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Vermont DEC Staffer Recognized for Excellence by EPA

Release Date: 02/09/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1008 Contact: David Chin, EPA-New England, 617-918-1764

For Immediate Release: February 9, 2004; Release #04-02-04

BOSTON - Paul Olander, an employee at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), was recently awarded the State Operator Wastewater On-Site Technical Assistance Provider Award by the EPA's New England office, which recognizes state personnel in the wastewater field who have provided invaluable technical assistance or training to municipal wastewater treatment facilities. This award is one way EPA can formally acknowledge the work of its state counterparts who assist municipal wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England.

Olander has been training wastewater plant operators in Vermont for the past 15 years and has continually promoted the EPA's National Operator Training Program, which provides free on-site assistance to wastewater treatment facilities. The range of Olander's operations and maintenance expertise is outstanding. Besides giving traditional help with on-site process control, Olander has focused on a wide range of areas in recent years, including: wet weather and emergency operating plans; lagoon sludge removal and aeration projects; wet weather operations; pump station operation and maintenance; and microbiology issues.

These are all initiatives that Olander believes are important based on the actual needs of facilities. Olander has also earned the respect of his state colleagues. One of his specialties is lagoons and he has provided and offered "lagoon" training to many of the other New England states, as well as New York, in recent years. He has the professional respect of not only his peers. but more importantly, wastewater facility superintendents and operators throughout Vermont.

"The professionals providing technical assistance to wastewater treatment plants play a crucial role ensuring that our lakes and rivers are protected from unnecessary pollution," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "I am proud to give Paul Olander the acknowledgment he richly deserves."

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