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Opening General Session

Executive Vice President, National Environmental Health Association
David T. Dyjack, Dr.PH, CIH was named NEHA's executive director and chief executive officer in 2015.  Dyjack’s 30-year career includes expertise in environmental health, emergency preparedness and response, public health informatics, infectious disease, workforce development, governmental infrastructure, maternal and child health, health equity, and chronic disease. A board-certified industrial hygienist, Dyjack also has advanced degrees in public health with a doctorate from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the University of Utah.
He most recently served as the associate executive director for programs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials managing the organization’s grant and contract portfolio and 75 health professionals in support of the nation’s 2800 local health departments. Dyjack has a wealth of management and leadership experience ranging from local health departments to federal agency collaboration.

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science and Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
Robert L. Siegrist, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE is a University Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). During a transitional retirement period, he is sustaining his affiliation with CSM as a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. From 2001 to 2010, Dr. Siegrist served as Director of the Environmental Science and Engineering Division at CSM. Dr. Siegrist earned his B.S. (High Honors) and M.S. in Civil Engineering and his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. During his career, Dr. Siegrist has held academic and research positions with the University of Wisconsin, Norwegian Institute for Georesources and Pollution Research, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Colorado School of Mines. Since 1995, he has been a faculty member with the Colorado School of Mines. During his career, he has graduated 33 Ph.D. and M.S. students, developed and taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, and directed interdisciplinary research projects with budgets totaling $15 million dollars. Dr. Siegrist is an internationally recognized expert in onsite water reclamation using natural systems and appropriate technology, and in situ remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater using active and passive physicochemical and coupled bioprocess technologies. He has published 300 technical papers and two reference books and holds two U.S. patents. He has also given invited talks at more than 100 workshops and conferences in the U.S. and around the world; during the past few years, he has delivered invited lectures in Australia, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and Ireland. Dr. Siegrist has served as an expert panel member and advisor for many U.S. agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Research Council, and Government Accountability Office, as well as for several foreign government organizations. He has been a Fellow with the NATO Committee for Challenges to Modern Society. During his career, he has received recognitions and awards for his service activities and achievements. Outside of his academic career, Dr. Siegrist has a passion for hiking, trail running, and climbing. During the past three decades with family and friends, he has pursued rock climbing and mountaineering across the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia.

Senior Policy Advisor and Practice Chair, Polsinelli, LLC
With 18 years of experience as an elected official, and chair of Polsinelli's Public Policy practice, the Honorable Alan Wheat remains a highly regarded figure in Washington among his peers and former colleagues, many of whom now occupy Washington’s most senior leadership positions both on Capitol Hill and within the Administration. Recognized in Congress for his extraordinary skill in building coalitions, Congressman Wheat continues to garner support for important client concerns and initiatives in his role as Chairman for Polsinelli’s Public Policy practice.

In 1982, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he became part of the House leadership as the youngest member in Congressional history to be appointed to the powerful Rules Committee. While in Congress, he was one of the nation's first African-Americans to represent a district with a white majority. He proved his skills as a strong political leader serving as Chief Deputy Whip and in 1994, he ran for a seat in the United States Senate.

Following his Senate race, Congressman Wheat became Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations with CARE, a global relief and development organizations. In 1996, he was named deputy campaign manager and director of public liaison for Clinton-Gore '96. In addition, he traveled across the country as a spokesperson for the president and vice president. His work has allowed him to develop an extensive and bipartisan network of contacts in Washington.

Congressman Wheat counts many of Washington’s most influential voices among his relationships. Those relationships are at the highest levels of Executive Agencies, the White House, House and Senate leadership, the key committees in both the House and Senate and numerous advocacy organizations.

Ms. Shimkin will provide an update on the status of EPA’s implementation of the NOWRA Act, which includes requirements that EPA establish a Technology Clearinghouse on decentralized technology, to disseminate that information to key stakeholders, and to report to Congress on steps it is taking to support decentralized wastewater treatment.

Ms. Primrose, who runs USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, will discuss opportunities to obtain funding for onsite and decentralized wastewater treatment. In particular, the representative will discuss the process for obtaining the funding for individual onsite wastewater treatment systems which was authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation authorized up to $20 million in loans and grants each year for the next five years to replace failing individual onsite systems owned by rural homeowners with very low income.