Environmental engineers typically do the following:
- Prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports
- Design projects leading to environmental protection, such as water reclamation facilities, air pollution control systems, and operations that convert waste to energy
- Obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures
- Provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and legal actions
- Analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks
- Monitor progress of environmental improvement programs
- Inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs to ensure compliance with environmental regulations
- Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites
Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies in which they evaluate the significance of the hazard and advise on treating and containing it. They also design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems and research the environmental impact of proposed construction projects. Environmental engineers in government develop regulations to prevent mishaps.
Some environmental engineers study ways to minimize the effects of acid rain, global warming, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion. They also collaborate with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians, engineers, and other specialists, such as experts in law and business, to address environmental problems and sustainability.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition