|New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is proud to present the latest episode of 'On the Front Lines,' DEC's video series profiling staff and their work to conserve the environment, protect New York's natural resources, and serve the public. The latest episode features Randy Austin, the regional spills supervisor in DEC's Region 2 (New York City) office.
"We are proud of DEC's 'On the Front Lines' series which gives the public a behind-the-scenes look at the great work our dedicated employees do every day across the state to preserve and protect the environment for generations to come," Commissioner Seggos said. "It is an opportunity for New Yorkers to learn more about the issues we tackle in their communities so that we can all reap the benefits of a healthy environment. A special thanks to our latest profile, Randy Austin, for the great work he does in leading DEC's rapid responses to spills, protecting both people and our environment.
The latest episode featuring DEC's Bureau of Personnel can be viewed on the agency's YouTube channel.
Randy Austin has worked as a DEC spills engineer for nearly 40 years, and has responded to a variety of events, including 9/11 efforts to remove contaminated waste, the cleanup of leaking jet fuel in Jamaica Bay following Captain Sully's celebrated emergency plane landing. Austin also led DEC's spill responses efforts following Hurricane Sandy, which included pumping out more than 1,100 homes.
Spill Response Supervisor Randy Austin said, "A good day is when we solve a mystery. This usually involves finding the source of an unknown leak or spill, identifying the material involved, and solving the problem. My job is laser focused protecting the public - both public health and the environment."
Austin grew up on Long Island, and graduated from SUNY Farmingdale and St. John's University. He started at DEC in 1978, working on environmental permits and conducting construction inspections, and moved to the Spills Response Program in 1980.
Although he has worked at DEC for more than 40 years, Austin sees it as more than just a career. "Forty years sounds like a long time - sounds like forever. But when you are enjoying what you do, when there are a lot of things going on, and you're working hard to do your job, it goes in the blink of an eye," Austin said.
Learn more about Randy Austin and DEC's spill response efforts in the latest episode of 'On the Front Lines.'
'On the Front Lines' is posted monthly on DEC's YouTube channel and Facebook and Twitter pages. Watch past episodes on DEC's YouTube channel (the previous links leave DEC's website).