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RI DEM Employee Recognized for Providing Outstanding Wastewater Operator Training

Release Date: 01/28/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, Mass. Jan. 28, 2009) – Bill Patenaude of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management was recently honored with the "2008 Regional Wastewater Operator Training and Certification Provider Award" by EPA.

EPA’s New England office formally acknowledged Mr. Patenaude at the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference at the Boston Copley Marriott Hotel on January 28th.

“The professionals providing operator training to wastewater treatment plants play a crucial role in ensuring that our lakes and rivers are protected from unnecessary pollution,” said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "I am proud to acknowledge Mr. Patenaude’s innovative contributions to help train municipal wastewater professionals so they may be able to better protect water quality and public health, as well as to keep Rhode Island’s waterways clean.”

The EPA award program recognizes state personnel in the wastewater field who have provided valuable and noteworthy training for operators of wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England. One of the major training initiatives successfully developed and coordinated by Mr. Patenaude was “Boot Camp”, a year long training program to help with succession planning in the municipal wastewater field. It has quickly become a model program that a number of other states are trying to adopt. This ‘Boot Camp’ has proven effective in providing appropriate management training for dedicated municipal wastewater operators as well as other necessary skills for personal improvement to succeed in the industry.

"Many individuals have helped or participated in making the inaugural year of the Rhode Island Wastewater Operator Boot Camp program a success, an example of federal, state, local and professional cooperation,” stated Mr. Patenaude. “It is a model for public, quasi-public and private sectors joining forces to benefit the common good. The EPA recognition award is for everyone who willingly contributed their time and talents as trainers, those who helped organize administrative details and most especially to the participants themselves who have been and remain eager to learn and grow, and so better manage our state’s water pollution-control infrastructure. DEM’s partners at NEIWPCC and NWPCA especially come to mind."

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