Sanitary Engineer 2 Omar Tyson
The main responsibility of Sanitary Engineers is the inspection, regulation and enforcement of Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) which can be found under most every police station, school and hospital, in addition to common gas stations and auto repair shops. USTs are structures placed underground to store gasoline, diesel, heating oil, kerosene or waste oil—products we must keep from being released into the ground and contaminating the environment.
Before being promoted to Sanitary Engineer II, Omar was responsible for unannounced visits to UST facilities across the state, to assure that the owners and operators of these tank systems were following the regulations in place. He regulated the installation, performance, use, delivery and removal of these UST systems and ensured that owners and operators completed their daily Inventory Reconciliations—a crucial way to quickly detect inventory discrepancies and a possible loss of product.
These regulations are important for the overall well-being of our state, especially since Connecticut is built on so much bedrock—historically difficult to recover free product and clean up after a toxic release. In addition, there are approximately 6,000 farms and roughly 1/3 of all CT citizens are currently utilizing wells as their primary source of water. Omar can remember one case in particular where a gas station’s owner and operators were egregiously non-compliant, resulting in over 3,000 gallons of gasoline being released into the local community. Because Daily Inventory Reconciliations were not being performed, compounded by the improper decommissioning of a pipe that manifolds two tanks, weeks went by before the owner realized there may be a problem. Members of the UST Enforcement team performed an inspection and determined that the site was in noncompliance for failing to perform proper release detection. Further investigation, which included comparison of sales receipt data and recent product delivery amounts, confirmed that a release had occurred. Had the owner been reconciling the inventory daily as required, the release would have been detected and reported much sooner, resulting in an immediate response and a significant reduction of the impact to the environment.
As a Sanitary Engineer II, Omar is one of the primary administrators of enforcement. Therefore, when inspectors report sites that were found to be in violation of UST regulations, in many cases, Omar brings actions against those bad actors. These actions can come in many different forms, depending on the length, severity, and overall risk to human health and the environment. While most are resolved with Consent Orders, which are almost always accompanied by a significant civil penalty, some require the Attorney General’s involvement and others are forwarded as criminal referrals.
If it wasn’t for state employees, like Omar, Connecticut’s environment would be in a dangerous predicament. Nationally, USTs were previously the largest source of underground contamination of ground water and wells until Sanitary Engineers like Omar stepped up.
Environmental Analyst 2 Katie Clayton
During the summer you’ll find Katie in Old Lyme and Milford working as a Field Operations Manager for the Long Island Sound Water Quality Program. As an Environmental Analyst 2, Katie’s job is to monitor the nutrient and dissolved O2 content for the Sound to protect its’ aquatic life, a vital resource for local residents and businesses.
In addition to being a CSEA member for over 13 years, Katie has also served as the Chapter 24 Secretary for the past 6 years. Coming from a strong union family, she’s #UnionYes because of what unions enable the working class to better themselves and their families. Unions are the reason we have paid vacations, sick time, wage increases, health insurance, pensions and so much more. She wants to maintain those benefits and work towards new ones for her and the rest of the working families in CT.
Retired Correctional Lieutenant Mark Lucey
Mark spent most of his 21 years as a Correctional Lieutenant at the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield, however he also worked at the Hartford Correctional Center and UCONN Health Center (CT DOC Medical Ward) in Farmington.
Mark was a main player in the formation of the Correction Supervisors Council here at CSEA, serving as the Executive Vice President from 2003-2011. Working with former CSC and CSEA President and now current CT State Senator Cathy Osten, they understood the unique challenges poised to employees working in a dangerous, high-stress environment and advocated to make the situation better for their peers.
Mark is #UnionYes because he believes in the power of collective bargaining. Before Correction Supervisors unionized, they were often the highest ranked officers on the floor with the most responsibility, yet being paid the lowest salary. In addition to poor pay and a dangerous work environment, employees were also mandated to do OT without pay if they had already capped out at their pay scale. After years and years of unacceptable conditions, Mark and his colleagues unionized under CSEA and won the right to bargain collectively—greatly improving pay and conditions for Correction Supervisors across the state.