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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsJuly 2017


Regulatory Flexibility Act Form

Authenticated PDF Version

7 DE Admin. Code 7204
A Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2017 beginning at 6:00 pm in the DNREC Auditorium at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Written comments may be submitted via email to: Ms. Faye Wheeler (email: faye.wheeler@state.de.us or by fax at 302-739-8369). For other information concerning this matter, please contact Bryan Ashby, Environmental Program Manager, at Bryan.Ashby@state.de.us or by phone at 302-739-9946.
The proposed changes /updates to the Wastewater Operator Licensing Regulations can be found on our website at: www.dnrec.delaware.gov/wr/Information/SWDinfo/Documents/WastewaterOperatorRegulations.pdf
The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Association of Boards of Certification For Operating Personnel in Water and Wastewater Utilities (ABC)” means that organization which: serves as an information center for certification activities; recommends minimum standards and guidelines for classification of Wastewater Facilities and certification of operators; aids in the establishment of reciprocity between State Programs; and assists authorities in establishing new certification programs and updating existing ones.
“Board” means the State Board of Certification (BOC) for Operators of Wastewater Treatment Facilities.
Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator” means an individual, who at a given time, through observation, interpretation, or decision, operates a Wastewater Treatment Facility or a segment of a system or facility.
“Department” means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
“Direct Responsible Charge (DRC)” means on-location accountability for, and on-location performance of, active daily operation (including Technical Supervision, Administrative Supervision, or Maintenance Supervision) for a Wastewater Treatment Facility, an operating shift of a system or a facility, or a major segment of a system or facility, and is responsible for the operation and compliance of the facility according to the permit and laws of the State of Delaware.
"Multi-Plant Operator" means a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator who operates more than one (1) Wastewater Treatment Facility as a regular or back-up operator.
“On-Site Wastewater Disposal System” means a Wastewater Treatment Facility permitted under Delaware’s Regulations Governing the Design, Installation, and Operation of On-site Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems.
“Operate” means the actions necessary for the effective performance of a Wastewater Treatment Facility or a major segment of a system or facility.
“Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, municipality or any other political subdivision of this State, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.
Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)” means a sewage treatment plant that is owned by a government agency, and are usually designed to treat domestic sewage and not industrial wastewater.
Responsible Management Entity (RME)” is a legal entity under contract to maintain responsibility for managing and operating multiple Wastewater Treatment Facilities (See Section 4.0).
“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or his/her duly authorized designee.
“Wastewater Treatment Facility (Facilities)” means the system of pipes, structures, equipment, or processes required to treat any wastewater, and dispose of the effluent; including the treatment, handling, and disposal of residuals and biosolids related thereto.
3.1 The Board shall be appointed by the Secretary to advise and assist the Secretary in the administration of the certification program. The Board will consist of three (3) five (5) members with the Chairman being a non-Departmental member: One (1) member who is currently certified as a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator or who is eligible to be licensed under these regulations of an individual NPDES permitted point source discharge facility; one (1) member who is currently certified as a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator of a non-point source discharge facility (less than 50,000 gallons per day (gpd) permitted plant design); one (1) member representing the Department’s Surface Water Discharges Section, who shall be responsible for maintaining records; one (1) member who is currently certified as a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator of an industrial, commercial or other non-Publicly Owned Treatment Works facility; and one (1) member-at-large. Board members will serve The members of the Board shall serve at the discretion of the Secretary for three (3) year terms which will be staggered so that the term of not more than one (1) member two (2) members will expire in any single year.
4.1 Any Wastewater Treatment Facility (except those specifically exempted by the Department), whether publicly or privately owned, used or intended for use by the public or private persons, shall be under the supervision of a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator(s) in Direct Responsible Charge, whose competency is licensed by the Secretary in a classification corresponding to, or higher than, the classification of the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
4.2 No person shall perform the duties of a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator without obtaining a Delaware Wastewater Operator’s License.
4.3 Any Wastewater Treatment Facility (except those specifically exempted by the Department), whether publicly or privately owned, used or intended for use by the public or private persons, shall at all times have available, a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator(s) capable of operating the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
4.4 On or before January 31 In January (no later than January 31) of each year, any owner of a Wastewater Treatment Facility whether publicly or privately owned, used or intended for use by the public or private persons, shall register with the Department and list the type of facility, the average daily flow, and the name(s) of all Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operators in Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) on a standard form provided by the Department (commonly known as a Section 4.04 Report). Any personnel changes involving the operator(s) in Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator(s), including operators in DRC, shall be reported to the Department within 30 days after the change.
