EHS celebrates staff for superior stormwater management

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) recently announced the winners of the university’s first SWPPPerstar Awards. In the SWPPPerstar Awards program, honors are given twice annually to construction sites or individual staff members who exemplify superior stormwater management in accordance with the Stormwater Program 2019 for UT Austin. Most large construction sites around campus are required to follow a regulated Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) in order to manage pollutants discharged from storm sewer systems to prevent the pollutants from reaching surface waters.

EHS strives to maintain the highest level of compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations, says Nena Anderson, associate director for Environmental Programs.

“EHS has shifted the university’s flood prevention and stormwater quality approach towards green infrastructure, implemented a new stormwater standard and overhauled the university’s Stormwater Management Program,” Anderson said.

Tejashri Kyle, EHS environmental programs manager, explains that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state’s stormwater regulatory agency, approved the university’s Stormwater Management Program in fall 2019 and included a provision for the SWPPPerstar awards.

“The award recognizes the importance of interdepartmental stewardship and teamwork between EHS and departments that execute capital projects--not only to achieve compliance with environmental regulations but also to show that UT can bring innovative solutions to stormwater management,” Kyle said.

Kyle explains that recipients of UT’s fall 2020 SWPPPerstar Award were evaluated based on criteria of responsiveness, accountability, commitment and the quality of site management.

Award recipients are:

  • Team Lead Robert Hengst, Project Management and Construction Services, for championing the UT Austin Stormwater Program and incorporating stormwater management into the Anna Hiss Gym Courtyard Project.
  • Project Manager II Karel Kozuh, Capital Planning and Construction, for supporting the implementation of the UT Austin Stormwater Program at the Red River Realignment and Moody Arena projects.
  • Project Manager – Construction Inspector II Jennifer Sandifer, Capital Planning and Construction, for pro-active involvement and exceptional and open communication regarding UT Austin requirements for construction sites.

Storm Water Protection Program Winners (from left): Robert Hengst, Jennifer Sandifer and Karl Kozuh

Hengst affirms that EHS has an essential responsibility on the campus. 

“To receive an award for assisting this important team achieve their goals is quite an honor,” Hengst said. “At the gym, we found it important and beneficial to engage EHS early in every step, listen to their feedback carefully, and implement resolutions as soon as possible. As a result, not only were we able to achieve the goals laid out, but also maintain the worksite more safely for the environment members of the campus community and our contractor.”

In his formal announcement of the SWPPPerstar Award winners, Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety Jimmy Johnson congratulated the winners and thanked them for their support and partnerships toward achieving the university’s stormwater management goals.

Stormwater management has been incorporated into the Anna Hiss Gym (AHG) renovation. The south wing main lab renovation, shown here, was completed in May 2020.
Stormwater management has been incorporated into the Anna Hiss Gym (AHG) renovation. The south wing main lab renovation, shown here, was completed in May 2020. Renovation is still underway in the north and west wings.
Jan. 22, 2021