Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. 

Meet Nikolay Ostrovskiy, an Environmental Health Specialist, Senior for the Environmental Health Division of Butte County Public Health. Nikolay was only ten years old when he moved from Vitebsk, Russia to California. His family settled in the Bay Area. At that time, Nikolay’s English was limited to just a few words, including, “Hello,” “Thank you,” and “Please.” Nikolay has a degree in Biological Sciences from UC Davis and is certified as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) in the state of California. He lives in Chico with his family.

When Nikolay arrived in the Bay Area at age 10, he joined his father and brother who had settled here a few years prior. The transition from Russia to California proved to be challenging during middle school. His first task was to learn the language and make friends. Once Nikolay started high school, he found a social connection through water polo. He was part of the team and developed friendships that would be with him through college. Both of his parents are college graduates and successful professionals. For Nikolay, there was no question about attending college. After a few hiccups during the college application process, Nikolay was accepted to UC Davis, his school of choice. He chose to study Biological Sciences. During college, he had one of his first jobs as a bus driver. He found this job to be surprisingly satisfying as he met many new people on campus. During his freshman year, he met his wife who was attending UC Berkeley. Luckily, a shuttle running between the two universities allowed them to spend time together. They decided to marry during their junior year. His wife, a Chico native, was eager to move back home. Once in Butte County, Nikolay starting working for Butte County Public Health in the Environmental Health Division.

As a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), he spends much of his time visiting businesses that use, store and dispose of hazardous materials. There are just over 1200 locations that Nikolay and the hazmat team visit each year. These businesses include larger locations like Chico State and Sierra Nevada Brewery, and smaller ones, such as gas stations, oil change shops and various farm and agriculture sites. When Nikolay conducts an onsite inspection, his goal is to help each business understand how to properly handle hazardous materials that are required for their day to day operations. If improper storage, use or disposal practices are discovered, Nikolay will site the business for the error, but more importantly, he educates them on how to correct the mistake and will re-inspect the facility and grant them an updated use permit. For Nikolay, it’s all about education and partnership with facilities that handle hazardous materials in order to keep our community and environment healthy for many generations to come.

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Butte County Public Health
Phone: 530.552.4000
TTY: 530.538.6588
Fax:        530.538.2165

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Butte County Public Health
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.552.4000

Danette York, M.P.H., Director
Andy Miller, M.D., Health Officer
Public Health Leadership Team