4.5 On-Site Wastewater Disposal Systems with a design flow less than 2,500 gallons per day (gpd), are exempt from the provisions of these regulations. Other Wastewater Treatment Facilities may be granted exemption by the Department under Section 5.02 subsection 5.2.
4.6 All persons must be operating (or have written offer of employment) or have documented evidence of promise of employment at a Wastewater Treatment Facility in Delaware, in order to be issued a Delaware Wastewater Operators License.
5.2 Classification of Wastewater Treatment Facilities: Wastewater Facilities shall be classified in one (1) of four (4) classes. These classifications shall be made in accordance with the Point System established in accordance with the “State Board of Certification Point System Classification of Wastewater Treatment Facilities” (included as Table 1 of these regulations), and the range of points for each class of facility as shown below:
Wastewater Treatment Facilities other than those with on-site wastewater disposal systems, scoring fifteen (15) points or less, shall be exempt from the requirements of Section 4.01 subsection 4.1 of these regulations, and the owner shall be so notified by the Department. Wastewater Treatment Facilities with on-site wastewater disposal systems only, scoring ten (10) points or less, shall be exempt from the requirements of these regulations (unless otherwise required by the Department), and the owner shall be so notified by the Department.
5.3 Any Wastewater Treatment Facility may be classified in a group class other than indicated by the general criteria after determination by the Secretary. The Secretary may consider special features of design, characteristics or conditions of flow, or use of the receiving waters or combination of such conditions. The owner of the facility Wastewater Treatment Facility shall be given due notice of the Secretary’s tentative determinations, and any comments shall be considered before making the final determination.
5.4 The classification of any Wastewater Treatment Facility may be changed at the discretion of the Secretary by reason of changes in condition or circumstances on which the original classification was predicated. Due notice of any such change shall be given to the owner of the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
6.1 Applicants for Licensing shall be evaluated by the Board as to education, experience, and knowledge. Further, applicants may be required to give evidence of good character, dependability, interest in work, and other pertinent characteristics in relation to responsible operations. Applicants must pass the required written examination Any person seeking a license under this Section shall submit a complete application to the Department, on a standard form provided by the Department, pay the non-refundable application fee and must have passed the required written examination within the previous three (3) years, unless the Board determines that an alternate examination format is necessary, or when applying for a “Temporary License”. Licenses issued pursuant to this Section are not transferrable and shall be issued for two (2) years.
6.4 6.3 Specialty License - where a Wastewater Treatment Facility is of a highly unusual character, requiring skills and techniques other than those indicated by the general criteria, the Board may, with the consent of the Secretary, provide a Specialty License to an operator. Such Specialty License shall only be valid for operating the specific Wastewater Treatment Facility for which it is issued. The requirements for a Specialty License shall be determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis.
6.4.1 Experience requiring technical knowledge, and whether or not Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) was included. In large plants where responsibility is divided, operators of important divisions may be credited with having DRC, as long as the DRC designation appears on the annual Section 4.04 Form submission.
6.4.2 Experience, to be acceptable, must be the result of satisfactory accomplishment of work. Evaluation may be based on reports of the employers, or by state and local agencies having appropriate responsibilities for supervising systems and facilities.
6.4.4.1 Where education or training is substituted for operating experience, it shall not exceed an amount which would reduce the requirement of actual operating experience to less than one year for Level I, or less than two years actual operating experience for Levels II, III, and IV.
6.4.4.3 College Level education as approved by the Board, may be substituted year-for-year for operating experience (any Wastewater Treatment Facility Classification). College level education cannot be substituted for DRC experience at any Level.
6.4.4.4 Specialized Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator training courses, correspondence courses, Seminars, workshops, etc., may be substituted for operating experience on a case by case basis; and the equivalency will be determined by the Board.
6.4.6.1 Specialized operator training courses, correspondence courses, seminars, workshops, etc., may be substituted for formal education on a case by case basis; and the equivalency will be determined by the Board.
7.1 The Board, or its authorized designee, shall prepare written examinations to be used in determining knowledge, ability, and judgment of the operators applicant. Any person wishing to take the examination shall submit a completed application to the Department, on standard form provided by the Department, and pay the non-refundable fee no later than 14 calendar days prior to the examination, or as provided by the Board.
7.3 Examinations shall be written, unless the Board determines that an alternate format is necessary. All examinations will be graded by the Board, or by others designated by the Board, and the applicant notified of the outcome. Papers Examinations will not be returned to the applicant. However, a method will be provided to review the results with a member of the Board or its authorized designee on request by the applicant. Examination results are valid for three (3) years from the date of the examination.
7.4 Separate examinations shall be prepared to cover each class Level of operator, as established in Section 6.3 subsection 6.2.
7.5 Any person who has failed the written examination for a particular Delaware wastewater operator class level on three (3) two (2) consecutive occasions, shall then must satisfactorily complete an approved educational examination review course prior to again being considered allowed to take that particular class level of written examination again.
8.1.1 Upon satisfactory fulfillment of the requirements provided herein, and based on the recommendation of the Board, the Secretary may issue a suitable license to the applicant. This license will indicate the class level for which the Delaware wastewater operator has qualified.
8.1.3 A license shall be renewable every two (2) years unless revoked for cause, replaced by one of a higher grade level, or invalidated under subsection 8.1.4 below. Operator-In-Training and Temporary License renewals must be approved by the Board.
8.1.4 An applicant for a license renewal shall submit with the renewal application, a complete application to the Department, on a standard form provided by the Department, pay the non-refundable application fee, and provide proof that the applicant has in the preceding two years, attended or satisfactorily completed a minimum of twenty (20) classroom, seminar, or workshop hours, relating hours of approved training, of which: a minimum of ten (10) hours directly related to Wastewater Treatment Facility operations or maintenance, and a maximum of ten (10) hours indirectly related training that are sponsored by recognized government, educational, or industrial groups, including equipment manufacturers approved by the Board. Failure to do so shall be grounds for invalidation. This requirement applies to all Level licenses, including Operator-In-Training Licenses and Temporary Licenses.
8.1.5 An operator A Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator whose license is invalidated, per subsection 8.1.4 above may be issued re-issued a new license of like classification level, provided: appropriate proof of competency is presented to the Board. Successful completion of a written examination shall be required if the license has been invalidated for two (2) or more years.
8.1.6 Operator-In-Training License - An applicant who desires to become licensed and does not meet the experience or educational requirements may, with the approval of the Board, receive an Operator-In-Training (OIT) license, pending fulfillment of these requirements, providing provided the appropriate examination has been successfully passed within the previous three (3) years. A holder of an OIT license may, only with the recommendation of the Board be allowed to be in Direct Responsible Charge DRC (in accordance with Section 4.1 4.0) of a Wastewater Treatment Facility on a temporary basis, until the requirements are met; up to a maximum period of two years.
8.1.7 Emergency License - An emergency license may be issued Based on the recommendation of the Board, the Secretary may issue an Emergency License, when it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that the owner is unable to hire a licensed operator Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator in spite of good faith efforts. The applicant for an Emergency License shall meet specific requirements as set forth by the Board. Such licenses may be issued with special conditions or requirements deemed necessary to protect the public health and the water resources of the State. An emergency license shall be valid only for that plant facility or system for a period of one (1) year, and may be renewed for a maximum of one (1) additional year, when extreme extenuating circumstances are shown and concurred with by the Board.
8.2 Suspension and Revocation of License - The Secretary may suspend or revoke the license of an operator a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator, after considering the recommendation of the Board, when it is found that the operator Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator has practiced fraud or deception; that reasonable care, judgment, or the application of knowledge or ability, was not used in the performance of the operator’s Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator's duties; or that the operator Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator is incompetent or unable to perform duties properly. The Board shall act in accordance with the procedures established under Section 3.2.2 of these regulations, and shall hold a hearing before making its recommendations.
8.3 Additional Persons Licensed as DRC - The Secretary may determine, due to the size of plant the facility, shift operation, or other influencing factors, that more than one (1) operator shall be required to be in Direct Responsible Charge DRC at a given facility.
8.4.1 Application may be made to the Secretary to operate more than one Wastewater Treatment Facility, and must include justification and capabilities. The Board will evaluate the application in accordance with the procedures “Approval for a Wastewater Operator to Operate More Than One (1) Wastewater Treatment Facility” established under Section 3.2.7 in Table 2 of these regulations.
8.4.2 Any person considered in Direct Responsible Charge DRC of more than one (1) Wastewater Treatment Facility may be required to be licensed in a classification level higher than the classification of those facilities in the operator’s charge. The degree level of operator classification a Delaware Wastewater Operator’s license may be further increased depending upon the total number of facilities under the responsible charge DRC of the operator Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator. The Board will recommend, with the consent of the Secretary, the degree of classification level of the Delaware Wastewater Operator’s license in accordance with these factors.
