The NWRA held numerous board and committee meetings at WasteExpo 2024 in Las Vegas. These meetings provided an opportunity for NWRA staff and members to come together to discuss goals, address challenges and opportunities and prepare for the second half of the year. Following is a recap of the meetings that were held throughout the week.

Board of Trustees
Following comments from NWRA Board of Trustees Chairman and New Way Trucks Chief Sales Officer Don Ross, NWRA incoming President and CEO Michael E. Hoffman offered remarks on his immediate priorities for the Association as well as his long-term goals. The board also discussed updates on extended producer responsibility (EPR), the Illinois lithium batteries pilot project and current NWRA PAC prior approvals. Lastly, Lisa Disbrow, director of government and public affairs at WM, began her term as NWRA Board of Trustees treasurer, replacing Dave Call, senior vice president of operations support at Republic Services. We thank Call for his service. The board will meet again in the coming months for a retreat to develop a new strategic plan for the Association.

Services Board of Governors
After hearing from Ross and Hoffman, the NWRA Services Board of Governors engaged in a roundtable conversation on EPR. This was followed by an update and open discussion on fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. NWRA staff also provided federal and state legislative and regulatory updates. The board will meet again at NWRA’s Executive Leadership Roundtable being held October 14-17 at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Georgia.

Government Affairs Committee
At the Government Affairs Committee meeting, attendees received a state legislative and regulatory update from NWRA’s regional vice presidents highlighting chapter activities on matters ranging from EPR to PFAS. This was followed by the Association’s Washington, D.C., area staff reviewing recent federal legislative and regulatory developments impacting the industry from tax policy to labor issues. Committee members also received a report on the Association’s political action committee, NWRA PAC.

Healthcare Waste Institute
Ending the 2024 Waste360 Healthcare Waste Conference on a high note, members of NWRA’s Healthcare Waste Institute (HWI) met to review the conference, review regulatory issues and ongoing industry challenges and plan HWI’s next meeting.

The NWRA PAC Board of Directors engaged in a thoughtful conversation about how to maximize the impact of the Association’s political action committee. Discussions centered on both increasing participation from the Association’s membership and targeting key members of Congress for support based on specific issues of importance to the industry. Talks also focused on what NWRA PAC’s goals should be both in the short and long term. Additionally, NWRA staff briefed the directors on plans to engage with elected officials at both political parties’ conventions this summer.

PFAS Committee
Passive receivers met to discuss PFAS including the newly published Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act’s hazardous substance designation of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate. The group discussed implications of the rulemaking as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Recycling Committee
The Recycling Committee met to discuss federal and state legislative and regulatory activities. Additionally, the committee discussed ongoing issues with lithium batteries and EPR.

Safety Committee
The Safety Committee met and elected Chris Jobson, senior director of safety at GFL Environmental, as vice chair. Jane Dolezal, safety manager at Homewood Disposal, moved up to chair of the committee, and Bryan Fenster, director of safety at Republic Services, moved into the chair emeritus role. The committee also heard from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region 9 Deputy Administrator Eric Brooks about the OSHA Emergency Response Standard, the best ways to interact with OSHA and to prepare for the OSHA “Water, Rest, Shade” campaign. Additionally, the committee heard from NWRA’s Fleet Maintenance Committee and is looking to discuss overhead obstructions.

Women’s Council
The NWRA Women’s Council successfully hosted its Board and Full Membership Meeting with more than 60 participants. During the meeting, members were brought up to speed on the hard work being done by the council’s committees. One of the major highlights was the launch of the new mentorship program, which promises to be an invaluable resource for members. Members also received information about the upcoming November President’s Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, which will not only provide a platform for networking and knowledge exchange but also include an opportunity for leadership training at the United States Naval Academy.

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