Ed A Jeffrey
Edgar A. Jeffrey, Ph.D., is a Level 4 enrollee in the Water Management Division of Region 6 in Dallas, Texas who began his career in public health and water long before the EPA’s inception as a federal agency. After obtaining a B.S. in Civil Engineering, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Sanitary Engineering at the State University of Iowa, and stints in the U.S. Navy and Army Corps of Engineers, Dr. Jeffrey joined the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1963 and began his preoccupation with safe drinking water in Brazil while working through USAID-Alliance for Progress Projects in 1963.
By 1975, his responsibilities had been transferred from the USPHS to the EPA where he served as Acting Director, Criteria and Standards Development Division, Office of Drinking Water in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Regulations and for a National Academy of Sciences Contract Study, all of which were required under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Dr. Jeffrey then successively served as State Project Manager for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act in those states.
After his retirement from EPA, Dr. Jeffrey continued his lifelong contributions to the safety of our nation’s water supply by becoming a SEE enrollee. While working with Superfund on sources of ground water contamination, he was often asked for advice in interpreting Safe Drinking Water Act regulations and has been considered a valuable resource for EPA in this regard ever since.
These days, Dr. Jeffrey spends most of his time working on the direct implementation of Safe Drinking Water Act regulations on Indian Lands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Texas and Louisiana. In one instance, his meticulous review of test samples for lead contamination in the water for a school on Indian Lands revealed only one sample out of twenty that had high levels of lead. But, as a result of Dr. Jeffrey’s follow up on this seemingly random clue, high levels of lead were detected in 40% of the water faucets in the school and the children were subsequently placed on bottled water.
Blake Atkins, Chief, Drinking Water Section, who is also Dr. Jeffrey’s monitor says, “I am most fortunate to have Dr. Jeffrey working in the Drinking Water Section. When I started working for EPA, Dr. Jeffrey was my mentor, providing guidance and counsel on the Public Water System Supervision program. Today, almost 20 years later, Dr. Jeffrey continues to provide thoughtful and valuable counsel on sensitive drinking water issues impacting the lives of millions of citizens in EPA Region 6.”
The contributions of SEE Enrollees are, indeed, many. However, Dr. Jeffrey’s impact on the quality of our water and the health of our children has been a contribution of great significance to the SEE Program.