Clean Water Act Hearing

The Clean Water Act - April 2013 Mock Senate Hearing

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to all who participated! A special congratulations to the Public Health Team (Conor Strong, Alicia Guida, Sasha Rafael, Tania de Palma) as the Senate Committee's selected Best Testimony, to Greg Costello as selected Best Orator, and to James Ward, Jason Roth, Kristina Vukaj, and Christina Fuhrman for Honorable Mentions.
Pace Academy looks forward to continuing this collaborative applied-learning program so that other students may be inspired and engaged in today's most pressing issues.
Check out the .007% Campaign Facebook for some photos from the Hearing and YouTube for a recording of our April 26, 2013 Hearing.

The What:
On Friday, April 26, 2013, student teams representing the disciplines of the undergraduate schools at Pace University, having had the opportunity to work closely with Pace Academy, faculty, and Law students, will participate as witnesses in a mock hearing of the Senate Committee of Environment and Public Works.
The topic: Our nation’s 40 year-old Clean Water Act (CWA).
(The CWA - Then and Now: Androscoggin River)
The How:
Rounding out Earth Month 2013, this public event will feature testimony by each student team on how the CWA has fared in its mission to: end water pollution domestically and globally; protect human and environmental health; produce an educated and involved public; and spur research, development and marketing of advanced technologies, methods and practices.
Following each team’s 15-minute presentation, they will have the opportunity to defend their findings and recommendations by answering questions from the mock senate committee. Teams will be aided by both a faculty advisor and a Pace Law student, stretching farther into the resources of the Pace community. The mock senate committee will feature prominent policy experts.
The Why:
For Spring 2013, Pace Academy aims to bring a greater awareness of water policy, pollution, and protection to the Pace community with the analysis of the Clean Water Act. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how such diverse academic focuses as business, science, health, education, international relations, and computer science can all contribute to resolving major environmental issues. It is our hope that the students' recommendations will be suitable for true congressional consideration.
(Coastal wetlands at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. Credit: Kelly Fike/USFWS)


The Clean Water Act Mock Hearing will unite people from many fields and from across the spectrum of experience.
Student Witness Panels: The teams will be arranged in a way that reflects the different schools of Pace University, uniting students in similar fields to pursue an understanding of the Clean Water Act. The 6 panels will represent International Relations, Health, Business, Science, Technology, and Education.
Senators: The distinct panel of mock senators presiding over the April 26th hearing will be comprised of working professionals experienced in government, policy, and environmental issues. The Committee is:
  • Alexandra Dunn, Esq. - Committee Chair; Executive Director and General Counsel at the Association of Clean Water Administrators; Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
  • Richard Brodsky - Former Assemblyman, 92nd District, NY
  • Hon. Glen Bruening - Former NYS Assistant Counsel to the Governor; Judge, NYS Court of Claims
  • John Cahill - Counsel, Chadbourne & Parke LLP
  • Leslie Carothers - Scholar in Residence, Pace Law School
Faculty Advisors: Each team of students will be assigned a Pace faculty member from their school who will help guide them through the semester.
  • Technology Team - Dr. Dan Farkas
  • International Team - Dr. Greg Juilian
  • Science Team - Dr. Charlene Hoegler
  • Health Team & Education Team - Professor John Cronin
  • Business Team - Dr. Theresa Lant
Counsel: Students from Pace Law School will be assigned to both student teams and the mock senate committee members as they prepare testimony and questions for the hearing.


To aid the teams in preparing their testimony, Pace Academy has created a Blackboard Community. Participants can access it on their Blackboard resources page under "Clean Water Act Community" or by following this link and logging in.  

Available through the Clean Water Act Community on Blackboard are:
  • Briefing binders for each team in pdf.
  • Discussion boards
  • Rosters and contact info
  • The tentative agenda for April 26th
  • References on how to prepare witness testimony
  • and many other useful resources

More on the Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act itself is as complex and controversial as any law. It allows for government enforcement of pollution laws and protection of our nation’s surface waters. It has also helped pioneer rules on citizen participation. For more information, check out these useful resources:
(Senator Muskie (D-ME from 1958-1980) was a key player in the drafting of the 1972 CWA)

More on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Congressional hearings are the principal formal method by which committees collect and analyze information in the early and review stages of legislative policymaking.
The Senate Committee of Environment and Public Works oversees many of the laws protecting our nation’s precious natural resources. It was with the passage of the Clean Water Act, following the Clean Air Act in the early 1970s, that really brought recognition to the committee as the Senate’s main forum for environmental protection.
Check out the Committee's website, or follow them on
To learn more about how US congressional hearings work, see "Hearings in the US Senate: A Guide for Preparation and Procedure."

The .007% Campaign: A University-Wide Water Awareness Initiative

To bring more awareness of some of today's biggest water issues, Pace Academy is partnering with the GreenPace Sustainability Committee and highlighting all the things the Pace Community is doing with H2O.
From experiments in the labs and water-inspired art projects, to debates on the politics of the water commodity and fundraisers for wells in poor communities, we want to encourage everyone to put a spotlight on the significance of water to all aspects of life.

Find out more about the .007% Campaign and what's happening in your Pace community!