ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY BOARD
[ 25 PA. CODE CH. 301, 302, 303 AND 305 ]
Administration of the Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Program
The Environmental Quality Board (Board) adds Chapter 302 (relating to administration of the water and wastewater systems operators' certification program) and rescinds Chapters 301—303 and 305 to read as set forth in Annex A. This final-form rulemaking describes the process the State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater System Operators (Certification Board) will follow to administer the Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Program (Program) and identifies the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) and the operators and owners of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems in this Commonwealth. Additionally, it establishes standards for operator certification, recertification, certification renewal and security training; defines the certification renewal period and requirements for certification renewal; establishes appropriate fees; and defines classifications and subclassifications for certification.
This order was adopted by the Board at its meeting on June 15, 2010.
A. Effective Date
This final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
B. Contact Persons
For further information, contact Veronica Kasi, Chief, Division of Technical and Financial Assistance, P. O. Box 8467, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467, (717) 772-4053; or William Cumings, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, P. O. Box 8464, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464, (717) 787-7060. Persons with a disability may use the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). This final-form rulemaking is available electronically through the Department's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us.
C. Statutory Authority
The final-form rulemaking is being made under the authority of section 4(c) of the Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Act (act) (63 P. S. § 1004(c)), which directs the adoption of rules and regulations necessary to implement the act, and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 510-20), which authorizes the Board to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the performance of the work of the Department.
D. Background and Purpose
This final-form rulemaking describes the policies and procedures the Certification Board and the Department will follow to implement their responsibilities and duties under the act. This includes the procedures to be followed by applicants to become certified to operate a water or wastewater treatment system for the first time, to renew their certifications and to apply for reciprocity based on certification received from another state. The regulationsalso describe the procedure the Certification Board will follow for the review of applications for certification, including the review of criminal history records (CHR). The regulations also define requirements for the suspension or revocation of an operator's certificate, upon petition by the Department and for the review of Department decisions related to operator training programs and courses. The final-form rulemaking also establishes the standards and requirements for operators of water and wastewater systems to become certified and maintain their certification. It also establishes the duties and responsibilities of operators and owners related to the operation of a community or nontransient, noncommunity water system, water distribution system, wastewater treatment system treating more than 2,000 gallons per day and a satellite wastewater collection system with a pump station. Finally, fees to cover the costs of Program administration are established.
This final-form rulemaking ensures that the Commonwealth's Program will continue to meet the Federal requirements established in the 1996 amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act for state drinking water programs. This final-form rulemaking is more stringent than the Federal guidelines in one area. The Federal guidelines apply only to drinking water system operators; this final-form rulemaking also applies to wastewater system operators. The decision to include wastewater system operators in the new requirements was made early in the process by the Certification Board and the Department after significant public input. This was done to improve Program consistency and implementation.
The Department and the Certification Board worked very closely with the Small Systems Technical Assistance Center for Small Systems (TAC) and the Certification Program Advisory Committee (CPAC) to draft Chapter 302. The elements of the overall structure of the Program were discussed in-depth with the respective committees. This resulted in consensus on the essential requirements and standards for certification and the roles and responsibilities of operators and system owners.
E. Summary of Final-Form Rulemaking and Changes from Proposed to Final Form-Rulemaking
The Board approved the proposed rulemaking with a 30-day public comment period on April 21, 2009. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 39 Pa.B. 3591 (July 11, 2009). Public comments were accepted from July 11, 2009, through September 9, 2009. The comment period was extended at the request of the regulated community and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). The Department received comments from 77 commentators.
Based on comments received during this official comment period and because the proposed rulemaking contained significant changes in several areas, the Department prepared an Advanced Notice of Final Rulemaking (ANFR) package for additional public comment. A notice of the availability of the ANFR was published at 40 Pa.B. 560 (January 23, 2010). The ANFR was optional, as it is not required by the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. §§ 745.1—745.12). However, this procedure allowed the Department to solicit additional comments prior to presenting a final-form rulemaking package to the Board. Comments submitted to the Department on the ANFR are summarized and responded to by the Department in this preamble and in a separate more detailed comment and response document. Comments from the ANFR were received through February 26, 2010, with the Department receiving comments from 13 commentators. In addition to the previous opportunities for public comment on the proposed rulemaking, the public was again provided an opportunity to comment at the Certification Board meeting on March 19, 2010. These comments were taken into consideration by the Certification Board in the preparation of their final comments on the regulations and both comment response documents prepared by the Department.
The following is a summary of each subchapter and the changes made from proposed to final-form rulemaking.
Subchapter A. This subchapter defines the universe of the regulated community impacted by these regulations, establishes definitions and clarifies the standards that shall be met for certification. This subchapter was restructured to split the universe of the regulated community between drinking water and wastewater systems and to highlight the standards of certification. A number of definitions were deleted. The following terms were added or edited: ''Activated sludge,'' ''Administrative hearing,'' ''Board-designated agent,'' ''Board guidelines,'' ''Board Secretary,'' ''Certificate program,'' ''Client ID,'' ''Contact hour,'' ''Conventional filtration,'' ''Department,'' ''Direct filtration,'' ''Environmental Hearing Board,'' ''Environmental Quality Board,'' ''Environmental statute,'' ''Fee,'' ''Groundwater,'' ''Membrane filtration,'' ''PLC—Programmable logic controls,'' ''Permitted average daily discharge flow,'' ''Person,'' ''Political subdivision,'' ''Post-presentation credit,'' ''Public water system,'' ''Recertification,'' ''SCADA System—Supervisory control and data acquisition system,'' ''Satellite collection system,'' ''Single entity collection system,'' ''Site-specific,'' ''Ultraviolet disinfection'' and ''Upgrade.''
Subchapter B. This subchapter prescribes what a complete application should include for certification, recertification, upgrade, renewal and reciprocity along with how to obtain the appropriate Department approved application forms. In addition, this subchapter discusses program fees. Revisions to this subchapter were made to clarify how to obtain appropriate Department-approved application forms from the Board Secretary or through the Department's web site and to refine how the fees will be applied.
