Administrative staff, Bowdoin College, Chafee, John H., Clean Water Act, Environment and Public Works Committee
Jeffrey Ward Peterson was born on March 23, 1954, in Lexington, Massachusetts, to Jean H. and Dr. Merrill D. Peterson. He grew up in Lexington until age ten, then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1964. He attended Bowdoin College and studied away for a semester at American University, where he held an internship with the Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations. After graduation he worked in Maine for two years, married, and moved to Seattle, Washington, to attend the University of Washington Graduate School of Public Affairs, where he earned a master’s degree while working part-time for the Environmental Protection Agency. He was later hired by the EPA to work at its Washington, DC, headquarters, and several years later he had the opportunity to work in Senator Mitchell’s office advising on water issues. He worked for the Environment and Public Works Committee for approximately eight years and then returned to work for the EPA. At the time of this interview, he was a senior policy advisor in the EPA Office of Water.
Interview includes discussion of: growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia; Bowdoin College; working for the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle, Washington; being a McGovern delegate to the Virginia state convention in high school and how Mitchell staffers later gave him a hard time about it; Peterson’s connection with Maine; figuring out a way to get the EPA to have him work for Mitchell; working in Senator Mitchell’s personal office as an EPA consultant; Senators Chafee’s and Mitchell’s working relationship; working on Clean Water; Mitchell’s role in Clean Water hearings; the National Estuaries Program; working with the House staff; lengthy description of the Clean Water Act history; Mitchell’s role in maintaining ties between the Clean Water Act and Maine; the difficulty and benefits of reconciling Senate and House versions of a bill; conference process for the Clean Water Act; working for the Environment and Public Works Committee staff and the transition to that from working for the EPA in Mitchell’s office; Mitchell staff relationships; memo writing; the Clean Water reauthorizations; Peterson’s internship at the Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, chaired by Senator Muskie; Maine senators and the environment; other issues that Mitchell worked on; the issue of combined sewer overflows and the effect of Mitchell’s introducing legislation that addressed it; and Mitchell’s retirement from the Senate.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.