Three decades as a regulator and contractor to regulators has convinced me of one thing. We are more likely to save and preserve our natural resources by educating everyone on the impacts they can have, both positive and negative, than by simply punishing people for past sins. That said, enforcement is sometimes a necessary tool for education.
Chuck Durham is the Director of Pretreatment Services at PG Environmental (part of the ERG Group). With three decades of experience, he is a recognized expert on water pollution control regulations, with emphasis on the federal pretreatment program. He has served federal, state, municipal, and industrial clients as a project manager and water pollution control expert since 2001.
In projects for eight U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regions and 25 states, Chuck has provided the full spectrum of support to develop, implement, streamline, and measure the effectiveness of pretreatment programs. Since 2005, his work for the EPA Office of Wastewater Management’s pretreatment unit has included support for regulatory development, guidance manual development and revision, and training to federal, state, and municipal regulators. He has conducted more than 600 audits and inspections at municipal facilities and over 1,500 industrial user inspections across the United States. In addition, he has supported outreach to educate clients on their regulatory roles and responsibilities, and to help them understand and address stakeholder concerns. He has developed and taught many basic and advanced training programs/webinars at local, state, and federal levels, covering topics such as pretreatment program development, implementation, audits, inspections, and regulatory oversight. Since 2019, for EPA’s Office of Compliance, he has served as a wastewater technical lead for the Compliance Assistance Program, which provides technical support for wastewater and drinking water at small under-served communities.
Chuck started work at the Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control in 1989 and was the Division’s program manager from 1993 to 2001. He currently chairs the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association’s Pretreatment Certification Committee. In 2023, Chuck received the Individual S. Leary Jones Achievement award from the Clean Water Professionals of KY & TN in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the environmental engineering field. Chuck has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University. He has been a volunteer coach for youth basketball, baseball, and softball for more than 20 years and—when spare time is available—enjoys playing golf.