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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Success Stories

Roy Simon: 1978 PMI

Roy Simon, Staff to the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Oceans Wetlands and Communities Division, Partnerships Programs Branch, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Roy Simon, won the Service to America Medal's "People's Choice" award on September 27, 2017.  This award is provided through the Partnership for Public Service organization's annual Samuel J. Heyman Awards. Mr. Simon is and has been the lead coordinator for this Partnership since 2010.

This award is for establishment and operation of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP), since 2011, which fostered creation of 19 local urban watershed partnerships and national federal and public-private partnerships to clean up urban waterways and surrounding lands and to spur economic development and revitalize communities. The Partnership includes hundreds of innovative leaders across EPA's headquarters program and regional offices as well as the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Interior,

Housing and Urban Development, and I0 other Federal agencies. While this program was one of 430 nominated, people voted for the UWFP the winner of each of three rounds of voting. The Partnership, therefore, was chosen by popular vote for making "the most admirable contribution to the American people."

Mr. Simon started as a PMI (Presidential Management Intern) in the Social Security Administration in August 1978, and worked 3 rotations including quality control for the welfare programs and for employment and training programs for public assistance recipients. Mr. Simon also wrote regulations for public assistance programs and led collaboration efforts with state organizations.

In 1983, Mr. Simon worked at the National Governors' Association (NGA) helping implement national employment and training programs. Next, on behalf of all the Governors, he participated in working on the Hill and with agencies to address social and welfare policies while helping run the Governor's social policy committee. As part of this committee's agenda, he assisted with an early Governor Kean/Clinton TV show on "day care at companies" on C-Span. Also, he assisted in lobbying on welfare quality control amendments, child care and child support and foster care legislation, as well as work on food stamps (now SNAP) and  legislation  for the elderly. This included assisting with gubernatorial testimony for several hearings including one by Governor Clinton and the Social Security Disability Program. At one point he helped pass the NGA welfare policy when Governor Clinton was Chair of the NGA in 1987.

At EPA, in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Mr. Simon helped put in place the EPA Ground Water Policy and Guidance (still in effect), the Agency Drinking Water Source Protection Policy and Guidance/Measures to implement the relevant parts of the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, and ensured assessments of source water problems at the nation's 160,000 public water systems into the early 2000s.  He also pulled together numerous EPA ground water committee meetings for the Deputy Administrator (testing the agency-wide video teleconference equipment), and executed collaboration for the Administrator/Secretary of Agriculture testimony on environmental issues for the 1990 Farm Bill, mainly on water issues.

Finally, along with others, Mr. Simon managed the successful 700-person EPA source water protection conference in 2003, built the Source Water Collaborative in 2006 (now consisting of 29 Federal and other organizations), managed operation of the Local Government Advisory Council and the Drinking Water Advisory Council, and, of course, spent a lot of time since 2010 making the Urban Waters Federal Partnership operational and successful.