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EPA Deputy Administrator Talks with SPA Students About Career in Environmental Policy

EPA Deputy Administrator Stanley Meiburg, sixth from left, talks with SPA students about career in environmental policy.

On March 14, the School of Public Affairs’ Center for Environmental Policy, hosted an interactive discussion for students with Stanley Meiburg the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The event which took place in the Mary Graydon Center, was moderated by Center for Environmental Policy director Daniel Fiorino, and was attended by 20 students and faculty. The dialogue, which touched on the Clean Power Plan and the role of the EPA and its purpose and function in today's polarized political environment had a strong focus on the Flint Water Crises.

Deputy Administrator Meiburg, who has served in the EPA for the past 36 years, did not shy away from the controversy that has shrouded the agency for the past three months. Flint, Michigan, which recorded high levels of lead in its water as early as 2014, has brought unwanted attention to the agency as well as the state.

“No city in America wants to be the next Flint,” said Meiburg. “The objective for us is to restore the water system to a working state and make sure the city has the capacity to run a water system.”

Between the city of Flint, the State of Michigan, the EPA regional office, and EPA headquarters, its been a game of who knew what and when. Gina McCarthy, the EPA Administrator and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

Meiburg also fielded questions from the students in audience, discussing career opportunities with the EPA such as the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and the Presidential Management Fellows Program.

“It was surreal hearing the number two at the EPA going into such depths on an issue I had only been able to follow briefly on the news,” said SPA student, Seth Evans. “I hope American University continues to hold events like these.”

The Center for Environmental Policy will be hosting a pair of events on March 31. At 3:30 p.m. in American University’s Mary Graydon Center 200, a student discussion will be held with Felicia Marcus, the Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board, and former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly. This will be followed by the William K. Reilly Awards at 6:30 pm, in the Katzen Art Center's Abramson Family Recital Hall.