Richard Rogers of Harleysville, Pa., has received the 2008 James McGirr Kelly Award for excellence from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies. The award is presented each year to the resident of Pennsylvania who most exemplifies dedication to promoting the availability of safe drinking water in the commonwealth.
As chief of the Drinking Water Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mid-Atlantic Region, Rogers, 48, has been a leader in ensuring the quality of safe drinking water. He has worked in EPA’s drinking water branch since the late 1980s.
“This award recognizes the work of a lot of people to protect our drinking water throughout the commonwealth,” Rogers said. “It goes back to third grade when we learn about the water cycle. There is a finite amount of water on the planet, and human appropriation of that water affects water quality, human health and sustainability. How do we make sure we have enough drinking water?”
As a young man, Rogers was always interested in marine sciences. This interest led him to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in both marine science and biology from East Stroudsburg University, in East Stroudsburg, Pa., and a Master of Science degree from Boston University.
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, Rogers traveled to Mississippi with a team of EPA employees to conduct damage assessments of drinking water and wastewater facilities that served thousands of Gulf Coast residents whose treatment plants were damaged or flooded.
Rogers lives in Harleysville with his wife Melissa, and daughters Susannah and Phoebe. In his spare time, Rogers enjoys woodworking, surf fishing, hiking and camping.