UA chemical and environmental engineering professor Shane Snyder is lending his expertise to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and in the process giving the Southwest's unique water issues a national forum.
Snyder, co-director of the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants and a member of the UA's BIO5 Institute, will be working with an EPA Science Advisory Board committee that answers directly to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on policies that keep drinking water safe for everyone in the nation.
"Dr. Snyder's nationally recognized expertise in drinking water issues, and his focus on the identification, fate, and health relevance of emerging water pollutants, will be a great asset to the SAB Drinking Water Committee," said Vanessa Vu, director of the EPA Science Advisory Board staff office.
"This is a tremendous honor, to be invited and chosen," Snyder said of the three-year appointment, adding that it also is an opportunity to advise the agency on water issues specific to the arid Southwest. "The water needs of this part of the country are different from the rest of the nation," he said.
The federal appointment caps an industrious 2012 for Arizona's leading authority on drinking water contaminants. Snyder's work has been featured in national media, recognized by the professional community, and earned him an audience with global leaders.
In June, Good Housekeeping magazine and NBC's Today Show detailed results of a study headed by Snyder on the effectiveness of contaminant removal in pour-through and refrigerator water filtration devices. In July, Snyder and Kevin Fitzsimmons, director of international programs at the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, met with government officials in Vietnam to discuss local response to water quality issues.
Snyder also earned best paper honors from the American Water Works Association for research that will help establish new chlorine handling and on-site chlorine production best practices for municipal water utilities. The guidelines are expected to aid water treatment professionals in minimizing contaminants commonly found in drinking water. Then after presenting his latest research on emerging contaminants in water at the September International Water Association's World Congress in Busan, South Korea, Snyder met with Korea's Ministry of the Environment.
Snyder joined the UA College of Engineering faculty in 2010.