Environmental Quality Control Technician for Omaha’s Stormwater Program, and much appreciated Exchange Member
As an Environmental Quality Control Technician and MS4 Manager, Andy Szatko oversees all program elements in the City of Omaha’s Stormwater Program. He is also active in educating the Omaha community about green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and often gives presentations at schools, neighborhood associations, and trade organizations–an activity which he cited as his favorite aspect of his job.
Andy takes special pride in overseeing the city’s demonstration projects, which redirect the funds the stormwater program receives annually from the state of Nebraska for being a regulated MS4 and applies them to GSI projects in schools, city facilities, and any other public area. Omaha now has over 25 of these demonstration projects in place, including a recent project which replaced a street with a bioretention.
He credits the demonstration projects with securing the public’s acceptance of GSI. “They have been critical in proving the concept of green infrastructure works and moving [Omaha] past the ‘green infrastructure is new stage,’” he said. “We can now shift our efforts from buy-in to refinement.”
Andy is also a key leader within the Exchange network. He led discussions on Performance Data and Innovations in Adaptive and Integrated Design at the 2017 Exchange Annual Convening and is currently serving as a Co-Chair for the Maintenance Innovations user group.
He’s hoping that his involvement in the network, along with the active participation of his peers, will lead to the establishment of “a general sense of continuity” in the GSI field, so that GSI-related acronyms, terminology, and processes can be consistent across the board.
Andy’s latest project with the Omaha Stormwater Program allows him to promote GSI education. The program is currently developing toolkits for local learning institutions which will engage faculty and serve as a resource for incorporating GSI into the classroom.
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