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WVU's National Environmental Services Center Names New Director

Morgantown, W.Va—A state water regulator with more than 30 years experience has been named director of West Virginia University's National Environmental Services Center (NESC), announced Richard Bajura, director of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy where NESC is housed.

Gerald R. Iwan comes to NESC from Connecticut, where he was chief of the Water Supplies Section of the Department of Health. He has also worked in environmental protection in New York and has served in a leadership capacity in several national organizations dealing with water and the environment. Iwan holds a Ph.D. in biology from Fordham University.

"Small communities face special challenges with their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure that the NESC helps them to address," said Bajura. "Jerry has experience on the front lines in small communities as well as in our nation's capital in undertaking efforts to provide safe, affordable drinking water and wastewater treatment in this post-9/11 era."

NESC Director, Gerald R. Iwan

"I am delighted that the leadership and staff at NRCCE and NESC have invited me to work with them on continuing and enhancing NESC's long and highly regarded tradition of education and service to the water, waste, and wastewater sectors," Iwan said. "The next few years are going to be exciting, considering population growth, public health, climate, economy, security, and social restructuring. The need for reliable infrastructure, safe, sustainable drinking water resources; and sound waste and wastewater management systems and practices will become even more apparent as we wrestle with these and other emerging issues."

"Given economies of scale," he continued, "small communities will incur a disproportionate set of problems in addressing new regulatory and technological requirements. Fortunately, NESC will be there to assist. I am looking forward to working with staff and our partners and our small communities in what I anticipate to be some very challenging and rewarding projects."


NESC Wins $3 Million EPA Award
Source Water Protection Project Will Help Small Communities Address Water Quality

Morgantown, W.Va. - A West Virginia University environmental program won a $3 million, 18-month award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help very small communities learn how to protect their sources of drinking water.

SMART logo

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at WVU and its collaborator, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), will train and directly assist small drinking water system personnel and state and community officials across the country through the SMART About Water program. The program will focus on how to develop source water protection plans, an initiative of the EPA.

According to EPA reports, the leading polluter of small drinking water systems is untreated wastewater from failing septic tanks and small sewer systems.

"Source water protection involves a wide array of technologies, resources, and management options that for very small communities span from wastewater treatment to drinking water delivery," said Richard Bajura, program leader and director of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy where NESC is housed.

SMART About Water stands for 'Strategic Management, and Available Resources and Technology.' "How people choose to fund and manage their water infrastructure is as a big a factor as the technology they use," Bajura said.

Plans will include ways that community leaders and homeowners can make sure wastewater systems are properly installed, maintained, and working over the long-term. "Septic systems and other small wastewater systems can in fact be the best choice for wastewater treatment in small communities, if they're properly maintained," said Bajura.

SMART About Water builds on the 30-year history of NESC's National Small Flows Clearinghouse, National Drinking Water Clearinghouse, and National Environmental Training Center for Small Communities, whose technical experts provide the latest information about small community water and wastewater systems. RCAP brings a 30-year history of offering assistance to small communities through its nearly 200 specialists in all 50 states.

"We think that NESC's university-based expertise coupled with RCAP's on-the-ground network is an exciting partnership that will deliver results," said Bajura.

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) helps small and rural communities with their drinking water, wastewater, management, infrastructure security, and solid waste challenges. NESC is a program of the The National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University.

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The NESC is based at West Virginia University (WVU), one of the nation's major research institutions. WVU is West Virginia, located 75 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. NESC is housed in the National Research Center for Coal & Energy (NRCCE) Building on WVU's Evansdale Campus.

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