2019 Water Policy Conference
Wait There’s More!
Program Expands to Cover Chemical Safety, Pollution Prevention, Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Water Security Policy
The wide spectrum of water issues on the agenda for AMWA’s 2019 Water Policy Conference expanded again with the inclusion of three additional executive branch policymakers: Alexandra Dunn, EPA assistant administrator in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; Brian Harrell, assistant director for infrastructure security at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA); and David Travers, director of the Water Security Division within EPA’s Office of Water.
Alexandra Dunn brings her strong water sector background to this key policy position. Prior to her confirmation, she served as the Administrator for EPA Region 1, and during more than two decades in the water sector, she was executive director and general counsel for the Environmental Council of States and executive director and general counsel for the Association of Clean Water Administrators. She is expected to speak on EPA’s efforts to use new statutory authority ensuring that unreasonable risks to health and the environment are addressed prior to product commercialization, as well as the agency’s upcoming work on chemical contaminants, including PFAS.
Prior to joining DHS in 2018, Brian Harrell was managing director of enterprise security at the Duke Energy Corporation, director of the Electricity ISAC, and director of Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) where he was charged with helping protect North America's electric grid from physical and cyber-attack. He is expected to speak about CISA’s infrastructure protection initiatives.
David Travers manages EPA’s efforts to train water utilities, state officials, and federal emergency responders to be more resilient to natural or manmade incidents that could endanger water and wastewater services. Prior to this position, he had responsibility for the agency’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Infrastructure Gap Analysis. He will speak about provisions of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act related to risk assessments, emergency response plans, downstream notification, and EPCRA.
Other executive branch policy leaders on the agenda include:
- David Ross, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water;
- Brenda Burman, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation;
- Mary B. Neumayr, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality;
- Ryan Fisher, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for civil works;
- Jennifer McLain, acting director of the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water;
- Anita Thompkins, director of EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Division; and
- Andrew Sawyers, director of the EPA Office of Wastewater Management.
Conference speakers from the legislative branch include four of the most influential voices in Congress on water policy and climate change:
- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee;
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the ranking member of the Senate’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee;
- Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), the top Democrat on the Senate Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife Subcommittee; and,
- Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), the new chairman of the House Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee.
Setting the stage for the policy discussion will be noted political analyst Amy Walter, national editor of the non-partisan Cook Political Report.
The Water Policy Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, within short walking distance of the U.S. Capitol. AMWA is holding a few rooms at the special conference rate – contact Eugenia Cadena in the AMWA office.