove Naval Air Base and the Warminster NADC.
In attendance: the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Warminster Township, Warminster Water Authority, Warrington Township, Horsham Township, Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, Upper Dublin Commissioner and Manager, Congressman Brendan Boyle, and other elected officials. Senator Casey focused federal agencies and departments on this issue and provided a single contact on the federal level for direct access by local governments. The discussion brought local and federal officials together to streamline communication so that the federal agencies and local governments can work more collaboratively to solve the growing problem of PFCs (Perfluorinated Compounds) contaminating our drinking water in Upper Dublin, Horsham, and Warminster.
At that time the focus was on contamination of the Horsham, Warminster, & Warrington water supply. I was the only elected municipal offical present at the meeting. By Upper Dublin’s presence at this meeting, Upper Dublin was acknowledged on the federal level to have contaminated water too.

PFAS Related Community/Board of Commissioners Meetings Attended

July 12, 2016 Board of Commissioners Stated Meeting Water Quality Update attended by Aqua and CDC.

July 15, 2016 Congressman Brendon Boyle Breakfast
focusing on PFAS

February 14, 2017 Board of Commissioners Stated Meeting presentation of PFOA White Paper from the Upper Dublin Township Environmental Protection Advisory Board to assess impact of PFOA contamnation of water supplied to UD residents and action steps to be considered.

July 25, 2018 EPA PFAS Meeting at Hatboro-Horsham HS on PFAS and what actions were being done.

August 2, 2018 State Representative Dean at Antioch Baptist Church community meeting about PFAS contamination of the Aqua North Hills well.

August 7, 2018 State Representative McCarter at Cheltenham HS community meeting PFAS update where Aqua announced the closing of Aidenn Lair Well.

August 14, 2018 Board of Commissions Stated Meeting Water Quality Update attended by April Hutcheson, PA Department of Health, Lori Siegmann Werner, CDC, North Wales Water Authority, Ambler Water Authority, Rep. Murt. Rep. Stephens

August 22, 2018 State Senator Hughes at Upper Dublin Township building to discuss what the state can do to help Upper Dublin with PFAS contamination. In attendance were Paul Leaonard, Township Manager, Commissioner McGuckin and myself.

November 1, 2018 Aqua meeting to up date local officials on PFAS at the Aqua Willow Grove office

February 4, 2019 I contacted Dr. Nair, Director of the Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health to add Upper Dublin residents to the sample pool of future PFAS studies of blood levels in residents. He responded to my email: “Certainly we will consider including other areas in the future studies.”


Constituents of my newsletters, mailing, email list, website, and my Facebook page over the past 3 years have been receiving updates concerning the PFC (PFAS, and PFOS) contamination of the water supplied to Upper Dublin by run off from the old Willow Grove Navel Airbase. The EPA says the safe level of these contaminates is below 70 ppt (parts per trillion). The CDC in June 2018 has advised these levels downward to the 10ppt level.

Ward 3 residents who have been receiving water from the Aidenn Lair well are now getting their water from the Aqua Abington well, which has 11ptt of PFS.  This is around the new levels that the CDC would like to see instead of the EPA levels of 70ppt. 

Upper Dublin residents are supplied their water from three sources: Aqua, North Wales Water Authority, and Ambler Water Company. Only North Wales Water Authority provides non-detectable levels of PFCs in their water. All three have some level of PFC contamination.


Visit the UD Township website below for up to the minute information on our water quality.


The Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners (UD BOC) have been aware of this issue since 2016 and have been actively working with the three water suppliers (Ambler, Aqua, and North Wales) to Upper Dublin residents to ensure we have clean water. Private well water users have been advised to have their water tested to find out the levels of PFAS in their drinking water.

PFC Contamination of Drinking Water in PA Communities Discussion Hosted by U.S. Senator Bob Casey

Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Sen Casey crop

On Thursday 9/22/16, UD Township Manager Paul Leonard and I participated in the Sen. Bob Casey’s Discussion of Contaminated Drinking water in PA. Participants included Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Patrick Meehan, and PA State Representative Todd Stephens as well as representatives from DOD, CDC and EPA.