Subchapter C. This subchapter covers the procedures the Certification Board will follow in implementing its powers and duties as defined in the act. These include the issuance of certificates for certification or recertification, upgrade, reciprocity, renewal and extensions. Also, this subchapter prescribes the actions the Board can take to suspend, revoke, modify or reinstate an operator's certificate upon petition by the Department or review Department training decisions. Revisions to this subchapter were made to provide more definitive time frames for these procedures.
Subchapter D. This subchapter identifies and explains the requirements for submission of a CHR, the investigation and review procedures the Board will adhere to, the prescribed actions the Board can take as a result of a CHR and the time frame for action by the Certification Board. Changes in this subchapter further clarified the requirements and responsibilities of the applicant, the Department and the Certification Board.
Subchapter E. This subchapter prescribes the general requirements for administrative hearings. These hearings will be conducted by the Certification Board in accordance with these procedures whenever the Department petitions the Certification Board to suspend, modify or revoke an operator's license. There were no substantive changes to this subchapter.
Subchapter F. This subchapter discusses the examination requirements. This includes general provisions for developing and administering valid certification examinations (using psychometric principles and recognized industry standards) to measure an applicant's knowledge, skills and abilities to make process control decisions. Additionally, this subchapter discusses the roles and responsibilities for the Department, the Certification Board and approved examination providers in the preparation and administration of these examinations. Eligibility requirements that an applicant shall comply with to take an examination are also defined. Revisions to this subchapter were made to limit the situations when an operator shall retake an examination.
Subchapter G. This subchapter discusses the minimum education, examination and experience requirements; defines the methodology for determining qualifying experience and creates an accelerated certification option for systems having to upgrade the system for various reasons that will require the available operators to also upgrade their license. Provisions for accelerated certification were modified in response to comments to clarify that operators who meet the requirements for accelerated certification do not have to meet additional experience requirements.
Subchapter H. This subchapter establishes standards for the training approval program, establishes the continuing education requirements for certificate renewal and defines the system security training requirements. Significant revisions were made to § 302.804 (relating to system security training requirements) in response to comments to add criteria to define when the Department would require additional training. The Department will also be required to notify the operators needing to take this additional training in writing.
Subchapter I. This subchapter deals with the classification and subclassification of water and wastewater systems. Revisions to §§ 302.901 and 302.902 (relating to classification and subclassifications of water systems; and classifications and subclassifications of wastewater systems) identified what conditions or circumstances the Department will consider when defining a change in classification or subclassification, or both, of a water or wastewater system. These include an increase in capacity that changes the class of the system, the addition or loss of a treatment technology, other Federal or State regulatory changes regarding a treatment technology used at a system and the issuance of a permit changing the class or subclassification of a system.
Subchapter J. This subchapter outlines the certification classes and subclassifications for water and wastewater operators. Also, operator-in-training status, grand- parented operators and laboratory supervisor certification are discussed. Section 302.1006 (relating to laboratory supervisor certification) was revised to ensure consistency with Chapter 252 (relating to environmental laboratory accreditation).
Subchapter K. This subchapter applies to a professional engineer registered under the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (63 P. S. §§ 148—158.2) who has been successfully examined in civil, environmental or sanitary engineering and is a certified operator or an applicant for operator certification. Also, provisions for issuance of initial certification and experience requirements for professional engineers are discussed.
Subchapter L. This subchapter defines the duties owners and operators may perform, identifies who can make process control decisions, lists the components of a process control plan, defines standard operating procedures and its contents, characterizes the number of operators required at a system and defines the role of the operator in responsible charge. In addition, this subchapter defines the conditions under which an owner can choose to use a circuit rider or a programmable logic controls and supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) to ensure process control decisions are made properly by a certified operator. Significant changes were made to this subchapter to refine the duties of operators and owners to address concerns of commentators about the level of operator liability, define criteria under which the Department would require a process control plan, to further refine who can make process control decisions at a system and to eliminate the need for an operator to submit written reports to the owner when the operator suspects conditions exist that are, or may, result in a violation. The operator would still be required to report these conditions to the owner, orally or otherwise. Required compliance was clarified to only include those Federal or State laws or rules and regulations promulgated or permit conditions and requirements applicable to the operation of water or wastewater systems. Section 302.1209 (relating to assessment of fines and penalties) was added to provide that fines and penalties for violations of certain sections of the act will only be assessed after an order of the Department has been violated.
F. Summary of Comments and Responses Regarding the Proposed Rulemaking
The Board approved the proposed rulemaking with a 30-day public comment period on April 21, 2009. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 39 Pa.B. 3591. Public comments were accepted from July 11, 2009, through September 9, 2009. The comment period was extended at the request of the regulated community and IRRC. The Department received comments from 77 commentators.
Based on comments received during this official comment period and because the proposed rulemaking contained significant changes from existing regulations in several areas, the Department prepared an ANFR package for additional public comment. A notice of the availability of the ANFR was published at 40 Pa.B. 560. Comments from the ANFR were received through February 26, 2010, with the Department receiving comments from 13 commentators. In addition to the previous opportunities for public comment on the proposed rulemaking, the public was provided an opportunity to comment at the Certification Board meeting on March 19, 2010. These comments were taken into consideration by the Certification Board in the preparation of their final comments on the regulations and both comment response documents prepared by the Department.
The major changes made to the final-form rulemaking in response to comments received during the public comment period are categorized as follows:
Definitions. A number of definitions were revised as suggested by the commentators. In addition, the definitions for ''Conventional filtration,'' ''Membrane filtration'' and ''Ground water'' were revised to ensure continued consistency with Chapter 109 (relating to safe drinking water).
Scope. This section was revised to more accurately capture the standards that shall be met to ensure compliance.
Fees. While the actual fee structure did not change, further clarification as to how the fees would be applied was added. Several commentators requested that a dedicated fund for the program fees be established.
