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NEIWPCC Receives Spark Plug Award

John J. Hankinson, Jr. (left), former US EPA Regional Administrator, presents the CWA 104(g) Spark Plug Award to NEIWPCC’s Tom Groves (center) and Chuck Conway (right) at the 2007 National Operator Trainers Conference.

At the 2007 National Operator Trainers Conference in Orlando, Florida, on June 10-13, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission was honored to receive the 2007 Clean Water Act 104(g) Spark Plug Award. The award acknowledges our efforts to support the CWA 104(g) Wastewater Operator Training and On-Site Technical Assistance Program. Specific tribute was paid to the work performed in 2006 by NEIWPCC’s Director of Wastewater and Onsite Programs, Tom Groves; Manager of Training Operations, Chuck Conway; and Training Coordinators, Don Kennedy and Jim Laliberte.

In his letter nominating NEIWPCC for the award, EPA’s Dave Chin wrote, “NEIWPCC has been providing necessary and timely wastewater operator training to all of our New England states for many years, as well as being active in promoting the CWA 104(g) program. NEIWPCC has been receiving CWA 104(g) funding from the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in recent years. These funds are constantly leveraged to help bring national experts to provide training and on-site technical assistance directly to wastewater treatment plant operators and superintendents.

“Furthermore, NEIWPCC is able to leverage all of the New England states to pool their resources to maximize training opportunities and to get the best people actively involved. In recent years NEIWPCC has also been involved in the wastewater operator certification program in Massachusetts. The states continue to perform their CWA 104(g) work diligently, but it is greatly enhanced due to the efforts of NEIWPCC. NEIWPCC’s level and range of involvement in the wastewater and CWA 104(g) areas is expansive.”

NEIWPCC’s Tom Groves and Chuck Conway were in Orlando to accept the award. “It is very gratifying for our efforts to be recognized in this way,” Groves said. “By taking a regional approach to training and technical assistance, we feel we’ve been able to accomplish a great deal with a relatively small amount of funding.”

More information on our training efforts is available at A summary of our training achievements in 2006 can be found in our annual report.


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