Beyond Flint: Examining Water Quality Regulation

May 16, 2016

While the national news media and presidential candidates have focused on the water crisis occurring in Flint, Michigan, the city is not the only one facing a contaminated water system. With infrastructure over a century old, outdated regulatory legislation, and difficult-to-track contaminants entering our water, the federal government is tasked with solving current problems and mitigating future ones.

In this session for congressional staff, experts will explore both the scope of this environmental health issue, the public health implications and the potential action items for policymakers and community leaders to respond effectively:
• Mae Wu, senior attorney, health program, NRDC, will address the range of pollutants currently found in our water system and briefly describe existing water quality regulations, including the Safe Water Drinking Act.
George Hawkins, general manager, DC Water and Sewage Authority, will explain the steps that utilities companies have taken in an effort to ensure clean drinking water for city residents and the potential effect of new regulations on their efforts.
• Don Parrish, senior director, regulatory relations, American Farm Bureau Federation, will discuss the impact of heightened regulations on the agriculture industry and the steps farmers are currently taking to protect source water from chemical runoff and other pollutants.
Jerome Paulson, pediatrician and professor emeritus, George Washington University, will explain the potential short-term and long-term medical impacts of contaminated water on children, as well as describe steps that policymakers can take to address access to care.

Please contact Samantha Feller at or call the Alliance for Health Reform at (202)789-2300 with any questions regarding registration or the series.

The Alliance is grateful to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its support of this series.

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