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 85 million Americans—more than 25% of the country—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 effort aims 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.
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.
Our Recent Accomplishments include:
- Completed 68 meetings with Congressional offices in April 2022 to discuss the benefits of decentralized systems and to request support for the full funding of EPA and USDA grant and financing programs targeted at replacing malfunctioning on non-existent household onsite systems.
- Worked with Congress to influence the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021. The Act creates a Decentralized Wastewater Grant Program ($50M/year for 5 years) for the repair or replacement of malfunctioning or non-existent septic systems owned by low-income homeowners.
- Worked with EPA to begin the multi-year process to get the U.S. Census to include a "sewer or septic" question to the annual American Community Survey.
- Worked with Congress to influence America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 to include language to increase the use, funding, and EPA technical support for onsite/decentralized systems.