Collection systems. The section distinguishing the requirement for a certified operator based on ownership was deleted. The definitions for single entity and satellite collection systems were revised to parallel statutory language.
Laboratory supervisor subclassification. Sections referring to this subclassification were revised to ensure consistency between Chapter 302 and Chapter 252. Provisions for the grandparenting of existing laboratory supervisors were added. In addition, existing certified operators who want to continue as the laboratory supervisor will have 12 months after the Certification Board starts offering this subclass to satisfy the standards for certification.
Operator liability. Section 302.1209 replaced proposed § 302.1209, regarding satellite collection systems. Section 302.1209 was added to provide the Department's assessment of a penalty for violations of certain sections of the act will be based on a person's failure to comply with an order of the Department. This has always been the intention of the Department and the way the Program has been implemented since 2002. In addition, operator responsibility for compliance was limited to only those laws, rules and regulations and permit conditions regarding the operation of a water or wastewater system. Responsibility for results of standard operating procedures was limited to only those actions taken by operators under the direct supervision of the operator in responsible charge.
Duties of operators. The duties of operators were revised to parallel statutory language. Additional language to further clarify the statutory requirement for a report from the operator to an owner regarding violations and potential violations was deleted.
Process control decisions. Language pertaining to Department staff making process control decisions under specific situations was deleted.
Process control plans. Language was added to clarify when the Department would ask for the development of these plans and who would be responsible for their development.
Security training. Further definition as to when and how the Department could require additional security training beyond the initial training course was added.
The major changes made to the final-form rulemaking in response to comments received during the ANFR are categorized as follows:
Scope. This section was revised to more accurately capture who is impacted by the regulations.
SCADA systems. Language was revised to more accurately reflect the level of input an available operator should have in the programming, operation and maintenance of a SCADA system and how the use of these systems impact the operation of a water or wastewater system.
Circuit riders. Language was changed to ensure the requirements for the use of a circuit rider only apply to those systems owned by different entities but operated by the same available operator. In addition the content and requirements for a general workplan were modified.
The following were comments received during the public comment period that did not result in a change in the final-form rulemaking. The same topic was also raised by some commentators as part of the ANFR:
Available operator report. Commentators wanted the submittal of this report eliminated. However, the Department feels this report is an essential tool to ensure accuracy of the Department's records to comply with Federal and statutory requirements.
Consequences of process control decisions. A complete level of comfort with the issue of operator liability and the consequences of process control decisions cannot be reached in regulation because of the need to consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. Language provided by commentators as part of the ANFR process would have transferred much of this responsibility to the owner, instead of the operator. Federal guidelines and requirements do not allow for this transference.
The following comment was received during the ANFR process that did not result in a change in the final-form rulemaking:
Automatic extensions. Commentators wanted an automatic 90-day extension of an operator's renewal cycle if the operator had completed some, but not all, of the continuing education hours needed for certificate renewal. The existing framework allows for these extensions to be awarded upon request to the Certification Board. The Certification Board needs to continue to review these situations on a case-by-case basis and award the extensions when warranted.
One final issue identified by the commentators during the public comment period that did not result in a change to the final-form rulemaking at this time is allowing operators to ''bank'' extra continuing education credits from one renewal cycle to the next cycle. At the request of CPAC, TAC and the Certification Board, the Department initiated further research on the feasibility of implementing a ''banking'' option. To that end, the Department committed to working with CPAC, TAC, the Certification Board and other representatives of the regulated community, including approved training providers and certified operators, to explore issues relevant to the successful implementation of a ''banking'' option. If an option appears to be feasible, the Department may initiate regulatory revisions to allow for the banking of extra continuing education credits. The Department's analysis will be done as soon as possible, but no later than 3 years from now when the Department is required to submit its first review of the proposed fee structure.
G. Benefits, Costs and Compliance
Benefits. The intended results of these regulations are to protect the environment, ensure the public's health and safety and promote the long-term sustainability of this Commonwealth's drinking water and wastewater treatment systems by ensuring that certified operators with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities are available to make the necessary process control decisions. Therefore, the biggest beneficiary of these regulations is the general public.
The classification and subclassification framework more accurately reflects what the operator needs to understand to operate a system effectively and successfully. This framework was developed in partnership with representatives of the regulated community to meet their needs. In addition, in some instances, once certified, many operators will receive an increase in pay. Finally, the system owners may also benefit from cost savings realized through more effective and efficient operation of their water or wastewater system.
Implementation of these regulations will ensure continued approval of the program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This approval is reviewed on an annual basis. If the EPA chooses not to approve the Program, the Commonwealth stands to lose approximately $5.8 million per year in Federal funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund, administered by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.
Compliance costs. An individual responsible for making process control decisions at a drinking water or wastewater treatment system in this Commonwealth shall be appropriately certified for that system. A process control decision is a decision that changes or maintains water quality or water quantity to protect public health or the environment. Owners of a drinking water community or nontransient noncommunity water system, drinking water distribution system, wastewater treatment system treating more than 2,000 gallons per day or a satellite wastewater collection system with a pump station shall designate at least one certified operator to make all the process control decisions for the system.
The estimated costs to the operator to comply with provisions of these regulations are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1. Estimated Costs to the Operator
Requirement Cost Description/Comments Initial certification $150 Paid to the Department. This fee is incurred when a person submits an application to become a certified operator. This certification is valid for 3 years. Certification renewal $60 Paid to the Department. This cost is incurred once every 3 years after the initial certification period. Examination fee for both initial certification and certain upgrades to license $35 per examination session Paid to the Department. Operators are allowed to take as many examinations as they think they can complete in 4 hours. Most operators are able to complete the necessary examinations needed for the more common treatment systems within one or two sessions. Examination provider registration fee Varies Paid to the approved examination provider. These fees are not established by the Department. However, the Department recommends less than $100. Fees are designed to allow the approved examination provider the ability to recover incurred costs. CHR $10 Onetime fee charged by the Pennsylvania State Police. Continuing education $240—$900 Paid to one of the Department's approved training providers. Depends on number of hours needed and average cost per hour for training
These regulations authorize an annual service fee for system owners, based on the amount of flow the system is permitted to treat. The assessment of this fee is tied to the classification of the system and the certification class needed by the system owner's designated available operators. The maximum fee that any one owner of more than one system pays is $10,000. The only other cost for compliance for the owner is the actual cost for hiring a certified operator. The average cost to hire a certified operator is between $30,000 and $80,000 per year (based on a limited survey of operators completed in 2003). It is strongly advised that owners hire more than one certified operator. However, unless there are problems at the system, this responsibility is left to the owner. If necessary, the Department does have the authority to order the owner to hire additional certified operators to address specific environmental compliance problems. In addition, the owner may choose to cover the operator's costs for obtaining continuing education contact hours. This is an arrangement negotiated between the owners and their certified operators.
