NOWRA Act Language included in Senate version of 2018 Water Bill. (S. 2800 America’s Water Infrastructure Act). Senate has not yet voted on this legislation
House version of 2018 Water Bill does not contain any legislative language for EPA-related initiatives, so NOWRA is working to secure a sponsor for the NOWRA Act in the House [Carl, we hope to find by week’s end if Rep. Babin from TX will sponsor bill]. While a stand-alone NOWRA Act is unlikely to pass as a stand-alone bill, there are three reasons for getting that bill introduced:
- Both Water Bills are likely to pass and the different versions will need to be reconciled. If we are able to introduce the NOWRA Act in the House, it will be easier to show that there is support for the bill, which will increase the chances that our legislation will be included in the reconciled Water Bill.
- Rep. Shuster (chair of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee) plans to introduce a separate infrastructure bill in the House in the next several weeks. We have been promised that the NOWRA Act would be considered for inclusion in that bill.
- If the NOWRA Act does not pass this year (a possibility), it should be much easier to get the bill introduced in the next session of Congress.
RCAP has introduced legislation which would require both USDA and the EPA State Revolving Fund to provide loans/grants to low-income for replacement of failing septic systems.
USDA version - The legislation has been included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, but not in the House. The Conference Committee which will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill. We are working with RCAP on lobbying the conference committee to keep the legislation in the consolidated version that will be sent to President Trump.
EPA version – The EPA version of their legislation was not included in either the House or Senate versions of the 2018 Water Bill, but RCAP is trying to get its language included as a floor amendment. We support the RCAP bills and are working with them to include language in both versions of the legislation which will allow for larger decentralized treatment systems to be funded if individual septic systems are not feasible due to site conditions or other factors.
In early August, EPA will submit a request to the US Census to include a “septic vs sewer” question on the American Community Survey so that the industry can obtain a more accurate count of US septic systems.