Wednesday 2:30 PM
[Presentation PDF]

Room: Diamond

Risk Communication: Dealing with the Public and Media Regarding Emerging Contaminants and the Lead & Copper Rule

In recent years, the City of Chicago Department of Water Management has had its fair share of newspaper headlines related to drinking water quality issues. Outlandish headlines calling drinking water "toxic" not only are unnecessarily sensational but diminish the public's confidence in their drinking water. How do you communicate the true risk of such water quality issues as emerging contaminants, hexavalent chromium, or lead to your customers? This talk will focus on Chicago's experience communicating such risks, the sometimes conflicting goals of the media and research organizations utilizing sound science, interpreting the reality of laboratory limits, and working within FOIA and press inquiries to respond appropriately.

Moderator:  Jeff Freeman


Irene Caminer - City of Chicago Dept of Water Management

Ms. Caminer came to the Department of Water Management in 1997 after serving 7 years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City’s Law Department.  Ms. Caminer works on a variety of matters ranging from legislative analyses and recommendations, organizational review and improvement, performance management, security and emergency response planning and policy, budget planning, environmental compliance, and development, negotiation and execution of contracts and other matters.  Ms. Caminer received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Since 2006, Ms. Caminer serves as a board member for the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.