Every issue of the FOCUS Newsletter spotlights an ABA staff member who works behind the scenes. This edition features Bob Hitomi, environmental specialist, who works in the Risk Management Services, Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
How long have you been with Sac State? I have been here for six years.
How would you describe your job at Sac State? I oversee environmental compliance for the University, including air quality, sewer and storm water management, hazardous and universal waste management.
What are some of the unique aspects of your job? I interface with many outside regulatory agencies as well as internal customers at the University.
What are some examples of your daily duties? Most people on campus know me for collecting used batteries and lamps, but my daily duties involve collecting and packaging of all types of hazardous waste (chemicals, medical waste, asbestos, lead), responding to spills, and general oversight and documentation as required to maintain environmental compliance.
Who are your primary customers? Facilities Services (both operations, and planning and construction), academic departments (such as Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Art, Theater Arts), Housing, and auxiliary organizations such as UEI, ASI, and the University Union, on an advisory basis.
What are your biggest, yet most rewarding challenges? Trying to keep up with the ever changing regulatory environment in California is the biggest challenge. The greatest reward is reducing the regulatory burden in a way that maintains compliance but minimizes the impact to the University.
What do you like best about your job? The ability to manage programs in a way that benefits the University and provide assistance to those who may not be aware of the regulations or may not know how to maintain compliance.
What is your favorite aspect of working on campus? I think the support and gratitude that I receive from staff, management and faculty is unquestionably the most rewarding aspect of the job.
Why and how would someone contact you? Anyone on campus who has questions about hazardous waste disposal (including universal wastes, such as batteries and lamps) should give me a call at 278-5165 or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If they have questions regarding environmental compliance, I can provide assistance or at least give them direction. My belief is that it is better to try to correct a situation than to wait for an inspector to identify it with a citation.