Compliance Assistance Plan
The Department is implementing a comprehensive training and compliance assistance strategy to assist operators and owners who are required to comply with the program. This includes web-based training through the Department's EarthWise Academy, additional classroom training as needed, a comprehensive training approval process and packaged training programs. This comprehensive strategy is designed to take advantage of existing training expertise in the industry and promote a market for training providers to meet the training needs of this program. Additional compliance assistance is available through the Drinking Water Capability Enhancement Program, the Wastewater Diagnostics Program and the Drinking Water and Wastewater Outreach Assistance Provider Programs.
The following is a list of paperwork requirements for the operator in Chapter 302. Beyond the operator's time and the Program fees previously identified, there are no additional costs for this rulemaking.
1. Certification examination registration form (to register to take an examination).
2. Application for certification action (for certification, recertification, certification upgrade or certification through reciprocity).
3. Application for certification renewal (done once every 3 years).
4. CHR from the Pennsylvania State Police.
5. Application for exemption (only needed if operator will not be able to complete requirements for initial certification or certification renewal due to extenuating circumstances such as military service or health problems).
6. The development and approval of standard operating procedures if the operator and owner choose to utilize this tool to ensure all process control decisions are made by an available operator.
7. The development and approval of a process control plan that describes the operational procedures for a drinking water or wastewater treatment system. This will only be required by the Department on a case-by-case basis; depending on the level of noncompliance at the system and the existence of equivalent plans, such as an operation and maintenance plan, an emergency response plan or standard operating procedures.
8. The development of a management plan or contract, if an operator wants to serve as a circuit rider, when the owner is responsible for more than one drinking water or wastewater treatment system. The management plan or contract should identify the systems, their characteristics, points of contact and the number of visits or expected hours the operator will complete in a designated time frame. System specific plans shall also be developed for each system to include procedures to be followed by personnel at the system when the circuit rider is not at the system.
9. The operator shall notify the owner of violations or potential violations at the system. Recommendations, if the operator has any, for resolving the problem should also be included.
The owner will need to report the names, addresses and level of certification of all operators designated as available operators for the system upon written request from the Department. Changes in available operators shall be reported within 10 days. If the owner chooses to designate an operator in responsible charge to utilize standard operating procedures, the name, address and level of certification of the operator shall also be reported to the Department upon request.
A training provider who would like to provide training to operators to meet the training or continuing education requirements shall become an approved training sponsor and have courses approved. This process is documented in the ''Training Provider Manual for the Pennsylvania Water and Wastewater System Operator Training Program,'' DEP ID: 383-2300-002.
An entity which would be an approved examination provider shall become approved and comply with the Certification Board guidelines for the scheduling of examinations and the registration of applicants.
H. Pollution Prevention
The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 13101—13109) established a National policy that promotes pollution prevention as the preferred means for achieving state environmental protection goals. The Department encourages pollution prevention, which is the reduction or elimination of pollution at its source, through the substitution of environmentally-friendly materials, more efficient use of raw materials and the incorporation of energy efficiency strategies. Pollution prevention practices can provide greater environmental protection with greater efficiency because they can result in significant cost savings to facilities that permanently achieve or move beyond compliance. This final-form rulemaking incorporated the following pollution prevention incentives by ensuring that qualified, certified operators are making all operational decisions in this Commonwealth's drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. The water and wastewater treatment system operator is the key element in overall process control. By improving the certified operator's capabilities, more effective treatment and removal of pollutants and better use of available resources will result. Testing and training programs are designed to focus on different ways the operator can more effectively operate the system to minimize and prevent pollution and conserve energy.
I. Sunset Review
The regulations will be reviewed in accordance with the sunset review schedule published by the Department to determine whether the regulations effectively fulfill the goals for which they were intended.
J. Regulatory Review
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on June 30, 2009, the Department submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 39 Pa.B. 3591, to IRRC and to the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees (Committees) for review and comment.
Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the Committees and the public.
Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on August 4, 2010, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on August 5, 2010, and approved the final-form rulemaking.
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, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered. Also, the Department undertook an ANFR, optional process not required by law, to allow an additional 30 day comment period. Notice of the ANFR was published at 40 Pa.B. 560.
(3) These regulations do not enlarge the purpose of the proposed rulemaking published at 39 Pa.B. 3591.
(4) These regulations are necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing acts identified in Section C of this preamble.
The Board, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Department, 25 Pa. Code Chapters 301—303 and 305, are amended by deleting §§ 301.1—301.3, 301.11—301.13, 303.1—303.3, 303.11—303.14, 303.21—303.28, 303.31—303.34 and 305.1—305.7 and by adding §§ 302.101—302.104, 302.201, 302.202, 302.301—302.309, 302.401—302.404, 302.501, 302.601—302.605, 302.701—302.705, 302.801—302.804, 302.901, 302.902, 302.1001—302.1006, 302.1101—302.1103 and 302.1201—302.1209 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(Editor's Note: The addition of § 302.104 was not included in the proposed rulemaking published at 39 Pa.B. 3591.)
(b) The Chairperson of the Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for review and approval as to legality and form as required by law.
