View Clean Water Act lecture on video

G. Tracy Mehan III, a former top water-quality official in the Environmental Protection Agency, and a panel of Minnesota water experts spoke Monday, June 25, on the accomplishments of the federal Clean Water Act, its limitations and prospects for resolving today’s biggest water pollution problems.

Mehan’s conclusion? The Clean Water Act, passed by Congress 40 years ago this fall, has done great things to clean up rampant pollution from sewage treatment plants and industries, but it was never intended to address the multiple-source pollution that is our biggest problem today. But there are other means by which citizens and policy-makers can work together to protect and clean up water.

The lecture and panel were sponsored by the Freshwater Society and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences.

If you missed the event, it is available on archived video.

The Minnesota experts appearing with Mehan were: Sherry Enzler, a University of Minnesota research fellow; Brad Karkkainen, a university professor of environmental law; and John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

G. Tracy Mehan III
G. Tracy Mehan III

The lecture was the eighth in a series of free public lectures the Freshwater Society and the College of Biological Sciences have sponsored as the Moos Speaker Series on Water Resources. The series honors the late Malcolm Moos, a former university president.

The next lecture in the series will be delivered Oct. 4 by Otto Doering, director of Purdue University’s Climate Change Research Center. He will speak on the problem of excess manmade nitrogen being released into the environment.


Doering’s lecture will be titled “Excess nitrogen: A Confounding Problem for Energy Use, Food Production, the Water We Drink and the Air We Breathe.”

Doering led a team of scientists that last year produced a report on the nitrogen problem for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. The report is titled Reactive Nitrogen in the United States: An Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences, and Management Options.

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