2017 Summit: What Do We Do About Drinking Water?

Saturday, March 11, 9am, Weinmann Hall, Room TBD

Is Louisiana’s drinking water safe? The United Nations considers access to clean drinking water a human rights issue, yet here in Louisiana, lead and copper contaminate our drinking water.  This panel will focus on contaminated and unsafe drinking water in Louisiana, and how environmental policy can affect water quality in the State. Panelists will address examples such as Flint MI, St. Joseph’s Parish, and Washington D.C. to see what policy works and what can be improved on.

Dr. Adrienne Katner, D.Env., M.S., Louisiana State University Health Center- School of Public Health

adrienne-katner_pic-copyAdrienne Katner is an Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health at LSU-Health. Her research focuses on evaluating how effective federal drinking water regulations and prevailing public health guidelines are in reducing lead in water exposures. Her efforts to evaluate New Orleans water lead levels, and to raise awareness of the issue of lead in water garnered significant national media and government attention. Her research on lead in water resulted in a statewide policy change by the Louisiana Office of Public Health to require water testing during home inspections of lead-poisoned children. Her research has been recognized with awards from the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Research Foundation, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In 2015, New Orleans non-profits recognized her outreach to low-income communities with a Katrina Hero Award for Environmental Justice. Her most recent publication, which outlines weaknesses in the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule, has received national attention, as government officials deliberate Rule revisions. Most recently, Dr. Katner has been involved in well water testing efforts for flood-impacted areas of Louisiana; and in raising awareness about the lack of regulatory protection or education provided to rural low-income residents reliant on groundwater as their only potable water source.


Wilma Subra, President of Subra Company and Technical Advisor to Louisiana Environmental Action Network

wilma subra.jpgWilma Subra provides technical assistance to citizens, across the United States and some foreign countries,  concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation.  This information is then presented to community members so that strategies may be developed to address their local struggles.   She has completed a seven year term as Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a five year term on the National Advisory Committee of the U. S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and a six year term on the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where she served as a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council, and chaired the NEJAC Gulf Coast Hurricanes Work Group.

Mrs. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana.  She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation in 1999 for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities.  She also received the 2011 Domestic Human Rights Award from the Global Exchange for her dedication to human rights issues.


A. Hays Town, Jr., BS & MS Professional Engineer


Louisiana State University, B S Civil Engineering   1958

Louisiana State University, M S Geography   2012

Served U S Army Reserve, Infantry Officer

Owned and operated Town Const. Co.

Served as President, First Montessori School, B R

Served as Scout Master Troop 107   B R

Founding President, Associated Builders & Contractors, B R Chapter

Served as President, Associated Builders & Contractors, Louisiana Chapter

Served on National Board of Directors, Associated Builders & Contractors

Served as Chairman,  Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

Received: National Man of the Year Award,   Associated Builders & Contractors

Founding President, Saint Elizabeth Foundation

Served as Chairman Louisiana State Child Care Committee

Received:   Angel of Adoption Award,   United States Congress

Received: Quality of Life Award,  Baton Rouge Growth Coalition

Founding President,  Baton Rouge Citizens to Save Our Water

Member Board of Directors,  Greenarmy, Inc.


Mark Davis (Moderator), Director, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy

mark-davisMark Davis is a Senior Research Fellow at Tulane University Law School and Director of the Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy at the Law School. The mission of the Institute is to foster an appreciation of the importance of water resources and the vital roles that law and policy play in their management and stewardship.

Brought to you by: The Sierra Club