Following Trenchless Trends

NASSCO working to address important issues that will have a big impact on the industry’s future.

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Preserving our industry’s history is important, because it reinforces how far we have come and, hopefully, prevents us from slipping back. As we move forward to address current underground infrastructure needs, we must all come together to drive initiatives that build on our history and ensure a strong future.

In last month’s issue of MSW I mentioned the Sewer History Exhibit, a traveling display related to the history of sewage conveyance systems, which is on display March 12 and 13 at the Water Environment Federation’s Collection Systems 2014 event at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Everything we do at NASSCO supports our mission: To set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure. Collectively, our divisions, the Infiltration Control Grouting Association and International Pipe Bursting Association, our many influential committees, and our members, board and staff stay highly tuned to industry trends and activities to help us meet our goal to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies.

Some of the many industry issues NASSCO has recently addressed include:

Acrylamide Grout Ban: NASSCO worked with the EPA to prevent a proposed ban of acrylamide grout while ICGA prepared an in-depth safety program for the use of grouts.

Use of Intrinsically Safe (Explosion-Proof) CCTV Equipment in a Sanitary Sewer Environment: A CCTV vendor’s attempt to get government regulations revised would have required all existing CCTV equipment to be replaced by new, intrinsically safe equipment at an unnecessary cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to municipalities and contractors. NASSCO successfully supported the CCTV industry against this attempted change.

Proposed Changes to OSHA Confined-Space Entry Regulations Regarding Collection Systems: If reclassified to “new construction,” routine maintenance jobs may require additional job site requirements, costing the industry roughly $7.5 million per year. NASSCO testified at congressional hearings, through NASSCO’s Health and Safety Committee, and successfully persuaded OSHA to classify rehabilitation work as maintenance.

Styrene Listed as a Potential Carcinogen to Humans: The National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 2011 listed styrene as a potential carcinogen, which impacts requirements for the use of resins in cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). NASSCO worked with the styrene industry, through the CIPP Committee, to have the government review the science behind the findings listed in the NTP program. Ultimately, a study by the National Academy of Science (NAS) was authorized by a Congressional Committee to review the findings.

The only way NASSCO can continue to make a positive impact on our industry is through the deep knowledge and commitment of NASSCO members. If you have experience you would like to share and want to join NASSCO in having a voice to help bring about positive change for the trenchless industry, visit and join today.

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at


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