New agency under Department of Environmental Quality proposed

BISMARCK, N.D. - Multiple North Dakota wastewater, sewage and county associations are calling on the North Dakota Legislature to establish a new agency to standardize the state's onsite sewer code.

Current codes are county by county, meaning sewage and wastewater workers must license themselves in each individual county, causing confusion for the companies and customers.

"You have customers in those areas that you service, but then you don't get those calls from your customers. And afterwards they'll come and talk to you and say 'why wasn't your name on the list? We would've called you to do this. So that's where we're going with this. Trying to get this, so it's a lot fairer playing field around the state," said Tom Schimelfenig, North Dakota Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.

The new agency would be adopted by the Department of Environmental Quality, and would develop statewide codes and licensing procedures.

A bill draft for such an agency could be introduced as early as next week.