ITEM 3: AMENDMENTS TO THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT CLASSIFICATION, OPERATOR CERTIFICATION, AND CONTRACT OPERATOR REGISTRATION REGULATIONS
DISCUSSION: The Division of Clean Water Program's Office of Operator Certification (OOC) proposes that the Wastewater Treatment Plant Classification, Operator Certification, and Contract Operator Registration Regulations, California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 3, Chapter 26 (Regulations) be amended to allow certified wastewater or certified water treatment plant operators to operate stand alone water recycling plants. Under the current regulations, all such plants are required to have certified wastewater treatment plant operators (Regulations § 3670.1). In addition, the amendments will include a definition for water recycling plants; will include water recycling plants as being subject to the classification criteria; and will add questions to the Grade III wastewater operator certification examine regarding water recycling and public health issues.
The proposed amendments were noticed by the Office of Administrative Law and were available for review by interested parties for at least 45 days, as required by the California Rulemaking Law. The proposed changes to the regulations have also previously been reviewed during two informal workshops and two State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) workshops. Comments received from the latest review of the proposed amendments were minor and non-substantive. No request for a public hearing was received during that public review period. All commentors supported the amendments.
Both the Department of Health Services (DHS) and the SWRCB have authority to regulate activities of water recycling plants. In 1996, SWRCB and DHS executed a Memorandum of Agreement to coordinate permitting and approval activities relative to use of reclaimed water in this state.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB adopt the proposed amendments, which are: the regulations regarding certified water operators operating water recycling treatment plants, the definition and classification of water recycling plants, and the addition of questions regarding water recycling and public health to the Grade III wastewater operator certification examine.
RWQCB IMPACT: None.
FISCAL IMPACT: Minor. The existing fee schedule would generate sufficient revenue to administer the additional workload at this time.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: The SWRCB should adopt the proposed amendments to the Wastewater Treatment Plant Classification, Operator Certification, and Contract Operator Registration Regulations, California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 3, Chapter 26 allowing certified water operators to operate water recycling plants, providing a definition of water recycling plant and adding questions to the Grade III wastewater operator certification examine regarding water recycling and public health.
October 27, 1997 DRAFT
1. Under Chapter 9 of Division 7 of the Water Code, the State Water Resources Control Board is responsible for the administration of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Classification and Operator Certification Program;
2. Amendments to the regulations governing the certification of operators would modify such regulations in four respects:
a. The proposed amendments to the regulations define a water recycling plant as a treatment plant that receives and further treats secondary and/or tertiary effluent from a wastewater treatment plant.
b. The proposed amendments to the regulations allows either a certified water treatment or wastewater operator to operate a water recycling treatment plant.
c. The proposed amendments to the regulations classify water recycling plants using the same criteria as wastewater treatment plants.
d. The proposed amendments to the regulations add questions on water recycling and public health issues to the Grade III wastewater operator certification examination;
3. A 45-day public comment period on the subject amendments ended on September 1, 1997;
4. As a result of the 45 day public comment period nonsubstantive changes were made in the amendments and are available for the State Water Resources Control Board workshop on November 5-6, 1997 and State Water Resources Control Board meeting on November 18, 1997; and
5. The State Water Resources Control Board's Advisory Committee on Operator Certification and Training participated in the development of the amended regulations and has recommended adoption.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That the State Water Resources Control Board adopts the proposed regulations and authorizes the Executive Director to transmit the proposed regulations with the final statement of reasons and rulemaking to the Office of Administrative Law.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on November 18, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board