John Sansalone, president of the ASCE Mid-Hudson Branch in 2017-18, and a New York state environmental engineer with a passion for water safety and quality, has died at 67.
Over a 37-year career with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Sansalone, P.E., M.ASCE, oversaw permit drafting and the inspection and compliance of water resource recovery utilities. He was known as a consummate sanitary engineer who approached projects with good ideas, a fair review and usually a story from experience of what worked and how to avoid what didn’t in the world of supply, treatment and public health.
His concern for water safety extended to involvement in a number of related groups seeking to protect the environment. In 1974, Sansalone joined the Water Environment Federation and the New York Water Environment Association, garnering enthusiastic appreciation for his dedication. The honors he received stand as testimony to his leadership and commitment. He was named to the Golden Manhole Society and the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers, and received the Arthur Sidney Bedell Award. Recently he was nominated for NYWEA’s Hall of Fame and had a hand in their scholarship program.
“John was a strong advocate for the future of everything that he believed in,” said Chris LaPorta, a project engineer with The Chazen Companies who served as Mid-Hudson Branch vice president during Sansalone’s year as president. “He one hundred percent supported my forming of the [branch’s] ASCE Younger Member Group. He advocated for all of our funding needs, and attended almost all our events. He showed off his trivia skills at our trivia night. … We made it to the finals. …”
Sansalone also contributed articles to the Society’s technical journals and introduced NYWEA to leaders of ASCE and the American Council of Engineering Companies.
He was respected and admired as a public servant in the true meaning of the term. The resident of Gardiner, New York, served on the conservation commission, environmental management council and fire department, where he volunteered for more than 25 years.
Sansalone earned his M.S. from the Polytechnic Institute of New York. His interests included history, notably the Civil War, hiking, winemaking and traditional music and dance. He was a voracious reader of science, politics, current events and the natural world.