Meet Emerging Leader 2018, Robert Wilson, City of Petaluma

Emerging Leaders, Wastewater News

Robert Wilson is an environmental professional who embodies the concept of multi-tasking.

As the environmental services supervisor for the City of Petaluma, he is responsible for regulatory compliance of wastewater discharges, storm water, air quality and biosolids, water conservation, as well as pollution prevention, recycled wastewater, and pretreatment.

And away from the office he’s taken on roles with the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (BAPPG) and Permits Committee, both committees of Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA).

“He’s a passionate member of the wastewater industry, particularly in pollution prevention and environmental compliance’” says Leah G. Walker, Petaluma’s environmental services manager, who nominated him.

“He’s enthusiastically embraced all of the position’s responsibilities.”

Of all his tasks, Wilson most relishes his pollution prevention work.

“It’s satisfying,” he says of his service with the BAPPG – an organization he chaired for the last two years and now serves as a member of its steering committee.

“It’s a great group of people,” he says, adding that he enjoys reaching out to the public and fostering changes in behavior—especially regarding emerging contaminates, improper disposal of wipes, and pharmaceutical products.

“It’s a tough battle because we’re fighting companies that have large advertising budgets. But people are getting the message; I often hear them repeating our outreach messages when interacting with the public.”

He also enjoys his work with BACWA. “It’s great to meet goals for compliance on a regional basis through the Bay Area.”

Wilson, who has a bachelors degree in environmental science with an emphasis on water quality from Sonoma State University, looks ahead to increasing his responsibilities with the goal of becoming an environmental services manager.

He has the attributes, according to Walker. “He’s unique,” she says. “He’s conscientious, dedicated, intelligent, respectful, firm, understanding, compassionate, flexible and accommodating. You don’t always find all that in just one person.”

Would you like to nominate someone as an Emerging Leader to be featured in the CWEA E-Bulletin and Clean Water? We accept applications on a rolling basis. Head over to our awards site and start nominating!