Engineering dean recognized by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized UVM School of Engineering Dean Domenico Grasso for work as an advisor to the agency. Grasso served as a member of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) from 1998 through 2007.The EPA develops environmental regulations, but before any regulations are passed, a cost-benefit analysis is performed to makes sure that the benefits of the regulation outweigh the costs. In his position on the board, Grasso assisted with this analysis, he said.”There’s no way of monetizing the benefits of clean air, clean water and clean soil,” Grasso said. “The EPA is working on a way to monetize those benefits, and they asked me and my committee to look at what they were doing and see if they were on the right track. “I feel good that I was able to help the federal government in protect[ing] the environment,” Grasso said.Grasso was pleased with the recognition, and expressed high hopes for the students in UVM’s environmental programs, including the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”I think that we can graduate students [who] are going to go into leadership positions and really make a difference in how we protect the environment at the same time as we’re nurturing economic growth,” he said.Grasso said that UVM can play a role in creating a new, economics-driven definition of environmentalism for the twenty-first century.”I think UVM is playing an important role in how we’re going to redefine environmentalism in the next century – environmentalism that is contextualized within economic development,” Grasso said. “We are thinking very differently about the environment, technology and the future in this college. We’re breaking new ground and a lot of people are looking to us as leaders in this area. It’s exciting – we’re attracting great students [and] great faculty.”