Results of the Meeting
1. DOD agreed to provide a single person to be the point person representing all the various federal agencies and armed services so that state and local authorities will need only contact one person to reach the federal government.

2. The DOD is working on remediating the toxins on the Willow Grove NAB. No definitive time line for completion at this point.

3. DOD will reimburse Horsham and Warminster Townships for some of the cleanup costs they have incurred. Further reimbursement is under discussion.

4. EPA has a health advisory for PFOS & PFOAS of 70 ppt. This is an advisory only – not enforceable. The EPA and CDC are doing studies to determine the health risk before they recommend levels that will be enforceable.

5. Horsham Water Authority cannot force Aqua to provide water at 1 ppt. They can only recommend.

6. NJ is asking the EPA to be allowed to lower their levels to 14 ppt. They have not set the levels to 14 ppt – it is only a proposal.

7. The federal response will clearly take place with an eye toward national precedence. The EPA, DOD, and CDC all appear to be focused on State permits, national health standards, and consistencies for what will likely be an expanding number of sites contaminated with this product.

8. Aqua PA has agreed to help fund the immediate reduction of these contaminats particularly storm water entering into the Neshaminy Creek as that is a major source of water for Upper Dublin.

9. Horsham Township Manager, Bill Walker and State Representative Todd Stephens, pressed the federal government that this containment needs to be cleaned up immediately.

10. It would cost between 30 and 40 million dollars to do the proper studies to access the health impacts.

11. Horsham Township is consistently pressing for immediate studies in their area because it is very likely that many of their residents have long-term exposures to these contaminants.

12. DOD will resubmit its individual clean up permit application to Pennsylvania DEP in November.


Bob Casey, U.S. Senator from PA
Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health)
Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Environment, Safety and Infrastructure)
Richard Mach, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment)
Richard McCoy, U.S. Air Force National Guard Bureau
Dr. Pat Breysse, Director of National Center on Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Eric Wortman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Eric Burneson, Director of the Standards and Risk Management Division in the Office of Water, Environmental Protection Agency
Cecil Rodrigues, Deputy Regional Administrator, EPA Region 3
Sasha Brown, Pennsylvania State & Congressional Liaison, EPA Region 3
Karen Johnson, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 3
Steve Hirsch, Hazardous Site Division, EPA Region 3
Brendan Boyle, Congressman 13th District
Patrick Meehan, Congressman 7th District
Todd Stephens, PA Representative 151st District
Bill Walke, Manager, Horsham Township
Tina O’Rourke, Manager, Horsham Water and Sewer Authority
Gregg Schuster, Manager, Warminster Township
Tim Hagey, Manager, Warminster Water Authority
Barry Luber, Manager, Warrington Township
Christian Jones, Director of Water and Sewer/Assistant to the Manager, Warrington Township
Paul Leonard, Manager, Upper Dublin Township
Dr. Gary Scarpello, Commissioner, Upper Dublin Township
Ron Klink, (former Congressman from PA’s 4th) – Senior Policy Advisor at Nelson, Mullins, Riley, and Scarborough (on behalf of Governor Wolf’s administration)

Thank You Senator Casey

Me w Sen Casey 3-23-17 L Best

I thanked Sen. Casey again for holding his discussion about the affect of PFCs on the water quality in Horsham, Warminster and Upper Dublin and measures to address the cleanup on Sept. 22 2016 in Washington, D.C. I attended along with Upper Dublin Township Manager Paul Leonard, Horsham, and Warminster representatives as well as US Rep. Brendan Boyle, PA Reps. Meehan and Stevens. The discussion brought together Federal officials from the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to listen to our concerns about the water quality in our communities. Sen. Casey ensured there would be only one contact on the Federal level to communicate with instead of the many different agencies thus streamlining the process of communication between the local level and the Federal government.