Monday, April the 30th, 2018. First day of my Professional Fellowship. Roseanne, my host family drove me to the Oak Ridge City Service Center, which is the building that home some of the city’s department. Arrived there at 9.06 am, which is according to Roseanne we were so late. Americans, they are never late! :)) Mark Watson, the City Manager, greeted me and introduced me to Amy Snider, The Storm Water Program Manager who is my handler and organized and scheduled my fellowship itinerary in Oak Ridge. I have also been introduced to Department Directors that attend the reception. After a short opening and introduction by Mark, I gave short explanation and couple of slides about Indonesia, my work, and what I planned to observe during my fellowship here in the Secret City. Showed them video about Indonesia, and they were fascinated by the beauties of Indonesia. There were questions and answers, and I felt welcomed because they suggested and offered me to see their activities and process that they do to run the city.
After the reception I had two activities, which are planning and discussing about my fellowship schedule with Amy, and work session with the Department of Public Works. First, based on interesting discussion with Amy, I learned about Storm Water Management in Oak Ridge, which also related to my interest in keeping the marine environment clean. In a nut shell, Storm Water Management was implemented based on Federal Law the Clean Water Act, in which to control pollution in the water. Thus, it is important for cities and states to managed its storm water properly so it would not polluted the river stream and ended up polluting the ocean. What also interest me how the Act being implemented based on the US political settings (Federal, State, and County/City). According to the Act, states are authorised to decide water quality standards and issues permit on National Pollutant Discharge System (type of permit needed by every entity to discharge pollutant waters to the waterways, which include also storm water). In comparison to Indonesia, permits issuance authority and water quality standards in Indonesia is divided between national, provincial and based on its location authority.
Secondly, on my session touring the Waste Water Treatment and Water Treatment Plants with Shira, the Director of Public Works, I found out that city government in US is allowed by law to proposed a competitive loan/grant to the federal entity for program/project in its respective city. Specifically, the Public Works proposed a loan to the EPA to revitalize the Water Treatment Plant that were built on the 1940s. It was interesting because different with Indonesia, the national government does not provide loan to the province, but the national government allocated specific grant to the province to implement national policies. First day been so far so good, can not wait for the following weeks to come.
Highlight of the day, I feels honoured because Mark gave me the City Pin. I told Charlie (my host) about it and he said that Mark never gave him the pin. Yeaay.. I learned and won so much that day. :))