Bill McManus Chief Environmental Compliance Inspector

Emerging Leader: Bill McManus, Chief Environmental Compliance Inspector

Jim Force, CWEA Correspondent, Emerging Leaders
Bill McManus, Chief Environmental Compliance Inspector

Bill McManus, Chief Environmental Compliance Inspector

Bill McManus probably didn’t realize it at the time, but a television show he watched as a boy has had a lot to do with his career.

The show was called “How Things are Made” and featured the materials and assembly of various products. Now, as chief environmental compliance inspector for the City of Los Angeles, Bill is keenly interested in the manufacturing processes of the industries he regulates.

“I enjoy going to the different industries and learning how their products are made. There’s a lot of practical chemistry that you don’t ordinarily see. I think that TV show was an influence.”

Bill has been in his current position for 10 years; prior to that, he served in the utility’s analytical laboratory. It’s a career that his mother put him onto.

He earned a degree in biology from UC San Diego and was headed for a teaching career. “But my mom pointed out a wastewater exam I could take that was more related to my degree,” he says. He passed and took the job.

Bill manages staff that inspects and monitors local industries to make sure they are meeting pre-treatment requirements. Their work maintains healthy sewers and protects the water resource recovery plants.

He says the challenge is to be “business-friendly”—helping industries comply without picking up and leaving the area or the state. “We show our clients how to save money by recycling, re-using, and up-cycling,” he says.

He’s well-suited for the position, says his supervisor Pamela Labeau. “Bill accomplishes tasks with minimal direction, gets along great with staff, and is always interested in learning new things, “ she says. “For example, he’s spearheading our new cannabis inspection activities. He’s a real asset to the department.”

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