Environmental Engineers

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Environmental Engineers

Environmental Engineers - Overview

Environmental engineers find ways to solve environmental problems that affect the welfare of humans and nature.

Environmental engineers find or analyze contaminants such as chemicals in soil, air, and water. Sometimes they do this when a company wants to buy property or when a leakage is reported. Once they have collected information, they write a report that summarizes their findings.

Environmental engineers find ways to:

  • Reduce air and water pollution
  • Increase recycling
  • Improve waste disposal

When contamination is found, environmental engineers help their clients find the best ways to solve the problem. They often design systems or equipment to clean up a site. They present options for remediation (or clean up), timelines, and costs. They help their clients understand the environmental rules that apply to them.

Environmental engineers coordinate the work done on environmental projects. They hire workers and obtain required permits. They also contact landfills to haul away and dispose of contaminated soil.

To make sure work is completed safely, engineers create health and safety plans for each project. The safety plan outlines procedures in the event of an emergency. Workers may be required to test the air at the site to make sure harmful vapors are not present.

Environmental engineers also evaluate the environmental impact of an activity. For example, if a shopping mall is to be built on farmland, they will write an environmental impact statement. They look at how the new shopping mall will affect the area's water and air.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.