2003 National Safe Water Protection (SWP) conference was a success

More than 450 people attended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Water's recent National Source Water Protection Conference.


June 25, 2003 -- More than 450 people attended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Water's recent National Source Water Protection Conference.

Participants, who came from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces, represented all levels of government agencies from local to federal, utilities, technical assistance providers and health care workers, and private citizens.

The conference's opening on Monday, June 2, featured G. Tracy Mehan III,

EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water, who gave a speech entitled "Challenges and Opportunities of Source Water Protection." Keynote speaker, former Senator Paul Simon, discussed the importance of protecting water resources. Two Partners in protection- Mike Baker of the Ground Water Protection Council, and Jeff Stuck of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators-provided their organizations' perspectives.

During twelve breakout sessions, participants topics of interest to them which included the following:

Effective communication strategies
GIS tools, working with upstream neighbors
Integrating the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act programs.

The conference also featured additional plenary sessions on partnerships, financing and public health protection.

Participants interacted and learned at the conference's Resource Fair, which gave speakers, states, local staff, and others an opportunity to share their ideas and successes with their colleagues. Many participants also took advantage of in depth training courses offered on the final day on topics ranging from Best Management Practices to EPA's WATERS Database.

Resources and Publications Several new EPA publications were made available for the conference including:

"Source water Protection: It's In Our Hands" brochure and poster. (EPA 816_F_03_008)

"Funding for Source Water Protection Activities" (EPA 816_K_03_004)

"EPA's Annotated Bibliography of Source Water Protection Materials - on CD" (EPA
816-F-03-010)

For more information, please contact Beth Hall at 202-564-3883. These documents and proceedings will be posted on the EPA web site later in the summer at www.epa.gov/safewater/protect/swpconf.html.

In the meanwhile, hard copies may be obtained free of charge by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791, or by e-mailing hotline-sdwa@epa.gov.

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