2024 Federal Legislative & Regulatory Agenda


Recycled Materials – NWRA supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to advance a National Recycling Strategy and urges Congress and federal regulatory agencies to implement policies that reduce contamination in the recycling stream, increase processing efficiency, encourage development of the domestic market for recycled materials and focus on actions with the greatest overall environmental benefits. National “Bottle Bill” – NWRA opposes implementation of national “Bottle Bill” legislation that places mandatory tax deposits on single-use plastic and aluminum beverage containers. Environmental Justice – NWRA supports policies seeking to advance high standards of environmental performance and the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures and incomes. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – Although NWRA prefers efforts focused on increasing demand for recyclable materials to allow market forces to incentivize recycling, NWRA also may support the design of EPR programs that allows for input from, and gives priority to, the waste and recycling sector in the distribution of funds. Any successful EPR legislation must take into consideration its impact on collection and processing operations while recognizing contractual relationships and existing industry investments. Energy Generation – NWRA supports policies encouraging the continued use of landfill-produced methane gas as a renewable energy product, both in electricity and transportation applications, and providing for greater transparency and long-term certainty for our industry under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program. Food Waste  NWRA supports legislation that establishes grants and loans for facilities to install anaerobic digesters that use food or crop waste to produce energy. Interstate Waste Restrictions – NWRA opposes efforts to place restrictions on the interstate transfer of waste and recyclables. Import/Export of Waste and Recycling Materials – NWRA supports the free movement of waste and recycling material across international borders consistent with international agreements. Privatization of Waste and Recycling Services – NWRA supports the privatization of waste collection services at all levels of government when proposed.


National “Move Over” Laws – NWRA recommends that the federal government enact incentives for states to adopt “Move Over” laws that cover the waste and recycling industry. Third-Party Distracted Driving – NWRA supports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s efforts to combat distracted driving caused by texting, phone use or alcohol/drugs. Automated Pickup – NWRA believes automated pickup should be encouraged where it is logistically and economically feasible. Commercial Motor Vehicles – NWRA advocates improving the Compliance, Safety, Accountability’s (CSA) “crash causation” rating system, increasing congressional oversight of the CSA’s Safety Fitness Determination and new vehicle/fuel efficiency grants. Opioids Crisis – NWRA is supportive of continued congressional efforts to crack down on both the supply and demand of opioids.


Surface Transportation Infrastructure – NWRA supports increasing road capacity including a forward-looking view to address future needs. Water Infrastructure – NWRA backs the creation of port performance standards and metrics as well as modernization and scaling to meet demands. Railways – NWRA encourages incentivizing construction of rail spurs to connect landfills and recycling facilities to railways as part of the restructuring of our nation’s infrastructure priorities. Autonomous Vehicles – NWRA believes that safety must always come first when legislative and regulatory decisions are made regarding autonomous vehicles.


Landfill Methane Emissions Regulations – NWRA supports improvements to EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, Emission Guidelines and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations that promote clarity in the regulatory scheme and lead to increased certainty for municipal solid waste landfills. ClimateNWRA recognizes the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit the impacts of climate change while supporting policies that recognize the challenges of quantifying landfill emissions and the emissions reduction strategies that our industry already has incorporated within our facility and fleet operations.  PFAS – NWRA supports the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds while using sound science, reliable data and attention to practical means to improve the regulatory safety net. Policymakers also should recognize that receivers of PFAS, such as landfills, are essential public services that manage concentrations of PFAS that are dramatically different than highly contaminated sites. Coal Ash – NWRA recognizes EPA as the appropriate body through which any changes to coal ash disposal and storage regulation should be made.


Federal Excise Tax Repeal – NWRA supports repealing the federal excise tax on the first retail sale of all commercial trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) above 33,000 pounds. Tax Extenders – NWRA advocates extending tax credits for alternative fuels, alternative fuel refueling infrastructure, facilities producing energy from renewable resources and the installation of carbon capture equipment. EV Tax Credit – NWRA backs tax incentives for industry adoption of electric vehicles similar to those already in existence for compressed natural gas vehicles. Carbon Capture – NWRA supports legislation and regulation that incentivizes the capture of carbon dioxide generated at landfills for utilization or secure geological storage. Tort Reform – NWRA supports tort reform measures that help the civil justice system more equitably balance the interests of parties and diminish abuse of the tort system.


Improved Federal Permitting Process – NWRA supports procedures to improve the timeliness, predictability and transparency of federal environmental reviews. Complainant Conflict of Interest – NWRA calls for inclusion of a statement on Consumer Product Safety Commission complaint forms attesting that the complainant does not stand to benefit financially by filing a complaint nor is doing so on behalf of someone who would. Sue and Settle – NWRA supports legislation to end the “sue and settle” process that has established a regulation through litigation culture. Reasonable Opportunity to Comply – NWRA backs amendments to federal statutes extending the timeframe for compliance from the existing 60-day time period to a more reasonable 180 days. OSHA Reporting Requirements – NWRA believes any efforts to reinstate the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) previous requirement to electronically submit injury and illness records and publish them on the OSHA website must focus on incentivizing industries to improve their safety records.


Driver Shortage and Workforce Development  NWRA backs increasing federal support for job training programs at the state and local levels as well as for veterans to address the shortages of commercial vehicle drivers, mechanics and welders. Increasing the Role of Women in the Industry – NWRA urges the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor to work with the industry to increase the role of women in waste and recycling. Apprenticeships – NWRA supports allowing employers to take a business-related tax credit for hiring an apprentice. Immigration – NWRA recognizes the need for sensible immigration reform that allows businesses to address their employment needs. Joint-Employer – NWRA supports codifying that companies cannot be held responsible for labor violations committed by their contractors and opposes a return to the joint-employer standard set by the National Labor Relations Board’s Browning-Ferris decision. Department of Labor Overtime Rules – NWRA supports maintaining the Department of Labor’s reform of overtime rules. Department of Labor Persuader Rule – NWRA opposes reinstituting the Department of Labor’s “persuader rule” pertaining to unionization.