HARDWICK – Ken LaCasse’s heroic efforts to protect Hardwick’s environment during this past summer’s flooding, when the Lamoille River overflowed its banks, earned him the New England regional 2023 Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Excellence Award.
LaCasse went above and beyond his usual duties to reduce environmental damage from flooding at Hardwick’s water treatment plant. His efforts were recognized by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation who nominated him for the prestigious EPA award.
David W. Cash, EPA New England Regional Administrator, presented LaCasse with his award at the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts on January 24.
The 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. While presenting the award, Cash said, “Wastewater operators and staff work diligently to protect public health and the environment, often with limited resources,”.
Treatment plants operators in Johnson, Middlebury and Ludlow were also recognized with awards. “Wastewater treatment is a vital, but often overlooked, part of our world. Most of us don’t realize what it takes behind the scenes for wastewater to be treated for pollution control and reuse, in order to protect public health and the environment,” offered Cash. “It’s important for us to highlight those individuals and entities who excel in their work to protect our water quality and our health, and we at EPA congratulate Mr. LaCasse and all of them for their dedication to the environment and to their communities.
The annual NEWEA awards recognize “the best of the best” of water quality professionals from within the 2,000-member NEWEA organization, and Municipal Utility/Public Works community.