Updating The EPA Decentralized MOU Partnership

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The National Association of Wastewater Technicians, in collaboration with 20 other public and private sector organizations and governmental agencies, represent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Decentralized MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) Partnership. This partnership was established to improve decentralized wastewater management in the U.S.

Since its inception in 2005, the partnership has generated many successes, marked by better cooperation, collaboration, consultation and communication among the various organizations. The partnership has been working diligently to increase the awareness and safety of the wastewater industry. NAWT has done a tremendous amount of work to educate both industry professionals and the public on matters related to wastewater, septic systems and their safety.

The MOU renewal meeting held on Nov. 19-20, 2014, in Washington, D.C., was an eventful and productive meeting. The renewal ceremony honored three new partnership members: The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Rural Water Association (NRWA).

The partner meeting that followed the ceremony featured diverse panel sessions and presentations, including a presentation from three MOU partners on industry successes and challenges, presentations on the CWA SRF (Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund) amendments, the Chesapeake Bay data sharing effort for advanced treatment systems and work group planning sessions of newly formed MOU Partnership work groups. 

An overarching goal for the renewal period of the partnership is to increase the understanding of the benefits of decentralized systems through stakeholder engagement, marketing and product development. New MOU Partnership work groups were formed on stakeholder engagement, marketing, product development and the fifth position paper.

New EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center

Raffael Stein was named director of the EPA Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) Municipal Support Division. In January, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Vice President Joe Biden announced the new EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, which will allow the agency to finance projects within the water infrastructure sector. The new center supports the federal interagency work group, Build America Investment Initiative. The EPA is in the process of developing plans for the center and its staffing.  

New resources – CWA-SDWA toolkit

“Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water and Advance Watershed Goals Through the Clean Water Act: A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal and Federal Water Program Managers” is designed to enable state and EPA water quality practitioners to better protect drinking water supplies. Using regulatory and nonregulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act, it better protects sources of drinking water and improves water quality.  

The MOU partners involved in this effort include the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA). The toolkit is the result of a multiyear collaborative effort by state and EPA water quality managers across clean water and safe drinking water programs. The group drew on expertise and examples of success from many states to highlight opportunities that address complex water quality challenges through a coordinated and collaborative approach.

Four webinars will be conducted over the next six months. Future webinars will focus on water quality monitoring and assessment, total maximum daily loads (TMDL) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES), and nonpoint source and 319 programs. The toolkit contains no specific information on decentralized systems; however, there is information on funding options and infrastructure solutions.

2015 calendar of events

  • July 13-15 – NEHA Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida
  • July 26-28 – WEF (Water Environment Federation) and WERF (Water Environment Research Foundation) Nutrient Symposium, San Jose, California
  • Aug. 26-29 – U.S. Water Alliance One Water Leadership Summit, San Francisco
  • Sept. 21-25 – EPA SepticSmart Week
  • Sept. 26-30 – WEFTEC 2015, Chicago
  • Sept. 28-Oct. 1 – GWPC Annual Forum, Oklahoma City
  • Sept. 28-30 – WaterPro Conference, Oklahoma City
  • Nov. 3-6 – NOWRA (National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association), NAWT, SORA (State Onsite Regulators Association) Mega Onsite Conference, Virginia Beach
  • Dec. 1-4 – ACWA Fall Conference and Exhibition, Indian Wells, California

For more information on the EPA Decentralized MOU Partnership, visit http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/septic/Decentralized-MOU-Partnership-Products.cfm.


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