Thomas T. Haze, 67, of New Britain, died Saturday, March 12, 2022 at home. Thom was born in New Britain, Ct. and was the son of the late Theodore and Victoria (Wosczyna) Haze.
Thom received his biology degree at Central Connecticut State University and with his passion for the outdoors, he pursued a career in the environmental field at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
Thom’s first experience as a DEP employee was as an Intern with the Fisheries Division which included working on the Northern Pike Project on the Connecticut River. His first permanent job was with the Water Compliance Unit working primarily on water quality studies in wade-able streams and lakes throughout the State. When not out doing field work, Thom was in the lab at his microscope identifying algae and other indicators of water quality, of DEP that was responsible for permitting wastewater discharges and administrating sewage treatment plant construction projects. His duties included riding around in a truck pulling a boat on a trailer to various lakes and taking chemical and biological samples to assess the water quality. He also got to wade in streams, some polluted and some not, to collect similar samples. He then spent the rest of his time peering through a microscope and discussing insect taxonomy in a language none of the managers understood. It was the perfect job for a young Thom, fresh from graduation at Central State U and in love with the outdoors.
Thom transitioned to other environmental issues and was lured away from that first job by the opportunity to work on something totally new at the time. It involved testing potentially toxic effluents using aquatic organisms. The new concept became the Aquatic Toxicity Program. Thom was key in creating the program building the testing laboratory and conducting the testing concept of regulating pollutants as mixtures of toxic compounds by directly measuring the impact on organisms, also known a bioassays or toxicity tests, was coming into vogue. Thom built the State Aquatic Toxicity Laboratory from the ground up in response to the need for DEP to have independent testing capacity in order to implement this approach.
Thom’s proficiency with computer programs resulted in his being tapped to work on another major DEP initiative, the Long Island Sound Nitrogen Trading Program. Thomas contributed greatly to the success of this effort which became a model for similar programs nationwide. He created computer programs that are used consisting of nitrogen discharge loading monitoring and financial data on treatment costs at facilities across the State and were key to the success of the program.
Thomas served as a mentor to many of the younger staff. He was frequently called in to trouble-shoot on other projects. Thomas was always available to help and was much loved and respected by all.
Thom is survived by his two sisters, Geraldine (James) Claveau of Farmington and Elizabeth Haze (Roberta Collins) of Kensington, two niece, Sara Gerhold and Emily Claveau, four nieces, Halle, Lauren, Laney and Kiera.
Funeral services for Thom will be held Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 11 am from the Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Ave, New Britain. Burial will be private in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home from 10 am to 11 am. To share a memory of Thom, please visit: shakerfuneralhome.com In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Ocean Conservancy and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.