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

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Date Published: 05/08/2019 09:00 PM
AB1588:v97#DOCUMENT

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 Maienschein 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, and to add Section Sections 106911 and 106912 to, the Health and Safety 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 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, when applying for certification by the board as a water treatment operator, distribution system operator, or wastewater operator, would require operators of complex industrial facilities, including members of the military and military service veterans, to receive full appropriate equivalent experience credit and education credit for work and tasks performed that are directly related to the operation of water or wastewater facilities, as specified.
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.
This bill would extend this reciprocity to a comparable military qualification. The bill would authorize the board to establish appropriate equivalency standards for issuing a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity.
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. 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.
 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 or comparable military qualification 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 and establish appropriate equivalency standards for issuing a water treatment operator certificate and water distribution operator certificate by reciprocity.

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 is either:
(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 106911 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

106911.
 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Water and wastewater treatment and operation is a well-established industry with an aging workforce.
(b) To encourage water operator advancement and cross-training and to attract skilled workers to the water and wastewater industry fields, California operator certification requirements should recognize a broad range of experience and qualifications, including experience and education gained during active military service, that provide the needed skill sets, while ensuring high standards for water and wastewater operators.

SEC. 4.

 Section 106912 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

106912.
 (a) When applying for certification by the state board as a water treatment operator, distribution system operator, or wastewater operator, operators of complex industrial facilities, including members of the military and military service veterans, shall receive full appropriate equivalent experience credit and education credit for work and tasks performed that are directly related to the operation of water or wastewater facilities.
(b) Experience credit includes work during military service that is applicable to work performed by a certified operator in California. Applicable work may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Operation of similar water treatment processes. processes or distribution systems.
(2) Operation and management of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and automation.
(3) Troubleshooting equipment failures.
(4) Management of water quality.
(5) Operation and maintenance of equipment such as pumps, motors, compressors, chemical feed systems, valves, actuators, and meters.
(6) Calibration of on-line analyzers.
(c) Education credit translated to the equivalent college semester unit, continuing education units, education points, or any combination of these, shall be given considered for military veterans who obtained and served in military occupational specialties, including, but not limited to, the following: the military. The following represent examples of military occupational specialities for the state board to consider in the equivalency and crediting process:
(1) United States Air Force Specialty Code: 3E4X1 – Water and Fuel Systems Maintenance.
(2) United States Army military occupational specialty: 92W Water Treatment Specialist.
(3) United States Coast Guard Ratings: Damage Controlman, Machinery Technician, or Marine Science Technician.
(4) United States Navy Rating: Machinist Mate, Machinist Mate (Nuclear), or Utilitiesman.
(5) United States Marines military occupational specialty: 1171 Water Support Technician.
(d) In implementing this section, the state board may prescribe the procedures and requirements and establish appropriate equivalency standards for determining equivalent experience credit and education credit based on guidance and input by the American Water Works Association, California Water Environment Association, and other water and wastewater industry experts.