Gas Operations Senior Project Manager Bill Elmer, who retired from PSEG on April 7, is one of our company’s environmental pioneers.
Bill’s love of the outdoors began in his youth, when his Boy Scout troop would volunteer to pick up garbage, build tent platforms, clean trails and remove invasive plants.
“We even built some bridges over streams,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to be outdoors and to volunteer.”
His passion for the environment carried over to his work at PSE&G. In his most recent job, he worked in Gas Construction and supported the planning process for Gas Delivery. This role placed him deep in many important PSE&G programs, such as the Gas System Modernization Program, which to date has replaced more than 1,450 miles of gas pipelines in flood prone areas and reduced methane emissions by nearly a quarter of a million metric tons. The initiatives reduced gas leaks while increasing the pressure in the mains, enabling consumers to install high-efficiency, more environmentally friendly appliances.
But Bill didn’t confine his environment-related activities to work. Early in his career, he got involved with outside organizations to clean up the Hackensack River, promote shellfish growth in Barnegat Bay and take on other challenges.
“I used those activities as team building opportunities,” Bill said. “I would invite my team, my supervisors, engineer administrators and so on. We would do things like build duck boxes to keep ducks safe. We built homes for kestrel falcons. We built cages where turtles could lay their eggs and keep them from being eaten. And we worked in the Hawthorne Garden at the Greater Newark Conservancy.”
Eventually, Bill formalized his activities by creating the PSEG Environmental Achievement Team, which subsequently became the Functional Environmental Awareness Team Employee Business Resource Group. Recently, the company developed a corporate EBRG, called GREEN, which will provide support to FEAT and the two Long Island Environmental EBRGs.
“During my retirement,” Bill said, “I will continue to support environmental volunteerism through the ReClamTheBay organization and the Boy Scouts. I will also continue to work with the Newark Conservancy to support the Hawthorn Garden, as a piece of my heart and soul belong there.”