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NEHA Takes Leading Role in Promotion of New Wastewater Guidelines.

NEHA has won a funding-assistance agreement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) Office of Water, Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Management Branch. In a funding-assistance agreement, also known as a cooperative agreement, U.S. EPA provides financial assistance and collaboration on an open-ended project. The project, in this case, is an outreach and public-participation program that will increase awareness of and support for the new National Management Guidelines for Onsite and Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems.

As part of the project, NEHA has established an advisory panel of environmental health professionals who are actively involved in managing and regulating local on-site and decentralized systems. Doug Ebelherr, NEHAs second vice president, chairs the panel. Members of the panel are drawn from NEHA's Onsite Wastewater Management technical section, which will constitute a key resource for the project. The Onsite Wastewater Management section also is providing technical assistance and helping disseminate project material.

The advisory panel is developing an implementation strategy for an outreach and education program targeted to local on-site system operators and the communities served by those systems. Specifically, NEHA is undertaking a grassroots effort with the goals of

* explaining the voluntary guidelines for on-site and decentralized systems;

* stressing the need for systems to establish and implement management and operational standards;

* building local awareness and support for the voluntary guidelines;

* explaining the technological basis for the comprehensive national program reflected in the management guidelines;

* encouraging systems to adopt the voluntary guidelines and identifying systems interested in adoption;

* in cooperation with U.S. EPA, providing technical assistance that will facilitate the adoption of the national guidelines; and

* working with state and local regulators, other national organizations, and other public and environmental health officials to build local capacity and support for the national guidelines.

At NEHA's Annual Educational Conference in Atlanta, June 30-July 3, 2001, a workshop will be held to educate local regulators and administrators. The curriculum of the workshop would be available to local programs where there is interest in adopting the guidelines.

As the final draft of the management guidelines is developed, the technical section members and the advisory panel will be actively involved in providing feedback to U.S. EPA. Through its network of operational and regulatory personnel working in the field NEHA will identify local on-site and decentralized systems that are interested in adopting the management guidelines.
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Title Annotation:National Environmental Health Association
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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