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NOWRA is working on your behalf in Washington—on Capitol Hill and at EPA and other regulatory agencies.

The onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment industry serves more than one in five American households but is too often overlooked in the national wastewater infrastructure conversation. While our industry has many challenges, it also has a terrific story to tell.

Onsite/decentralized wastewater technologies offer low-cost, highly effective, environmentally friendly and versatile options for residential and commercial wastewater treatment. It works well whether deployed in urban, suburban, or rural settings and is a better alternative to centralized sewage treatment in many contexts.

Until recently, our industry did not have a seat at the table where wastewater policy and funding decisions are made. As a result, we have largely been ignored when major decisions affecting our national wastewater infrastructure are made.

NOWRA's advocacy efforts aim to change that paradigm. Through lobbying for our interests before Congress and the regulators, we expect to make our voices heard so that our industry can claim its fair share of support from Washington.

Recent Accomplishments

Our lobbying goals are straightforward:

  • Increase the market share of new construction where onsite/decentralized treatment is used from 30% to 35%.
  • Increase federal funding support for the onsite/decentralized industry for infrastructure repair and other important needs.
  • Influence EPA to establish more policies favoring onsite/decentralized systems.

Advocacy Priorities for 2024:

  • Continue to conduct targeted meetings with key legislators and staff to bring a more focused advocacy effort in order to secure additional congressional allies. We expect these meetings to take place throughout the spring and summer.
  • Work with congressional appropriators to secure funding for EPA’s Decentralized Wastewater Grant Program as shown in the President’s 2025 proposed budget of $5 million, so that the Agency can stand the program up and begin to provide funding to our customers.  
  • Work with allied stakeholders and congressional appropriators to increase funding for USDA’s Decentralized Water Systems program from $5 million to $20 million.  
  • Engage with congressional allies and other stakeholders to improve and expand USDA’s Decentralized Water Systems program as Congress develops the new Farm Bill.    
  • Conduct visits with senior management officials and staff at both US EPA and USDA to discuss their program priorities and initiatives for onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment.  
  • Work to increase funding for decentralized systems beyond these two programs (USDA, EPA) as part of our calls for the federal government to close the clean water and sanitation access gap.

We are making progress, but we need your support. Please join us!

If you are interested in joining our lobbying board or would like to donate to our advocacy efforts, send an email to info@nowra.org or call  978-496-1800.

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