Donald Polmann is a Commissioner for the Florida Public Service Commission.
PUF: What is your background and what led you to this role?
Commissioner Polmann: I have a background in environmental engineering by education. I have lived in Florida since childhood, and the importance of water as a natural resource has always been in the forefront. My greatest interest was on water and natural resources, environmental quality protection, and so forth. I went on to pursue a master's degree.
I was very involved in water supply and reclaimed water, even back in the early 1980s. My focus was the hydrologic aspects of water supply and wastewater management. It was not so much on the infrastructure side as municipal utilities, per se, but rather the supply side, water resource development, and environmental-quality issues.
I didn't feel that I knew everything I needed to know, so I went back to graduate school, and pursued a doctorate in hydrology and water quality to learn how to be more effective with advanced techniques.
It was that whole environment of resource management, water-quality maintenance, and so many new regulations. That became my focus in the 1990s.
PUF: How did that experience prepare you for your role at the Florida PSC?
Commissioner Polmann: At that point, having finished my doctorate and gone back to consulting, I was working on projects and didn't have the opportunity for the big picture.