With over 30 years of environmental, engineering and construction experience, John Butillo has managed an impressive and diverse range of projects, while making significant contributions toward improving our environment. As the Engineering Manager for Sovereign Consulting Inc., a leading environmental consulting and remediation firm, and valued REGENESIS® client, Butillo is responsible for bioremediation field application, from initial engineering design with system/plant installations, to maintenance and troubleshooting, for both federal and private sector clients. He shares, “My technical role focuses primarily on facility engineering, permitting, project design, construction and installation of soil/groundwater remediation and wastewater treatment systems, and waste minimization programs. I also conduct the majority of my work at petroleum tank farms, refineries, chemical plants, and aircraft facilities.” Throughout his career, Butillo has served as the lead design and implementation project manager and lead engineer on more than 100 soil and groundwater remediation projects. “The best part of my job,” he says, “is going out to my client’s facilities and understanding their challenges and end goals, and then formulating a customized solution and eventually seeing it fully constructed and operational as it addresses their problem.”
For Butillo, the decision to pursue a career in environmental remediation was an easy one. He continues, “I was focusing on my Civil Engineering degree at Penn State University at the time, and took some course work in transportation, structures, hydraulics and wastewater. Those studies, coupled with my early experience as a materials testing company technician and geotechnical driller, drove my interest in the environmental field.” He would go on to earn his BS in Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, and then work as a consultant to ARCO Pipeline Company, providing environmental compliance oversight, prior to joining Sovereign Consulting in 1999. To stay current with emerging trends and industry related technology, he studies trade journals and regularly attends seminars. He shares, “I constantly research remedial applications with a concentration on non-invasive in-situ injection methods, and my formal education continues to advance regularly through my participation at manufacturer-sponsored seminars and through detailed reviews of published case studies.”
When asked what he enjoys most about working with REGNESIS, Butillo cites their level of support and technical expertise. He continues, “Their field support is critical with helping us meet our proposed design goals. We also know we can depend on their staff’s technical knowledge to effectively prescribe a solution to help us meet our site goals.” With regard to REGENESIS technologies, Butillo says it depends on the site and the desired outcomes. He continues, “Most of my experience is using HRC®, ORC®, PersulfOx® and RegenOx® to attain destruction/degradation of chlorinated compounds and hydrocarbon compounds that are affected by enhanced biodegradation or oxidative conditions. Our specific product choices have been facilitated with input by REGENESIS in each case, with an in-depth review of existing conditions.” As he completes 20 years of service with Sovereign Consulting, Butillo looks back in appreciation for having worked on such a diverse range of projects, and he looks forward to helping the company fulfill its long-term goals. “I have really enjoyed working at Sovereign over the years,” he says. “And I plan to finish my career here. I have been given the opportunity to be involved with so many different and challenging projects. My real goal is keeping Sovereign on the cutting edge of soil and groundwater remediation.” When asked what he enjoys most about his work, Butillo points to the opportunity to mentor the junior staff, a responsibility he appreciates and takes seriously. He continues, “I really enjoy working with our junior staff members- it allows me to use my professional experience to help them expand their knowledge. It’s an example of how I see my work as a career and not just a job.” And the most challenging aspect? “The sheer number of hours and workload that my position requires. I am not getting any younger, and I spend a lot of time in the field to ensure remediation systems are operating as designed.”
Butillo and his wife live in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and he commutes regularly to Robbinsville, New Jersey, where the main offices of Sovereign Consulting are located. “It’s a hefty commute, but I tend to go in early and come home late when I am not traveling. I actually spend more time out in the field implementing my designs or designing O&M programs for my clients.” Away from work, Butillo finds time to run as a way to stay fit- both physically and mentally. “Running has helped keep my head on straight and has been my salvation since I can remember.” He also finds time to assist military and police charities with financial donations and as a volunteer, and provides support to his wife in her involvement with local women’s shelters.
Asked how he’s seen the industry change over the past three decades, Butillo points to several trends. He concludes, “Having been at this line of work for over 30 years, I think there are definitely some key changes that come to mind. First, the trend of getting away from huge pump and treat groundwater systems. Another is the use of in-situ injection treatment of contaminated soil and groundwater with custom blends of modern era treatment reagents. I would also include the increased use of automation and communications to run, maintain, collect remote data, and diagnose treatment systems, which in turn, reduces the on-site time requirements. And additionally, I’ve noticed a tremendous improvement in the understanding of groundwater and soil chemistry.
REGENESIS is proud to have John Butillo, Engineering Manager for Sovereign Consulting Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his vast experience and dedication in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.