Flint Phenomenon, Episode 2

Flint Phenomenon, Episode 2

Episode Two of the Flint Phenomenon series continues the roundtable discussion surrounding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In this chat, panelists explore the science behind the problem while evaluating the difficulty in monitoring lead in water systems; the use of corrosion inhibitors and water filters; the changing standards of lead in metals and drinking water; and how Flint is doing today. Panelists include John Scully, Technical Editor in Chief of CORROSION journal; Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards, who led the team that collected the water samples; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Darren Lytle.

The Flint Phenomenon podcast series is brought to you by:
Corrosion Journal

Meet the panelists

Darren Lytle

Darren Lytle, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Darren Lytle is an environmental engineer with EPA’s Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since beginning work at EPA in 1991, his primary goal has been to research the quality of drinking water. Over the years, Lytle has investigated and published works on drinking water systems, including work on distribution system corrosion control and water quality (e.g., red water control, lead and copper corrosion control); filtration (emphasis on removal of particles, and microbial contaminants and pathogens from water); biological water treatment; and iron and arsenic removal. Lytle holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Akron, an M.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois.

Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech

Marc Edwards is a University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in environmental engineering, applied aquatic chemistry, and engineering ethics. His research group conducted the investigative science uncovering the 2001-2004 D.C. Lead Crisis, the 2014-2016 Flint Water Disaster, and illegal pesticide dosing to water of Denmark SC 2008-2018.

Time Magazine dubbed Edwards “The Plumbing Professor” in 2004, listing him amongst the 4 most important "Innovators" in water from around the world. The White House awarded him a Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1996, he won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007, and in 2013 Edwards’ was the 9th recipient (in a quarter century) of the IEEE Barus Award for "courageously defending the public interest at great personal risk."

In 2016 he was named amongst TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the World, the World's 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Politico Magazine’s Top 50 Visionaries who have transformed American politics, Foreign Policy Magazines 100 World’s Greatest Thinkers, and was short-listed amongst Flint whistleblowers as Time person(s) of the year.

He was co-recipient of the inaugural 2017 MIT Disobedience Award, and received the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility award (2018) and the Hoover Humanitarian Medal (2019).

John Scully

John R. Scully, University of Virginia

John R. Scully is the Charles Henderson Endowed Chaired Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, the Co-director of the Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering, and MSE Department Chair at the University of Virginia. He has been devoted to research and education in corrosion focusing on the effects of material structure, composition, and environment on corrosion of both novel advanced materials, coatings, and legacy materials. Electrochemistry, surface science, and material science are frequently integrated in his research to advance fundamental understanding and engineering of corrosion issues. He has co-authored numerous archival papers, proceedings articles, and books or book chapters.

He is a Fellow of four societies and has received a number of awards for his contributions. He is the Technical Editor in Chief of CORROSION, The Journal of Science and Engineering. His Flint, Michigan related lead research has emphasized the need for developing a proactive national policy toward corrosion control of potable water systems (published in the Bridge of the National Academy and NACE’s 2015 Plenary Lecture), testing methods for assessments of lead corrosion (CORROSION journal), and the scientific aspects of lead phosphate inhibition.