Podcast

Sustainably Speaking: Clean Drinking Water: A Pipe’s Dream

U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Rich Anderson discusses efforts to address America’s failing water infrastructure.

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Have you ever taken a trip abroad and wondered whether it’s safe to drink the water? What about right here at home in the U.S.?

In America, we often assume our tap water is safe and healthy to drink. However, for millions of Americans, safe drinking water is a luxury due to the current state of our water infrastructure which is primarily made of corroded pipes. Just think of Flint, Michigan, which brought to light a community’s tragic struggle with water contamination. 

Dr. Richard Anderson, consultant to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, is intimately familiar with America’s water crisis. For over 30 years, he has worked on the difficult issues facing the U.S. water infrastructure and implementing solutions such as modern plastic pipes. On the latest episode of Sustainably Speaking, Rich joins host Mia Quinn and special guest co-host Amy Schmidt, director of building and construction at the American Chemistry Council. Together they dive into the complex yet critical issue of providing Americans with access to safe and clean drinking water.

On This Episode: 

Richard F. Anderson, Ph.D., Consultant to the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Dr. Richard Anderson serves as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, supporting the Mayors Water Council as a senior advisor and the Energy Committee as director. In this role, he provides policy analysis on utility, energy and climate issues affecting cities and serves as a project manager on the Water Council program.

Prior to joining the Conference of Mayors, Rich was director of government affairs at Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., a New Hampshire-based energy, solid waste and water treatment provider, where he monitored state and federal regulatory and legislative activities. He also served as an assistant professor at Boston University’s Metropolitan College and taught courses in environmental planning, urban economics, statistical analysis and environmental health.

Mia Quinn, Senior Director, Plastics Division at American Chemistry Council

Mia Quinn leads efforts to communicate the plastics industry’s major sustainability initiatives. She works to bring together experts to share insights in key areas of sustainability, including public policy, product design, recycling, and infrastructure.

She is passionate about collaboration, clear communications, and engaging audiences to learn more about and advocate for innovation and modern solutions for our communities and our country.

Mia has a degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. She grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.

Amy Schmidt, Director of Building and Construction for the Plastics Division at American Chemistry Council

In 2022, after more than 14 years in advocacy for the Dow Chemical and Dupont building and construction businesses, Amy joined the American Chemistry Council as Director of Building and Construction for the Plastics Division Durable Markets team.

At ACC, Amy leads the Plastics Division Building and Construction team, and two industry associations: The Foam Sheathing Committee, and The North American Modern Building Alliance in support of durable plastic building materials in resilient high-performance applications.

Amy continues to serve on ASHRAE 90.1 Main and Envelope Subcommittees and the International Code Council's International Energy Conservation Code Residential Main and Residential Envelope Subcommittees.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University and is certified as a LEED Green Associate.

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