Waste treatment plant assistant honored by EPA

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Paula Lynn Ely, the assistant operator and lab technician for the town of Great Barrington's wastewater treatment plant, has been named operator of the year by the New England region of the Environmental Protection Agency.Ely, who joined the plant's staff in 2004, manages the quality of the town's wastewater. Depending on the data she finds, plant operations are adjusted and tweaked to ensure that the town's treated wastewater is super-clean before being discharged into the Housatonic River.In 2016, the town's facility earned another regional EPA recognition: the EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award.Ely received her award from the New England Water Environment Association, a professional coalition of wastewater management professionals, on Jan. 30 in Boston.

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