RULES AND REGULATIONS
Title 25--ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY BOARD
[25 PA. CODE CH. 72]
Sewage Enforcement Officer Application Requirements for Certification
[29 Pa.B. 5088]
The Environmental Quality Board (Board) by this order adopts an amendment to Chapter 72 (relating to administration of sewage facilities permitting program). This final-form rule clarifies procedures relating to applications for certification of sewage enforcement officers (SEOs) outlined in § 72.54 (relating to applications for certification) to read as set forth in Annex A.
The Board approved this final-form rule at its meeting of July 20, 1999.
A. Effective Date
This amendment will go into effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as final rulemaking.
B. Contact Persons
For further information, contact Milton Lauch, Chief, Division of Wastewater Management, Bureau of Water Quality Protection, 11th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P. O. Box 8465, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8465, (717) 787-8184, or William S. Cumings, Jr., Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, 9th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P. O. Box 8464, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464, (717) 787-7060. Persons with a disability may use the AT&T Relay Service by calling (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). This proposal is available electronically through the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) Web site at http://www.dep.state.pa.us.
C. Statutory Authority
The amendment is being promulgated under the authority of section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. § 750.9) and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 510.20).
D. Background and Purpose of Final Regulation
This final-form rule is intended to clarify the requirements of § 72.54(a) relating to application requirements for persons who submit applications for certification as SEOs within this Commonwealth. This section requires that a candidate for certification as an SEO successfully complete precertification training courses administered by the Department prior to sitting for an examination for that certification. Currently, precertification training is being provided to candidates for certification shortly before the scheduled examination dates.
Under existing § 72.54(a), applicants for certification are required to submit documentation of the successful completion of precertification training to the State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Officers (Certification Board) at least 40 days prior to the scheduled examination. As explained in the Preamble to the proposed rulemaking at 29 Pa.B. 979 (February 20, 1999), the Department and the Certification Board believe it is appropriate to provide a more streamlined process for the submission of documentation concerning the completion of training, particularly where the training has been completed shortly before the scheduled date of a certification examination. Accordingly, this final-form rule establishes a deadline for the submission of training documentation from 40 days prior to the examination to ''no later than the commencement of the scheduled examination for which the precertification training was held.''
A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 29 Pa.B. 979. The notice provided a 30-day public comment period. The Board received one comment on the proposal, and a Comment and Response Document has been developed. Draft copies of this final rulemaking and the Comment and Response Document were provided to members of the Sewage Advisory Committee and the Certification Board, and the members had no objections to its adoption by the Board.
E. Summary of the Comments and Response on the Proposed Rulemaking and Amendment to the Proposed Rule
The Board received a comment from the Certification Board which was fully supportive of the proposed amendment. The Certification Board suggested, however, that § 72.54(a) be further amended by reducing the minimum time for submission of an application for the certification examination and the related fee from 40 days to 30 days. The Certification Board asserted this reduction of the time period would give applicants more flexibility, while at the same time giving the Certification Board sufficient time to receive and evaluate applications for certification. The Board concurs with this recommendation and has adopted the change in the final rulemaking.
F. Benefits, Costs and Compliance
Executive Order 1996-1 provides for a cost/benefit analysis of the final-form rule.
Applicants for certification as SEOs will benefit from the amendment because they will not need to submit documentation of the successful prerequisite training for certification until the commencement of the scheduled examinations, which will be held shortly after the conclusion of the training course. In addition, applicants for certification will have more flexibility in submitting applications as a result of the reduction in the minimum time for submission of applications.
There are no additional costs to the Commonwealth, its citizens or applicants for certification as SEOs associated with this amendment.
The amendment is not expected to impose any additional compliance costs on the regulated community.
G. Sunset Review
This final-form regulation will be reviewed in accordance with the sunset review schedule published by the Department to determine whether the regulation effectively fulfills the goals for which it was intended.
H. Regulatory Review
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on February 9, 1999, the Department submitted a copy of the proposed rulemaking to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Chairpersons of the Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees for review and comment. In compliance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Department also provided IRRC and the Chairpersons of the Committees with a copy of the comments received, as well as other documentation.
In preparing this final-form rule, the Department considered the comments received from the public. No comments were received from IRRC or either of the Committees.
Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), this final-form rule was deemed approved by the Senate and House Committees on August 23, 1999. IRRC met on September 9, 1999, and approved the final-form rule in accordance with section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and regulations promulgated thereunder at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law, and all comments were considered.
(3) This final-form rule does not enlarge the purpose of the proposal published at 29 Pa.B. 979.
(4) This final-form rule is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing acts identified in Section C of this Preamble.
The Board, acting under authorizing statutes, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Department, 25 Pa. Code Chapter 72, are amended by amending § 72.54 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Chairperson of the Board shall submit this order and Annex A to IRRC and the Senate and House Committees as required by the Regulatory Review Act.
(c) The Chairperson of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau, as required by law.
(d) This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
JAMES M. SEIF,
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 29 Pa.B. 5031 (September 25, 1999).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 7-344 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
TITLE 25. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Subpart C. PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ARTICLE I. LAND RESOURCES
CHAPTER 72. ADMINISTRATION OF SEWAGE FACILITIES PERMITTING PROGRAM
Subchapter D. CERTIFICATION OF SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
§ 72.54. Applications for certification.
(a) Correctly completed applications and an application fee of $25 shall be received by the Board at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examinations. In addition, the applicant shall provide documentation of the successful completion of required precertification training courses to the Board no later than the commencement of the scheduled examination for which the precertification training course was held.
(b) Incomplete or erroneous applications shall be returned to the applicant.
(c) The application fee is a processing fee and will not be refunded.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1662. Filed for public inspection October 1, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]
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