(c) The Chairperson of the Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the IRRC and the Committees as required by the Regulatory Review Act.
(d) The Chairperson of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(e) This order shall take effect immediately.
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 40 Pa.B. 4814 (August 21, 2010).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 7-443 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
TITLE 25. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
PART II. STATE BOARD FOR CERTIFICATION OF SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT AND WATERWORKS OPERATORS
CHAPTER 301. (Reserved)
§§ 301.1—301.3. (Reserved).
§§ 301.11—301.13. (Reserved).
CHAPTER 302. ADMINISTRATION OF THE WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS OPERATORS' CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
A. GENERAL PROVISIONS B. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATION ACTIONS C. BOARD PROCEDURES AND ACTIONS D. CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS E. ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS OF THE BOARD F. PREPARATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF CERTIFICA TION EXAMINATIONS G. EDUCATION, EXAMINATION AND EXPERIENCE
H. CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING I. SYSTEM CLASSIFICATION AND SUBCLASSIFICATIONS J. OPERATOR CLASSES AND SUBCLASSIFICATIONS K. PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS L. SYSTEM OPERATION
Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
302.101. Definitions. 302.102. Purpose. 302.103. Scope. 302.104. Certification requirements.
§ 302.101. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Accelerated certification—A method of upgrading a system's available operators' certificates to accommodate a change in the system's capacity or treatment technology.
Act—The Water and Wastewater Systems Operators' Certification Act (63 P. S. §§ 1001—1015.1).
Activated carbon adsorption—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of water being treated by using activated granular or powdered carbon to remove specific organic chemical compounds by adsorption.
Activated sludge—The treatment technology that mechanically introduces air into wastewater to achieve microbiological suspended growth treatment such as extended aeration, sequential batch reactors, contact stabilization, conventional, step feed or oxidation ditch.
Administrative hearing—A meeting of the Board, or Board-designated agent, held upon petition of the Department to revoke, suspend, modify or reinstate an operator's certificate in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Chapter 5, Subchapter A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).
Aeration—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of water being treated by introducing air or oxygen into water to remove undesirable dissolved gases, to remove volatile organic compounds or to oxidize inorganic compounds so they can be removed as particulates.
Applicant—A person seeking certification as a water or wastewater system operator.
Application for certification action—A written request for the Board to take a certification action using approved Department forms.
Available operator—A certified operator who is onsite or able to be contacted as needed to make process control decisions in a timely manner to protect public health and the environment.
Bioperable operator—A certified operator who holds a valid certificate for both water and wastewater systems.
Bioperable training—Department-approved continuing education training that has content that is applicable to both water and wastewater systems.
Board—The State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators.
Board-designated agent—A Board member, Certification Program Advisory Committee member or Department staff person who completes certain duties on behalf of the Board.
Board guidelines—The guidelines established to carry out the powers and duties of the Board.
Board Secretary—A Department staff member elected by the Board to implement administrative aspects of the Drinking Water and Wastewater System Operators' Certification Program.
CHR—Criminal history record—A report of criminal history record issued by the Pennsylvania State Police under 18 Pa.C.S. Chapter 91 (relating to criminal history record information).
Cartridge or bag filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal by straining with bag or cartridge filters manufactured of various materials and pore sizes.
Certificate program—A Department-approved curriculum or series of training courses leading to a certificate or diploma in water or wastewater treatment.
Certification—The process by which an individual obtains a water or wastewater system operator's certificate.
Certification action—Action taken by the Board related to a certification examination or recertification or the issuance of an initial certificate, certificate renewal or certificate through reciprocity.
Certification Program Advisory Committee—The advisory committee created under the act.
Certified operator—An operator who holds a valid certificate in accordance with the act.
Chemical addition—A water treatment process designed to improve the quality of the water being treated through the addition of chemicals such as lime, soda ash, caustic soda and permanganate.
Circuit rider—A management program in which a certified operator may make process control decisions at more than one system of different ownership.
Class—An alphabetic letter assigned by the Department to a water or wastewater system based upon the classification of a system or an alphabetic letter assigned to an individual's certificate.
Classification—The size or type of a water or wastewater system.
Clean Streams Law—The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1—691.1001).
Client ID—The unique data management system generated identification number assigned to the operator used to track the operator's certification records.
Collection system—A system of pipelines or conduits, pumping stations and force or gravity mains used for collecting and conveying wastes to a point of treatment and disposal.
Community water system—A public water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.
(i) A public water system that obtains all of its water from another public water system and resells the water to a person, provides treatment to meet a primary maximum contaminant level or provides drinking water to an interstate carrier.
(ii) The term does not include bottled water and bulk water systems as defined in § 109.1 (relating to definitions).
Contact hour—The standard unit of measure assigned by the Department for participation in a Department-approved training event based on the amount of instruction time received.
Continuing education—Approved activities to include training, outreach programs, contact hours, meetings, presentations and other activities designed to increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of system operators.
Conventional filtration—For drinking water, the series of processes for the purpose of substantial particulate removal consisting of coagulation, flocculation, clarification and granular media filtration. The clarification step must be a solid/liquid separation process where accumulated solids are removed during this separate component of the treatment system.
Corrosion control and sequestering—A water treatment process designed to mitigate the adverse effects of corrosion in drinking water.
Department—The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth.
Diatomaceous earth filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal, in which a precoat cake of diatomaceous earth filter media is deposited on a support membrane (septum) and, while the water is filtered by passing through the cake on the septum, additional filter media, known as body feed, is continuously added to the feed water, to maintain the permeability of the filter cake.
Direct filtration—For drinking water, a series of processes implemented for the purpose of substantial particulate removal consisting of coagulation and filtration. The term includes flocculation after coagulation, but does not include sedimentation.
Distribution system—Pipelines, appurtenances, devices and facilities that convey potable water under pressure to customers.
Drinking water environmental laboratory supervisor—An individual having the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to supervise laboratory procedures and the reporting of analytical data for an environmental laboratory operated by a drinking water system in accordance with industry, State and Federal standards.
