Charles Hardt receives national award

By Staff Reports    
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Tulsa Public Works Director Charles L. Hardt will be recognized nationally tonight for his “outstanding and meritorious achievement in the environmental field” at the 2007 American Public Works Association  International Congress in San Antonio, Texas.

Hardt, who began his career with the City as its first chief hydrologist and was hired as the Public Works Department’s first director in 1990 when it was created, will receive the Charles Walter Nichols Award for Environmental Excellence.

“Without a doubt, the City of Tulsa is a better place because Charles Hardt has dedicated 30 years of his life to public service, said Mayor Kathy Taylor. “Charles was instrumental in developing Tulsa’s flood control and stormwater management programs, which is recognized for excellence nationwide.

 “Public Works plays an essential role every day in the lives of Tulsans, and the projects must be done with the greatest concern and care for the environment. Through Hardt’s leadership, we have maintained systems that exceed environmental standards – from channel erosion and stormwater quality to water and wastewater treatment,” Taylor added. “With our local utility board, Charles has led the charge, working through agreements and monitoring with the poultry industry, to protect our water sources from the pollution stemming from excessive application of agricultural waste.

 “I am extremely proud of the work Public Works has done under Charles’ leadership and pleased that the American Public Works Association is acknowledging his outstanding efforts.”

The Charles Walter Nichols award is given to Public Works professionals to “recognize outstanding and meritorious achievement in the environmental field” as it applies to water supply and treatment, sewers and sewage treatment, streets and refuse collection, disposal and recycling.

Hardt, a registered professional engineer and a professional hydrologist, joined the City of Tulsa’s as chief hydrologist in 1976. In 1981 he left the City to join a private engineering firm where he designed flood-control projects in Tulsa. He returned to the City in 1987 as City Engineer, then became the City’s first Public Works Director when the department was formed in 1991.

Hardt has also served at times as the City’s Chief Operating Officer with supervisory roles over Parks, Urban Development, Fire and Airport Departments as well as Gilcrease Museum and the Performing Arts and Convention Centers.
Under Hardt’s leadership, the Public Works Department has achieved many environmental accomplishments, including:

·   Completing a 20-plus-year program to improve wastewater collection and treatment systems and prevent accidental discharges of untreated wastes into the Arkansas River.
·   Establishing an asbestos removal program for all City buildings.
·   Establishing a voluntary recycling program at low cost to participants.
·   Constructing and maintaining an extensive network of floodwater retention reservoirs and drainage channel improvements, many of which serve double duty as soccer fields, parks or recreational facilities.
·   Establishing two recycling sites for wood and lawn wastes and supplying free mulch for citizens to use in landscaping and gardening.
Hardt also was on a team of City officials who successfully settled a lawsuit with the poultry industry in northwest Arkansas to monitoring the application of phosphorus-laden fertilizer in an effort to protect Tulsa’s water supply.  The suit established landmark protections for water quality.
Hardt has earned numerous other prestigious state, regional and national awards during this career as public works director. Among them are:
·   Named one of the Top Ten Public Works Leaders in the United States by the American Public Works Association.
·   Oklahoma Floodplain Manager of the Year, by the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Association.
·   Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award by the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers.
·   In 1995, Hardt was inducted into the Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology’s Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the profession and fidelity to the state and nation.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 September 2007 )