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Karla R. Peterson

Senior Compliance Engineer

Minnesota Department of Health

Saint Paul, MN 55164-0975


Karla R. Peterson has worked for the Minnesota Department of Health as a Senior Compliance Engineer and Project Manager since 1994. In her work, she provides technical expertise to public water systems, consulting engineers, and staff in determining the most cost-effective compliance. She works with regulated parties, government agencies, and staff in achieving compliance with arsenic, radionuclides, and radon drinking water rules, operator certification, and construction plan review.


A significant amount of her time is spent communicating health risks, regulatory requirements, treatment and funding alternatives at city council meetings, public information meetings, workshops and conferences, and with the media. She also supervises and administers grants for studies and investigative research to assist small communities, while serving as project manager for the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative on the Lambert Lakes and Twin Cities Water Supply projects.


Karla earned a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota, Professional Engineering (PE) licensure, and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota.


She is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, Future City Competition; and has been active in the Great Lakes Upper Mississippi River Board of State Public Health and Environmental Managers Water Works Committee, Minnesota Advisory Council on Water Supply Systems and Wastewater Facilities, Alpha Sigma Kappa Women in Technical Studies, and Minnesota Environmental Engineers, Scientists, and Enthusiasts Advisory Committee.

What I Learned at EPHLI

The EPHLI has taught me to become a more thoughtful and deliberate leader by continuously working to apply the skills learned in the Institute. The opportunity to create a working project, meet and learn from others in the field of environmental health, and create self-study products has been instrumental in becoming a much more effective leader.