Environmental Hearing Board—The board established under the Environmental Hearing Board Act (35 P. S. §§ 7511—7516).
Environmental laboratory—A facility engaged in the testing or analysis of environmental samples.
Environmental Quality Board—The board established under section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §§ 510—20).
Environmental sample—A solid, liquid, gas or other specimen taken for the purpose of testing or analysis as required by an environmental statute.
Environmental statute—A statute administered by the Department or the EPA relating to the protection of the environment or protection of public health, safety and welfare.
Examination—A test module or grouping of test modules administered by the Board or its designated agent used in part to determine the competency of applicants for certification or recertification.
Fee—A nonrefundable cost assigned to cover the expenses of the program.
Fixed film treatment—A wastewater treatment technology that uses a fixed contact media to achieve treatment such as trickling filters and rotating biological contactors.
GED—General equivalency diploma.
Gaseous chlorine disinfection—A water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing gaseous chlorine.
Grandparented—The temporary exemption for an existing operator of an existing system, as of February 21, 2002, from the initial educational and examination requirements for certification where a system was not required by prior law to have a certified operator. A grandparented operator may be the operator in responsible charge.
Groundwater—Water that is located within the saturated zone below the water table and is available to supply wells and springs.
Hydraulic design capacity—The maximum monthly design flow at which a drinking water or wastewater system is expected to consistently provide the required treatment or at which a distribution or collection system is expected to properly function without creating a backup, surcharge or overflow.
Industrial wastewater treatment system—Any system that treats industrial waste or pollution, but not sewage, as those terms are defined in section 1 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § 691.1).
Investigation—A detailed inquiry as to the nature, circumstances and official records regarding an applicant or certified operator's criminal conviction as identified in a criminal history record.
Ion exchange and greensand—A water treatment process such as greensand filtration, ion exchange or activated alumina designed to improve the quality of water being treated by removal of inorganic constituents.
Master certificate—A certificate authorizing an operator to make process control decisions at any water or wastewater system of a specific size, regardless of the treatment technology subclassifications used by that system.
Membrane filtration—For drinking water:
(i) A pressure or vacuum driven separation process in which particulate matter larger than 1 micrometer is rejected by an engineered barrier, primarily through a size-exclusion mechanism, and which has a measurable removal efficiency of a target organism that can be verified through the application of a direct integrity test.
(ii) The term includes the common membrane technologies of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.
NPDES—The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System as authorized under section 402 of the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. § 1342).
Noncommunity water system—A public water system which is not a community water system.
Nongaseous chemical disinfection—A water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing nongaseous chemical elements or compounds.
Nontransient noncommunity water system—A noncommunity water system that regularly serves at least 25 of the same persons over 6 months per year.
(i) An individual who works with water or wastewater system processes or portions thereof.
(ii) The term includes, but is not limited to, an individual who may be gaining experience to obtain certification in appropriate subclassifications within classifications of certification. These individuals will have a working knowledge of system operation.
Operator-in-responsible-charge—An individual designated by the owner to be the certified operator who makes the process control decisions that directly impact the quality or quantity, or both, of water.
Operator-in-training—An applicant for certification who has passed the certification examination but does not meet the experience requirements.
Order of the Department—An order of the Department issued under section 4(b)(2) of the act (63 P. S. § 1004(b)(2)) and orders of the Department issued under section 4(b)(1.1) of the act.
Owner—A person who owns or is the holder of an applicable permit for the operation of a water or wastewater system.
Ozonation—The water treatment process designed to inactivate pathogenic organisms from water being treated utilizing ozone.
PLC—Programmable logic controls—A small computer used for automated control of machinery used for water and wastewater treatment. The PLC replaces the many timers, relays and other devices used to control start/stop, run time and level controls of this machinery.
Permitted average daily discharge flow—The permitted annual average daily discharge flow, as stated in the NPDES or Water Quality Management (WQM) permit.
(i) An individual, company, corporation, municipality, municipal authority, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, public or private institution, or any agency of Federal or State government.
(ii) The term also includes the officers, directors, employees and agents of any partnership, firm, association, company, corporation, municipality, municipal authority, public or private institution or any agency of Federal or State government.
Petition—A written request from the Department to the Board to take an action to modify, suspend, revoke or reinstate a certified operator's certificate.
Post-presentation credit—Contact hours for precertification or continuing education credit for a training course not previously approved by the Department. An operator may obtain post-presentation credit upon application to the Department.
Process control decision—A decision that maintains or changes the water quality or quantity of a water system or wastewater system in a manner that may affect the public health or environment.
Process control plan—A plan developed by an operator in responsible charge that outlines the facilities, methods, activities and treatment alternatives necessary to meet permit requirements and provide long term and reliable system operations.
Professional engineer—An engineer registered under the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (63 P. S. §§ 148—158.2), who has been examined in civil, sanitary or environmental engineering and determined proficient.
Psychometrics—The analytical methodology and design of tests to evaluate and measure psychological variables such as intelligence and aptitude.
Public water system—
(i) A system which provides water to the public for human consumption which has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. The term includes collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under control of the operator of the system and used in connection with the system.
(ii) The term includes collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under control of the operator which are used in connection with the system.
(iii) The term also includes a system which provides water for bottling or bulk hauling for human consumption. Water for human consumption includes water that is used for drinking, bathing and showering, cooking, dishwashing or maintaining oral hygiene
Recertification—The process by which an individual previously certified under the act, obtains a new certificate following expiration, suspension or revocation of the previous certificate.
Renewal of certification—The process by which an individual extends for another period of time an existing, valid water system or wastewater system operator's certificate under the act.
SCADA—Supervisory control and data acquisition system—A specialized computer system designed to monitor and control many of the processes and operations for water and wastewater treatment. A SCADA system controls equipment based on predetermined criteria, monitors the status of treatment processes and equipment and initiates commands automatically based on conditions or thresholds defined by the available operator. The available operator can also initiate process control changes from a workstation connected to the SCADA system.
