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Fifty Years In, Industry Reflects on Clean Water Act

Oct. 31, 2022
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the International Code Council hosted a conference in Washington to discuss U.S. water policy.


Washington, DC, October 24, 2022 – The International Code Council (ICC) held a water policy and technical conference titled “ICC Water: Standards for a Resilient Future” on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Water experts and industry professionals celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act’s enactment with discussions promoting best practices for water codes and standards.

Keynote speakers and panelists included: Brenda Mallory, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Mitch Landrieu, White House Coordinator for Infrastructure Implementation; Dominic Sims, Chief Executive Officer of ICC; David Yashar, Deputy Chief of the Building Energy and Environment Division of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Rabia Chaudhry, National Water Reuse Expert at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ICC staff, White House officials, water experts and industry professionals discussed how to continue improving water policies, advancing clean water, and ensuring public safety moving forward. Key topics included safe solutions for septic waste given rising sea levels and changing flood patterns, boosting water efficiency, protecting public health, and increasing sustainability and community resilience through water reuse.

Sims held a discussion with Mallory which addressed the Administration’s initiatives concerning decentralized wastewater and water reuse, improving water systems efficiency wholistically, and why the application of consistent and rigorous standards is so important to the goals of the Clean Water Act and its effective implementation.

“Part of our goal, and what you see in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, are dollars going towards trying to eliminate toxic pollutants, such as getting rid of lead pipes and PFAS in the water,” said Mallory. “These are efforts in the direction of trying to clean up the waters, and in particular, with a focus on underserved communities.”

“As we reflect on the fifty years since the Clean Water Act’s enactment and look to the future, it is clear that while progress has been made, there is much still left to do to ensure access to clean water,” said Sims. “We heard loud and clear that the Code Council’s codes and standards are critical towards increasing access and safe operation for septic systems. This work is vital towards realizing the full promise of the Clean Water Act over the next 50 years.”

To prepare our buildings and communities for water reuse in the 21st century, the Code Council, in partnership with the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems, is establishing a Water Reuse Working Group. This group of code development leaders and reuse experts will explore opportunities to protect public health and to better support state, local, tribal and territorial governments seeking to advance water reuse opportunities through the integration of best practices into the International Codes (I-Codes).

To view the full list of speakers and panelists from this event, please visit:


About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.