Singer invited to advise about water issues in Flint

March 19, 2016

Dr. Philip Singer

Dr. Philip Singer

Philip C. Singer, PhD, professor emeritus of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been invited by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to serve on a committee providing guidance on long-term solutions to the water issues in Flint, Mich.

Singer, who was a member of the Gillings School faculty from 1973 to 2010, serves on the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee, which aims to develop a multidimensional approach to addressing lead in Flint’s water and to establish criteria for lifting the health advisory currently in effect.

“The water quality situation in Flint is a disturbing one for all water supply professionals,” Singer said. “The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are taking actions on a number of fronts to correct this terrible situation so that the water in Flint will once again be safe to drink. The job of our committee is to review those actions.”

A nationally renowned expert in water quality issues and member of the National Academy of Engineering, Singer has edited two books and authored more than 240 scientific articles; served as investigator on about 70 grants funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies; and mentored more than 100 master’s and doctoral students at the Gillings School. He held the Dan Okun Distinguished Professorship in environmental engineering from 2002 until his retirement.

John Young, MSEE, former president of American Water and a Gillings School alumnus, also serves on the committee.

“These appointments,” said Michael Aitken, PhD, professor and chair of the Gillings School’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, “recognize the high regard with which Phil Singer and John Young are held in the field of drinking water. They also recognize the important role of drinking water in the field of public health.”


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or