Satellite collection system—A wastewater system consisting only of collection facilities with at least one pump station, which is designed to convey in excess of 2,000 gallons per day of untreated wastewater to a wastewater system owned by a different entity.
Serving an average—The hydraulic design capacity of a water system.
Single entity collection system—A wastewater system consisting only of collection facilities with at least one pump station which is designed to convey in excess of 2,000 gallons per day of untreated wastewater to a wastewater treatment system owned by the owner of the collection system.
Slow sand filtration—For drinking water, a process for the purpose of substantial particulate removal by physical and biological mechanisms during the passage of raw water through a bed of sand at low velocity, generally less than 0.4 meter per hour.
Subclassification—A number assigned by the Department to a water or wastewater system based upon the treatment process used by that system or the number assigned to an operator's certificate based upon meeting the certification requirements for a specific treatment process.
System—A water or wastewater system.
Track—A combination of approved education and experience requirements necessary to qualify for operator certification.
Training approval process guidelines—Department guidelines authorized by the act that set standards for training sponsors, courses, course content, training approval criteria and training provider approval criteria.
Training provider—A person who designs or delivers any type of education or training activities, courses or programs.
Training sponsor—A training provider approved by the Department to provide training to water and wastewater system operators in this Commonwealth in accordance with the Department's training approval process guidelines.
Treatment—The physical, chemical or biological process necessary to change, modify or maintain the chemical or biological nature of water.
Treatment ponds and lagoons—A wastewater treatment technology that utilizes a pond, lagoon or wetlands with anaerobic or facultative biological processes for the treatment of wastewater and meets the following criteria:
(i) A design hydraulic detention time in the treatment process of 15 days or greater.
(ii) A biological treatment process that does not have any return activated sludge system.
(iii) A biological treatment process that is impacted by diurnal fluctuations as a result of photosynthesis.
Trigger parameter—A set-point for a designated biological, chemical or physical parameter that requires a response by the operator in responsible charge.
Ultraviolet disinfection—A water treatment process that inactivates pathogenic organisms using light with a wavelength range of 1,000 to 4,000 angstroms.
Upgrade—The certification process an existing certified operator follows to increase the operator's ability to make process control decisions at a system with a higher flow or additional treatment technologies.
Wastewater—A substance that contains the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings or animals and noxious or deleterious substances being harmful or inimical to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation, or which constitutes pollution under The Clean Streams Law.
Wastewater environmental laboratory supervisor—An individual having the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to supervise laboratory procedures and reporting of analytical data for an environmental laboratory operated by a wastewater or industrial waste system in accordance with industry, State and Federal standards.
Wastewater system—A structure designed to collect, convey or treat wastewater and from which effluent in excess of 2,000 gallons per day is discharged into waters of this Commonwealth.
Water system—A community water system or a nontransient noncommunity water system as those terms are defined in section 3 of the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S. § 721.3).
§ 302.102. Purpose.
(a) The purpose of this chapter is to protect the environment and the public's health and safety by ensuring that certified operators with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities make appropriate process control decisions during the operation of water and wastewater treatment systems, water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems.
(b) This chapter establishes the training, education, experience and examination standards necessary for operator certification.
(c) This chapter also establishes the administrative processes and procedures the Board will follow to implement the Board's duties and responsibilities under the act.
§ 302.103. Scope.
(a) Owners and operators of the following public water systems shall comply with this chapter:
(1) Community water systems.
(2) Nontransient noncommunity water systems.
(3) Consecutive systems.
(b) Owners and operators of the following wastewater systems shall comply with this chapter:
(1) Wastewater systems.
(2) Collection systems with pump stations.
(c) Owners and operators of the following systems are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:
(1) A wastewater treatment system with a permitted average daily discharge flow of less than 2,000 gallons per day.
(2) A wastewater treatment system regulated under Chapter 73 (relating to standards for onlot sewage treatment facilities).
(3) An industrial wastewater system used to treat, recycle or impound industrial or agricultural wastes within the boundaries of the industrial or agricultural property.
(4) An industrial wastewater pretreatment system in which treated wastewater is released to a collection system of a wastewater treatment plant that is regulated by this chapter.
(5) An industrial wastewater treatment system that is an NPDES permitted point source discharge.
(6) A system designed to only collect and treat stormwater.
(7) Other systems that are exempted by the Department by rules and regulations, guidelines or policy.
(d) Operators of industrial wastewater treatment facilities may voluntarily obtain a wastewater system operator's certificate consistent with this chapter.
§ 302.104. Certification requirements.
(a) A person may not make a process control decision at a water or wastewater system unless that person is Board-certified with a valid certificate with the appropriate class and subclassifications for the size and treatment technologies of a water or wastewater system and is designated by the owner as an available operator as defined in § 302.1202 (relating to duties of owners).
(b) To become certified by the Board, the applicant shall:
(1) Apply for certification in accordance with § 302.201 (relating to form of application).
(2) Pass the appropriate examinations as defined in § 302.702 (relating to examination requirements) or an equivalent examination as defined in § 302.304 (relating to issuance of a certificate through reciprocity).
(3) Meet minimum education requirements as defined in § 302.701 (relating to minimum education requirements).
(4) Meet the experience requirements as defined in § 302.703 (relating to experience requirements).
Subchapter B. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATION ACTIONS
302.201. Form of application. 302.202. Operator certification program fees.
§ 302.201. Form of application.
(a) An applicant for examination or a certification action shall submit a complete application with required documentation using the appropriate Department-approved forms to the Board's Secretary. These forms can be obtained by contacting the Board Secretary, P. O. Box 8454, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8454 or through the Department's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: ''Operators.''
(b) In addition to the forms described in subsection (a), an application for certification action for either certification or recertification must include:
(1) An original or copy of the applicant's Pennsylvania State Police CHR, issued no more than 90 days prior to the date the application is received by the Board Secretary.
