Mining, manufacturing and industry run our society - our lives wouldn't be the same without them. But they unfortunately create a lot of pollution and waste. Environmental engineers are experts who help minimize and manage waste and pollution, protecting the air, water, soil, and ourselves from harmful chemicals. They often coordinate these activities, making sure the companies they work for are in compliance with all environmental regulations.
Environmental engineering is the branch of engineering that focuses on protecting the environment by reducing waste and pollution. The field is also dedicated to improving environmental conditions through remediation. It deals with the design of technologies and processes that control pollution releases and clean up existing contamination.
Environmental engineers design, plan, and implement measures to prevent, control, or remediate environmental hazards. They may work on waste treatment, wastewater treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.
Our environmental laws would mean little without professionals like these who know how to implement them at the facility level. These valuable professionals help control pollution, and design new technologies to engineer a better world.
What Does an Environmental Engineer Do?
Environmental engineers use their scientific knowledge to design systems that control pollution and protect public health. For example, they design systems, processes, and equipment to control waste and pollution, such as stack scrubbers and wastewater management systems. This includes industrial wastewater. Environmental engineers coordinate waste management and recycling activities at manufacturing sites and mines. They make sure it's treated and disposed of in accordance with all environmental and health regulations. In fact, they're often appointed to ensure that all of their companies' projects, including building and development projects, are compliant with regulations. They advise on the environmental effects of construction projects, fill out permit paperwork, incorporate regulations into project planning, and conduct inspections to ensure compliance. They write environmental investigation reports detailing their findings. Environmental engineers also frequently serve as a company's liaison with federal, state, or local agencies on issues related to waste program requirements.
In addition to controlling pollution, environmental engineers also design systems, processes, and equipment to help clean it up. The systems they create restore air, soil, and water quality at sites that have already been contaminated. Some environmental engineers work at the front lines of the clean energy economy, developing systems that convert waste into electric power.
Environmental engineers are often tasked with coordinating their companies' environmental management system (EMS). An EMS is a voluntary management technique that ensures systematic implementation and review of customized environmental and safety best practices. EMS following the international standard ISO 14001 are particularly beneficial to the credibility of companies involved in international activities.