U.S. Endowment advances national water and watershed protection programs

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Feb. 22, 2013 -- The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) announced that Tracy Mehan, a principal with The Cadmus Group, Inc., of Waltham, Mass., has been retained to coordinate the Endowment’s source water protection efforts.

"An estimated two out of three Americans receive their drinking water from a forested watershed," noted Carlton Owen, the Endowment’s President and CEO. "Protecting, restoring, and improving management of these working forests is the most economical way to ensure clean, abundant supplies of drinking water. If the forests are lost or degraded, water quality diminishes, triggering expensive treatment and storage costs. We could not be more pleased to add Tracy to our team to help advance protection of forested watersheds, which will, in turn, save money for everyone."

Mehan was Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2001-2003. In that capacity he directed both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts programs and developed new policies and guidances on watershed-based permitting and water quality trading. Mehan also served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes and as director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Mehan will focus on working with the water utility industry and individual utilities to help advance watershed protection in a systemic, transformative, and sustainable way, which is a hallmark of the Endowment’s approach. "The Endowment’s goal is to help water users protect the watersheds upon which they depend," Owen said.

"My colleagues and I are both pleased and privileged to work with the Endowment, water utility managers, and local communities to protect both forests and drinking water, two of our most important assets. We appreciate this opportunity to enhance greater collaboration between these two key sectors," said Mehan.

Mehan’s position is being co-funded by the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). "AWWA is excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Endowment to further source water protection so that the water entering utility treatment plants is of the highest possible quality," said David LaFrance, AWWA Executive Director.

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