The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Michael Whitley of Partlow, Va., with the EPA mid-Atlantic region’s award for excellence in operating a large public drinking water system.
“Public drinking water plant operators like Michael Whitley are our first line of defense against waterborne diseases and contamination that can cause serious, even fatal, illnesses,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA regional administrator. “This award honors the excellence of highly qualified, trained professionals who have the expertise to operate water treatment plants and improve drinking water quality.”
Whitley has made exceptional contributions to the Hanover County Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and within the Hanover community. Through his leadership and direction, the Hanover County DPU and 14 other public water systems in the Hanover area have maintained perfect compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act for eight consecutive years.
EPA’s mid-Atlantic region created the Professional Operator Excellence Award in 2006 to highlight public water systems and recognize outstanding performance by public water system plant operators. The award can be given to operators in two categories: large (serving more than 3,300 customers) and small (serving fewer than 3,300 customers) public water systems. Whitley was nominated for the award by Virginia Department of Health.