(2) For education purposes, one of the following:
(i) A copy of the applicant's high school diploma or GED or a statement of completion of high school or achievement of GED.
(ii) Written verification by the applicant's supervisor or another certified operator with direct knowledge of the applicant's experience working as an operator in a water or wastewater system before February 21, 2002.
(3) Documentation of the applicant's experience as defined in § 302.704 (relating to determining qualifying experience) and verified by the applicant's supervisor or another certified operator with the knowledge of the applicant's experience.
(4) An official copy of the applicant's college transcripts, if applicable.
(5) Copies of certificates of completion of Department-approved training courses if applicable.
(6) The applicant's notarized signature.
(7) The applicable fees specified in § 302.202 (relating to operator certification program fees).
(c) In addition to the forms described in subsection (a), an application for certification action for certificate upgrade must include:
(1) An official copy of the applicant's college transcripts, if applicable.
(2) Documentation of the applicant's additional experience for the additional class or subclassification as defined in §§ 302.703 and 302.704 (related to experience requirements; and determining qualifying experience), verified by the applicant's supervisor or another certified operator with the knowledge of the applicant's experience.
(3) Copies of certificates of completion of Department-approved training courses, if applicable.
(4) The applicant's notarized signature.
(5) The applicable fees specified in § 302.202.
(d) In addition to the forms described in subsection (a), an application for certification action for certificate renewal must include:
(1) Proof of completed continuing education.
(2) The applicant's notarized signature.
(3) The applicable fees specified in § 302.202.
(e) In addition to the forms described in subsection (a), an application for certification action for reciprocity must include:
(1) An original or copy of the applicant's Pennsylvania State Police CHR, issued no more than 90 days prior to the date the application is received by the Board Secretary.
(2) A copy of the applicant's operator certificate issued by another state, territory or Board-approved register as defined in § 302.305 (relating to Board-approved reciprocity register).
(3) For education purposes, one of the following:
(i) A copy of the applicant's high school diploma or GED or a statement of completion of high school or achievement of GED.
(ii) Written verification by the applicant's supervisor or another certified operator with direct knowledge of the applicant's experience working as an operator in a water or wastewater system before February 21, 2002.
(4) Documentation of the applicant's experience as defined in § 302.704 and verified by the applicant's supervisor or another certified operator with the knowledge of the applicant's experience.
(5) A copy of the applicant's official transcripts from college, if applicable.
(6) Copies of certificates of completion of Department-approved training courses if applicable.
(7) The applicant's notarized signature.
(8) The applicable fees specified in § 302.202.
§ 302.202. Operator certification program fees.
(a) An application for a certification action or post-presentation credit must be accompanied by a nonrefundable check or money order payable to the ''Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'' The applicant's client ID should be printed on the check or money order.
(b) Applications to become an approved training provider, course and conference approvals, course rosters and requests for examination sessions must be accompanied by a nonrefundable check or money order payable to the ''Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.''
(c) The annual service fee paid by system owners must be accompanied by a nonrefundable check or money order payable to the ''Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'' The system Public Water Supply ID or NPDES Permit Number should be printed on the check or money order. The annual service fee for systems in subsection (d) is a fee per public water supply ID, NPDES permit number (for discharge systems), Clean Streams Law permit number (for nondischarge systems) or satellite collection system. If this annual service fee is not remitted within 60 days of notification by the Department that the fee is due, interest shall accrue on the entire amount from the original date payment was due, at a rate of 12% per annum until payment is remitted.
(d) Fees shall be paid into the State Treasury into a special restricted revenue account in the General Fund known as the Safe Drinking Water Account administered by the Department for use in protecting the public from the hazards of unsafe drinking water and which funds are hereby appropriated to the Department for purposes authorized in the act.
(e) The fees are as follows:
Initial Certification Class A, B, C, D .......$150
Initial Certification Class Dc, Class E .......$100
Certification through Reciprocity Class A, B, C, D.......$150
Certification through Reciprocity Class Dc; Class E.......$100
Certificate Renewal .......$60
Examination Session .......$35
Replacement of Certificate or Pocket Card .......$25
Post-presentation Credit Application .......$250
Training Provider Approval Application ....... $90
Brief Course Approval ....... $115
Full Course Approval ....... $300
Conference Approval ....... $70
Course Rosters ....... $1 per name
Classroom Courses offered by the Department are $10 per contact hour maximum per person.
Web-based Courses offered by the Department are $30 per contact hour maximum per person.
Onsite Training offered by the Department is $1,600 per event.
Approved Examination Providers:
Ten or more examination sessions per year ....... $800
Five to ten examination sessions per year ....... $700
Two to five examination sessions per year ....... $600
One examination session per year ....... $400
Annual Service Fee Class A System ....... $500
Annual Service Fee Class B System ....... $150
Annual Service Fee Class C System ....... $100
Annual Service Fee Class D and E Systems ....... $65
(f) An operator holding a valid certificate as of September 18, 2010, is not required to pay the initial certification fees identified in subsection (e). This operator is subject to all other fees in this section.
(g) The fees identified in subsection (e) are in addition to any fees charged by an approved examination provider as defined in § 302.602 (relating to approved examination providers)
(h) The fees identified in subsection (e) related to course approval are a one-time fee assessed for the course. Training providers that have courses approved as of September 18, 2010, are not required to pay this fee for these approved courses.
(i) A conference approval fee is a one-time fee assessed for the entire conference and is not based on the number of training sessions in the conference.
(j) Persons regulated by the act will not pay more than a total of $10,000 annually to the Commonwealth for operator certification fees specified under subsection (e).
(k) Federal or State agencies that provide funding to the Department through terms and conditions of a mutual agreement for the administration of this program will not be subject to the fees in subsection (e).
(l) The Department will review the adequacy of the fees established in this section at least once every 3 years and provide a written report to the EQB. The report will identify any disparity between the amount of program income generated by the fees and the costs to administer these programs, and it will contain recommendations to modify fees to eliminate the disparity, including recommendations for regulatory amendments to modify program fees.
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