Mary Beth Nevulis is the managing editor of Storm Water Solutions. Nevulis can be reached at [email protected]
Oct 10, 2013

WEFTEC Has Left the Building

WEFTEC.13 came to a close yesterday after yielding many interesting and productive conversations and educational sessions, despite some disappointment among industry professionals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was not present in an official sense due to the federal government being shut down.
There were still plenty of highlights, though—one of them being a presentation hosted by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), at which Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., was the keynote speaker.
In discussing the new nutrient recovery facility upgrade at MRWD's Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, Kennedy commended the plant's vision to convert what was formerly a waste and a water pollutant—phosphorus—into a source of revenue for the plant and an aid to both farmers and homeowners: water-insoluble fertilizer that will not create polluted runoff. 
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and founder and chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, made a point that can serve as an important take-away for all attendees of WEFTEC.13: "The principal tool of advocacy today is innovation."
It is through innovation that we will find ways to sustainably and cost-effectively manage storm water and erosion control, and it is innovation that is our greatest hope for the future of clean water and clean jobs.