On June 4, Ed McCormick, president of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) spoke to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff during an invited keynote speech in the Office of Water speaker series. McCormick spoke about how utilities are becoming resource recovery facilities and moving away from just waste disposal and treatment.
“Our facilities are really ‘green factories’ and are, among other things, producing energy and selling it back into the grid,” McCormick said. These facilities also recover phosphorus and are “integral to the future of nutrients resources because phosphorus is in short supply on earth.”
McCormick stressed that WEF, as a science-based organization focused on collaboration, seeks to work with EPA and other partners to help solve water issues and improve water quality. As manager of wastewater engineering at the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD; Oakland, Calif.), McCormick led the development and implementation of a renewable energy program allowing EBMUD in 2012 to become the first wastewater facility in North America to be a net producer of renewable energy.