PRKN Announces Award Winners for Service to Clean Water

Photo by Tusik Only

Washington, D.C.August 1 –Potomac Riverkeeper Network revealed the winners of its annual “Service to Clean Water” awards today, Nancy Stoner, President of Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN), announced today.  “These recipients work tirelessly to protect our right to clean water.  We are truly honored to recognize their contribution to PRKN and to all six million of us who depend on the Potomac watershed for our source of drinking water,” said Stoner.

The awards will be presented on October 25 at PRKN’s fifth annual Law & Water Gala, which celebrates the work by the organization to enforce clean water laws  that protect the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.  Law & Water brings together more than 250 supporters and partners for an evening to honor those who protect and defend our Nation’s River.

President’s Award –David Buente, Esq. and Sidley Austin

This year’s President’s Award is presented to David Buente and the law firm of Sidley Austin, for their generous and invaluable support as legal counsel representing Potomac Riverkeeper Network on pollution enforcement actions across our watershed.   Buente, co-leader of Sidley’s Environmental group, represents clients in complex environmental litigation and rulemaking matters with an emphasis on Clean Water Act (CWA), CERCLA (Superfund) and RCRA (hazardous waste), Clean Air Act (CAA), and environmental criminal and toxic tort litigation.  Mr. Buente and his team of ace attorneys have successfully represented PRKN in numerous, diverse legal matters stopping illegal pollution discharges into our rivers, strengthening federal and state clean water permits and cleaning up historic industrial contamination.

Sidley and Buente worked on cases ranging from stopping discharges from a mobile home park leaking sewage into the Upper Potomac in West Virginia, to ending illegal stormwater discharges from a quarry in Pennsylvania and historic coal tar oozing into the Potomac River from a former industrial site in Alexandria.  Buente brings the full power of Sidley Austin to bear on every case he pursues, including providing pro bono technical and scientific experts who provide critical support to some of our most complex water pollution issues.  Buente also serves as a key member of the PRKN Board Litigation Committee, providing experienced legal advice and strategic expertise to PRKN staff as they investigate pollution and develop new cases.

Volunteer of the Year Award – Karen Andersen

Karen Andersen is Laboratory and Program Director at Friends of the Shenandoah River where her impressive and extensive citizen science program also monitors nitrates, phosphates, ammonia, and dissolved oxygen.  She has a distinguished career in preserving and improving water quality in the Shenandoah Valley. Indeed, her enthusiasm extends to helping other citizen science advocates people, as demonstrated by her enormous help in launching the floating laboratory on Sea Dog, PRKN’s flagship research vessel on the Potomac.  This lab is used by our volunteer community scientists and staff to test for sewage bacteria in water samples collected from the Potomac in Maryland and Virginia. Ms. Andersen provided technical support and even donated supplies from her own lab at Friends of the Shenandoah River to help launch our monitoring program.  We called on her expertise to develop the laboratory manuals and procedures, which are a critical component to the program; these documents ensure that institutional knowledge will be maintained and that future volunteer coordinators and other staff can learn the methods and thoroughly understand the program elements on their own.

Concluded Stoner, “This year’s award winners truly represent the spectrum of our clean water community.  From critical legal support to sharing vital technical knowledge and experience, they show the rest of us what dedication is all about.”

About Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with three regional Waterkeeper branches: Potomac Riverkeeper, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams. We stop pollution to promote safe drinking water, protect healthy habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment.

For more information, visit our website.

Download the press release here.