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Lowell, Mass. Youth Participate in Summer Job Program and Learn Environmental Skills

Release Date: 08/14/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – August 14, 2012) – With assistance from EPA, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) oversees a program at the Lowell, Mass. Regional Wastewater Utility to introduce economically disadvantaged inner city youth to career opportunities in the environmental field in New England.   

Since its inception in 1990, EPA’s Youth and the Environment Program has focused on helping disadvantaged youth to learn environmental job skills that can be applied as they enter the workforce.  The program, which has been taking place for 21 out of the past 23 summers, promotes environmental education and provides high school students with increased awareness of protecting the environment and water quality within their own communities.

“EPA’s Youth and Environment Program is an important way to promote the importance of water quality and environmental protection to future generations, by having water and wastewater professionals help educate and interact with interested high school students in the community,” noted Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.  “EPA has been fortunate to work with NEIWPCC, the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility, and the Career Center of Lowell to have summer job programs related to protecting our environment targeting economically disadvantaged youth.”

At the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility this summer, five local high school students work at several “stations” (e.g. laboratory, pretreatment, maintenance, process control, etc.) on a rotational basis so that they are exposed to some of the many facets involved with the proper operation of a wastewater treatment plant on an everyday basis.  The program has provided the students with an understanding of chemical risks, public health threats, and proper safety procedures for worker safety at a wastewater treatment plant and out in the collection system.  Students have become familiar with potential hazards as they relate to environmental management, treatment and pumping, and water quality monitoring.  The students also participated in field trips related to science and water quality, along with college career counseling.  The efforts of Mark Young, Executive Director of the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility and his entire staff, Mayor Patrick Murphy, City Manager Bernie Lynch, and the staff at the Lowell Career Center have been unwavering as they continue to devote a significant amount of time and effort to work with these students and support this valuable program.

A ceremony recognizing the efforts of these students and their mentors will be held at the Lowell City Hall (Mayor’s Conference Room) on August 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM.

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