One of Walden’s environmental health and safety (EH&S) professionals, Mike Balda, has recently received his certification as a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), to further his expertise and contributions to the team. The CHMM certification is offered by the Institute of Hazardous Material Management (IHMM) and is a recognized credential by corporations and municipalities across the U.S.

Mike’s path began with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Southern Connecticut State University, after which he worked in Environmental Equity and Waste Engineering and Enforcement at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He also has experience working as a chemist throughout the Midwest for a national waste management company, specializing in the identification, segregation, packaging, transportation, and treatment of solid wastes. Mike then worked as Director of Environmental Health and Safety at a semiconductor related manufacturer, and most recently as a self-employed consultant for 16 years, joining Walden in August of 2021.


What does a CHMM do?

Currently, Mike works with an array of manufacturer sites from New England to California, to curate effective EH&S programs and process development for extremely hazardous chemistry. He is an expert in hazardous waste management, transportation of hazardous materials, laser safety, and environmental management systems.


Having the CHMM credential means that Mike is personally recognized for his competence in laws and regulations of hazardous materials, putting him at the top 1% of his filed. Under federal regulation 40 CFR §312.10, the United States Environmental Protection Agency defines the IHMM CHMM as an “Environmental Professional.” CHMMs often review plans, permits, applications and evaluation forms that handle several areas of work. A CHMM is recognized as the credential of choice for environmental and hazardous materials professionals, including the American Society of Safety Engineers.


What is required to become a CHMM?

In order to participate in the certification program, Mike was required to meet a few prerequisites, including a baccalaureate degree and at least four years of relevant experience in the field of hazardous materials management or a related field. He then had to pass an extensive test on numerous technical EH&S related topics.


Relevant experiences include:

  • Hazardous materials identification and handling in compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Planning and preparing for and responding to hazmat emergencies and incidents;
  • Sampling and analysis (of air, water, soil, and waste) for potential contaminants;
  • Site investigation and remediation, and
  • Hazmat program or project management.


Professionals that are CHMMs comprise over 13,000 professionals in fields like environmental protection and engineering. Employees at Walden are continually seeking means to refine their field expertise. Contact us with questions today at 516-701-1681.