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Greenfield, Mass. Water Pollution Control Facility Recognized for Excellence

Release Date: 01/23/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston—January 23, 2012)  The Greenfield, Mass. Wastewater Treatment Plant was recently selected by EPA for a 2011 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. 

The entire staff of Greenfield Wastewater Treatment Plant, led by Cliff Bassett, Superintendent, was recognized by EPA's New England Office for exceptional work in operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant.  The Greenfield Wastewater Plant staff also includes:  Mark Holley, Assistant Superintendent, Paul Zilinski, Operator, and Todd Little, Operator.  The plant was among three specific facilities in New England acknowledged for exemplary performance during 2011. 

The Greenfield wastewater facility was adversely impacted by flood waters a result of Hurricane Irene this past August.  The entire staff did a remarkable job to protect the plant and to help restore most of the essential infrastructure as soon as possible. The plant was able to be placed back on-line with primary treatment and disinfection within a few days to protect the Green and Deerfield Rivers.  The plant consists of four stories, with the bottom two levels that contain the major pumping equipment completely inundated by flood waters.  In addition, over thirty inches of flood water was on the main floor of the building that contains the process control center, laboratory, and administrative offices.   The estimated total infrastructure damage in Greenfield as a result of Hurricane Irene is in the $16M range, with approximately $600,000 attributed directly to repairing the wastewater treatment plant alone. 

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection was instrumental in nominating this facility.  In addition, the plant has been provided with outstanding support from the Town of Greenfield over the years.   According to Sandra Shields, Greenfield’s Director of Public Works, “The staff’s performance in the wake of Hurrricane Irene was truly the most dedicated and exhaustive performance I have seen in my thirty eight years in the field.   They personified the “Can Do” attitude to the utmost degree…within 24 hours after the flood they had developed a list of ideas to protect the plant against the next 500 year event. 

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance.   More often than not, and particularly with the smaller facilities, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources.

“The professionals operating these wastewater treatment plants, as well as the municipalities and the state environmental agencies that support them, are essential to keeping our environment healthy by protecting water quality. They are devoted, often underappreciated, and demonstrate a high level of commitment under extreme situations.  I am proud to give them the credit they deserve,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.                                                   

The Greenfield, Mass. Water Pollution Control Plant will be acknowledged for their outstanding work on January 25th at the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference in Boston. 

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