RCAP staff meet with EPA’s Peter Silva

December 7, 2009 | General RCAP News

A group of RCAP staff had a brief "meet-and-greet" meeting with Peter Silva, the Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on Dec. 4 at Silva’s office in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to speak about RCAP’s programs, introduce themselves, and to meet the relatively new head of one of the offices that RCAP relates to in its EPA-funded programs. During the conversation about RCAP’s work, one topic that was discussed was decentralized waste water systems.

RCAP staff at meeting with EPA's Peter Silva
(l-r) Robert Stewart, RCAP Executive Director; Hope Cupit, Vice President & Deputy CEO of Southeast RCAP; Silva; Olga Morales-Sanchez, Rural Development Specialist-Environmental with Rural Community Assistance Corporation, the Western RCAP; Deb Martin, Director of WSOS Community Action Commission, the Great Lakes RCAP; George Schlender

Director of Environmental Programs for Rural Community Assistance Corporation

Below is a short article from the fall 2009 issue of Rural Matters, RCAP’s magazine, on the appointment of Silva to his position at EPA

New EPA Office of Water administrator begins work


Peter Silva began as the new Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 27, 2009, heading up the Office of Water, which is charged with implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act. He was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

Silva has more than 32 years of public sector experience in the water and wastewater fields, with extensive knowledge of U.S.-Mexico border issues.

At his confirmation hearing in May, Silva said the biggest challenges he expected to address were: jurisdictional issues on which waters in the United States should be regulated by the Clean Water Act; nonpoint sources of pollution and nutrient runoff; and new and emerging contaminants.

In his testimony, Silva said, “Despite the considerable progress we have made in the last three decades, we now see additional
challenges have arisen in the areas of nonpoint source pollution and in new emerging pollutants of concern.”

“We also have a unique opportunity to work with stakeholders at all levels of government as well as nongovernmental organizations in crafting new solutions for this new generation of issues,” he added.

Prior to joining EPA, Silva was a senior policy adviser on lower Colorado River issues for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Before that, he served for six years as the vice chair of the California Water Resources Control Board, having been appointed by both Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.Preceding this, Silva was the deputy general manager of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission housed in Juarez, Mexico.

Silva’s other experience includes ten years with the City of San Diego (both the Clean Water Program and Water Utilities Department), four years in charge of the San Diego office of the International Boundary and Water Commission, and five years with the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Silva has a B.S. in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and is a registered civil engineer
in California.

Read the entire issue of Rural Matters where this article appears (PDF).