FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Steve Meyer, director the City’s Department of Environmental Services, announces his retirement effective May 12.
Meyer, a professional engineer, returned to his hometown of Springfield in 1987 to join the City. Over the course of his more than 30 years with the City, Meyer held the titles of associate engineer, sanitary engineer, superintendent of solid waste, superintendent of street maintenance, assistant director of Public Works and finally, director of Environmental Services. He has a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla.
“I have had the honor of helping my hometown become known for its environmental stewardship,” Meyer said. “I am extremely proud to have worked with the most talented and dedicated people I have ever known at the City of Springfield. I can safely say that every member of the Department of Environmental Services loves their job – protecting the environment for current and future generations.”
Meyer, a 2016 recipient of the Missouri Waste Control Coalition’s Jan Dillow Coalition Contribution Award, is president of the Association of Missouri Clean Water Agencies and a past president of the Missouri Waste Control Coalition. He is an active member of the National Water Environment Federation, Missouri Water Environment Association, a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a charter member of the Illinois Structural Engineers Association, American Public Works Association and National Society of Professional Engineers and the Solid Waste Association of North America. He previously served on the boards of directors of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Wet Weather Partnership.
“Steve is one of the most humble, yet effective, leaders I know,” said City Manager Greg Burris. “He and his team manage many of the resources and services we all typically take for granted – the landfill, the sewer system, recycling centers and more. In some ways, Steve’s impact is better known outside of Springfield due to his state and national leadership in environmental stewardship and the cutting-edge, innovative approaches that come from his team. We all owe Steve Meyer a debt of gratitude for his work.”
In 2011, Meyer was deeply involved in the negotiation of the City’s amended consent decree with state and federal regulators to outline a plan to meet the requirements of the 1972 federal Clean Water Act.
The decree contained Springfield’s Overflow Control Plan (OCP), which outlines the required $200 million in investments over the next 10 years to make much-needed improvements to the sewer system. Springfield’s plan was approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in May of 2015 and is based upon Springfield’s environmental priorities as established in a first-of-its-kind Integrated Plan for the Environment.
“We believe that if it weren’t for our unique integrated planning approach, our plan would be considerably more expensive - up to $600 million more than we are required to spend now,” Burris said.
Meyer led the creation and implementation of the City’s Integrated Solid Waste Management System in the early 1990s. The purpose of the program, which requires local trash haulers to provide curbside recycling, is to manage solid waste in an environmentally sound manner. The system comprises the Springfield Sanitary Landfill, the Household Chemical Collection Center, the Yardwaste Recycling Center, three public recycling centers, a market development program, an education program and a full-service environmental laboratory that analyzes 70,000 samples a year.
In 2012, Meyer was responsible for the creation of the Department of Environmental Services, separate from Public Works. Both departments are accredited by the American Public Works Association.
The City's Department of Environmental Services is comprised of 193 employees and includes the divisions of Clean Water Services, Stormwater/Water Quality, Sustainability, Solid Waste Management and Recycling, and Environmental Quality. The City’s Northwest and Southwest Treatment Plants have both been recognized year after year for environmental stewardship and safety by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Missouri Water Environment Federation.
Burris said he will soon announce the next steps in the process to select Meyer’s successor.
Download high-res photo of Steve Meyer
For more information, please contact Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or [email protected].