The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Spring 2002 (Volume 3, Number 1)
E&EM Lead Professor Talks about the Urban River Restoration Initiative (URRI) at the ASEM Meeting Held at GW
The National Capital Section of the American Society for Engineering Managers (ASEM) holds its monthly meetings at the GW Faculty Club each month. This past April, the guest speaker of the meeting was Dr. Jonathan Deason, lead professor of the E&EM Program.
Dr. Deason gave an overview of the Urban River Restoration Initiative, a joint program of the Corps of Engineers (COE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), aimed at comprehensive planning for environmental restoration and economic revitalization of the distressed waterways of the nation. Dr. Deason indicated that the program is consistent with other programs, such as the brownfields redevelopment, environmental justice, and watershed initiatives. He also pointed out that the program uses existing COE authorities and benefits from recent Corps guidance. In his speech, Dr. Deason indicated that there were numerous parties involved, which include federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Council on Environmental Quality, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with various elements of the COE like the USACE commander and the chief of the environmental division. EPA is also involved with its various responsible parties and divisions.
Dr. Deason concluded his speech with the description of two rivers: the Passaic River in New Jersey and the Willamette River in Oregon. He emphasized that the rivers were highly urbanized, industrial and contained high concentrations of pollutants that threatened the wetland habitat. He pointed out that a large number of stakeholders were involved, including municipalities, environmental organizations and industries. He also talked about the initiatives and actions taken to date.