Safe to Swim? Using Law, Policy, and Innovation to Clean Up D.C.’s Rivers

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This program is sponsored by the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and cosponsored by the District of Columbia Affairs Section and the Environmental Law Institute

The Potomac and Anacostia Rivers are at the heart of the District’s economic, environmental, and communal life. But 45 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, they still fail to meeting water quality standards, as elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria make it risky to swim or do watersports.

In this program, experts from D.C. government, the environmental movement, and the regulated community will describe ongoing challenges and major efforts underway to finally clean up the Potomac and Anacostia, including work by the city, litigation under the Clean Water Act, and increased use of “green infrastructure.”


  • Neil Gormley, Steering Committee Member, D.C. Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section and Staff Attorney at Earthjustice (Moderator)
  • Rebecca Hammer, Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Jeffrey Seltzer, Stormwater Administrator, District Department of Energy and Environment
  • Amanda Waters, General Counsel and Director of Public Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)


D.C. Bar Conference Center
1101 K Street, NW
Washington DC 20005

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