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AB-1588 Drinking water and wastewater operator certification programs.(2019-2020)

AB1588:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 20, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 08, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1588


Introduced by Assembly Members Gloria and Gray
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Boerner Horvath, Maienschein, Patterson, and Voepel)
(Coauthors: Senators Bates, Chang, Dodd, Nielsen, Stone, and Wilk)

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 106897 and 106898 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section Sections 13627 and 13632 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1588, as amended, Gloria. Drinking water and wastewater operator certification programs.
Existing law requires the State Water Resources Control Board to examine and certify persons as to their qualifications to operate water treatment plants and water distribution systems. Existing law requires the certification to indicate the classification of water treatment plant or water distribution system that the person is qualified to operate. Existing law requires the board to issue a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity to any person holding a valid, unexpired, comparable certification issued by another state, the United States, prescribed territories or tribal governments, or a unit of any of these. Existing law requires the board to classify types of wastewater treatment plants for the purpose of determining the levels of competence necessary to operate them. Existing law requires a person who operates a nonexempt wastewater treatment plant to possess a valid, unexpired wastewater certificate or water treatment operator certificate of the appropriate grade.
This bill would require the board to evaluate opportunities to issue a water treatment operator certificate or water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity, or a wastewater certificate by examination waiver, to persons who performed duties comparable to those duties while serving in the United States military, as specified. The bill would require the board to evaluate opportunities to award experience and education credits to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a water treatment facility, water distribution system, or wastewater treatment plant while serving in the United States military. The bill would require the board, if it identifies opportunities and where appropriate, to issue those certificates by reciprocity or examination waiver to those persons or to award experience or education credits to those persons.
Existing law requires the board to appoint an advisory committee of 10 members, as prescribed, to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities to examine and certify people to operate water treatment plants and water distribution systems. Existing law requires the advisory committee to review all proposed regulations and make recommendations to the board.
This bill would add an additional member to the advisory committee who is an active or former member of the United States military with water or wastewater treatment operations or distribution operations experience within their military service, as specified.
Existing law requires the board to appoint an advisory committee to assist it in carrying out its wastewater treatment plant classification and operator certification responsibilities.
This bill would add an additional member to the advisory committee who is an active or former member of the United States military with wastewater treatment or distribution experience within their military service, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 106897 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

106897.
 (a) The state board shall issue a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity to any person holding a valid, unexpired, comparable certification issued by another state, the United States, a territory or tribal government that has been designated as the primacy agency by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or a unit of any of these. The state board may, by regulations, prescribe the procedures and requirements for issuing a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity.
(b) The state board shall evaluate opportunities for the following:
(1) Issuing a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a water treatment facility or water distribution system while serving in the United States military.
(2) Awarding experience and education credits to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a water treatment facility or water distribution system while serving in the United States military.
(c) The state board shall seek consultation with the United States Department of Defense in carrying out subdivision (b).
(d) If the state board identifies opportunities pursuant to subdivision (b), the state board shall, where appropriate, issue a water treatment operator certificate or water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity to, or award experience or education credits to, persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a water treatment facility or water distribution system while serving in the United States military.

SEC. 2.

 Section 106898 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

106898.
 (a) The state board shall appoint an advisory committee to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities pursuant to this article. The advisory committee shall review all proposed regulations and make recommendations to the state board before the adoption of a regulation or an amendment to a regulation.
(b) The advisory committee shall consist of the following members:
(1) Two persons from a statewide organization representing medium to large water systems.
(2) Two persons from a statewide organization representing small water systems.
(3) One person from a local primacy agency.
(4) One person who is employed as an operator at a water recycling treatment plant.
(5) One person from an educational institution’s school or division of engineering.
(6) One person who is a member of an organized labor union that represents water treatment operators and water distribution operators.
(7) One person who is employed by an educational institution, professional association, public agency, or private agency to provide water treatment or water distribution courses of instruction.
(8) One person who is a professional engineer specializing in sanitary engineering.
(9) One person who is an active or former member of the United States military who either: is working, supervising, or managing or who has previously worked, supervised, or managed in water treatment or distribution within their military service.

(A)Is working or who has previously worked in a water or wastewater treatment operations classification within their military service.

(B)Is working or who has previously worked in a water or wastewater distribution operations classification within their military service.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13627 of the Water Code is amended to read:

13627.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 13625.1 and subdivision (b), a person who operates a wastewater treatment plant shall possess a valid, unexpired wastewater certificate of the appropriate grade.
(b) A person who operates a water recycling treatment plant may comply with subdivision (a) by possessing a valid, unexpired water treatment operator certificate of the appropriate grade.
(c) (1) All wastewater certificates shall be issued in accordance with regulations adopted by the state board. The state board shall develop and specify in its regulations the training necessary to qualify a person for a wastewater certificate for each type and class of plant. The state board may accept experience in lieu of qualification training.
(2) The state board shall evaluate opportunities for the following:
(A) Issuing a wastewater certificate by examination waiver to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a wastewater treatment plant while serving in the United States military.
(B) Award experience and education credits to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a wastewater treatment plant while serving in the United States military.
(3) The state board shall seek consultation with the United States Department of Defense in carrying out paragraph (2).
(4) If the state board identifies opportunities pursuant to paragraph (2), the state board shall, where appropriate, issue a wastewater certificate by examination waiver or award experience or education credits to persons who performed duties comparable to the duties of an operator at a wastewater treatment plant while serving in the United States military.
(d) The state board may refuse to grant, suspend, or revoke any wastewater certificate certificate, or may place on probation, or reprimand, probation or reprimand the certificate holder holder, upon any reasonable ground, including, but not limited to, all of the following reasons:
(1) Submitting false or misleading information on an application for a wastewater certificate or an examination for a wastewater certificate.
(2) The employment of fraud or deception in the course of operating the wastewater treatment plant.
(3) A wastewater certificate holder’s failure to use reasonable care or judgment in the operation of the plant.
(4) A wastewater certificate holder’s inability to perform operating duties properly.
(5) Willfully or negligently violating, or causing, causing or allowing the violation of, waste discharge requirements or permits issued pursuant to the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.) or this division.
(6) Engaging in dishonest conduct during an examination for a wastewater certificate.
(e) The state board shall conduct all proceedings for the refusal to grant a wastewater certificate, and suspension or revocation of a certificate, certificate pursuant to subdivision (d), in accordance with the rules adopted pursuant to Section 185.

SEC. 4.

 Section 13632 of the Water Code is amended to read:

13632.
 The advisory committee appointed pursuant to Section 13631 shall consist of the following:
(a) Two persons from a statewide organization representing wastewater treatment plant operators who shall be employed at a wastewater treatment plant as operators.
(b) Two persons from statewide organizations representing municipalities, including counties or private utility wastewater treatment plants.
(c) Two persons from statewide organizations representing local sanitation agencies, other than agencies specified in subdivision (b).
(d) One person who is employed as an operator at a water recycling treatment plant.
(e) One person from an educational institution’s school or division of engineering.
(f) One person who is a member of an organized labor union that represents wastewater treatment plant operators.
(g) One person who is a professional engineer specializing in sanitary engineering.
(h) One person who is an active or former member of the United States military who is working, supervising, or managing or who has previously worked, supervised, or managed in wastewater treatment or distribution within their military service.