WEF VP Testifies on Watershed Planning

Paul Freedman, vice president of the Water Environment Federation, testified June 24 at a hearing of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The topic of the hearing was "Comprehensive Watershed Planning and Management."

The House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee has broad jurisdiction over water resources activities including the Clean Water Act (CWA) and flood control and navigation-related responsibilities of the U.S. Army Corps.

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, chair of the full committee, is a proponent of the watershed approach and one of the few members of Congress who helped craft the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972. His Clean Water Restoration Act seeks to restore the jurisdictional scope of the CWA after recent Supreme Court cases narrowed it. The legislation would help ensure that land use activities, such as development projects, do not contribute to water quality degradation.

Witnesses from other water-related entities included former Army Corps official and nationally recognized expert on water resources planning, Gen. Gerry Galloway; Carol Collier, executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission; and representatives from the Nature Conservancy and the Texas Water Board.

Freedman's testimony included an overview of the watershed approach to water resources management and current programs; meeting new challenges in water resources management; the need for intergovernmental and interagency cooperation; and the inadequacy of the CWA for holistic watershed management.

A WEF member since 1980, Freedman has made numerous contributions to WEF through committee membership and leadership. With more than 30 years of relevant professional experience, Freedman is co-founder and president of LimnoTech, an environmental consulting firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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