9.1 The fee schedule for wastewater operator Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator applications, examinations, and licenses, shall be established by the General Assembly.
10.1.1 To operate any Wastewater Treatment Facility (except those exempted under provisions of these regulations) unless the person(s) in Direct Responsible Charge DRC is (are) duly licensed under the provisions of these regulations; and
10.1.2 For any person to routinely perform the duties of an operator a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator without being duly licensed under the provisions of these regulations.
11.1 Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of these regulations shall be subject to enforcement and penalties under 7 Del.C. §6005.
12.2 In making determination pursuant to subsection 12.1 of this section, the Secretary shall consult with the Board, and may consider any generally applicable criteria and guidelines developed by the Association of Boards of Certification for Operating Personnel in Water and Wastewater Utilities (ABC).
13.1 The provisions of these regulations are intended to supersede existing regulations of this State insofar as they relate to the matters included in these regulations.
14.1 If any part of these regulations, or the application of any part thereof, is held invalid or unconstitutional, the application of such part to other persons or circumstances and the remainder of these regulations shall not be affected thereby, and shall be deemed valid and effective.
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Telephone: 302-739-5731 (302) 739-9946
Activated Sludge: A secondary (biological) wastewater treatment process which utilizes micro-organisms suspended by aeration in an aerobic environment followed by clarification. Some common examples are: Conventional, Extended Aeration, Intermittent Cycle Extended Aeration System (ICEAS), Contact Stabilization, Oxidation Ditches, Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR), and Membrane Bioreactor (MBR).
Aeration: The process of adding air to water. Air can be added to water by passing air through water or passing water through air.
Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR): The biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater.
Biological or Chemical/Biological Advanced Waste Treatment: The advanced treatment of wastewater for nutrient removal, including nitrification, denitrification, or phosphorus removal, utilizing biological or chemical processes or a combination thereof. If the Wastewater Treatment Facility is designed to nitrify based solely on detention time in an extended aeration system, only the points for nitrification by designed extended aeration, should be given.
Chemical Addition/Pretreatment: The addition of a chemical to wastewater, at an application point for the purposes of adjusting pH or alkalinity, improving solids removal, dechlorinating, removing odors, providing nutrients, or otherwise enhancing treatment, excluding chlorination for disinfection of effluent and the addition of enzymes or any process included in the Tertiary Chemical/Physical Processes. The capability to add a chemical at different application points for the same purpose, should be rated as one (1) application; the capability to add a chemical(s) to dual units, should be rated as one (1) application; and the capability to add a chemical at different application points for different purposes, should be rated as separate applications.
Chemical/Physical Advanced Treatment Following Secondary Treatment: The use of chemical or physical advanced treatment processes following (or in conjunction with) a secondary treatment process. This would include processes such as carbon adsorption, air stripping, chemical coagulation, and precipitation, etc.
Chemical/Physical Advanced Treatment Without Secondary Treatment: The use of chemical or physical advanced treatment processes without the use of a secondary treatment process. This would include processes such as carbon adsorption, air stripping, chemical coagulation, and precipitation, etc.
Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF)/Dissolved Nitrogen Flotation (DNF): Process of solids removal where dissolved air is added to the treatment unit from the bottom of the basin, and the air raises suspended particles to the top of the water, where the particles are removed by skimming.
Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR): Refines the Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) process and removes total nitrogen to levels as low as 3 mg/L and total phosphorus to 0.3 mg/L or less.
Filtration: The advanced treatment of wastewater for removal of solids by sand or other media or mixed media filtration.
Fixed-Film Reactor: Biofiltration by trickling filters or rotating biological contactors, followed by secondary clarification.
Land Treatment and Disposal (surface or subsurface): The ultimate treatment and disposal of the effluent onto the surface of the ground by rapid infiltration or rotary distributor or by spray irrigation. Subsurface treatment and disposal would be accomplished by infiltration gallery, injection, or gravity or pressurized drain field.
Mechanical Dewatering: The removal of water from sludge by any of the following processes, and including the addition of polymers, vacuum filtration; frame, belt or plate filter presses; centrifuge; or Rotary Press.
Mechanical Post-Aeration: The introduction of air into the effluent by mechanical means such as diffused or mechanical aeration. Cascade aeration would not be assigned points.
Mechanical Thickening: To reduce the liquid content of the sludge by a thickening process and including the additional of polymers in any of the following common examples: Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) or Gravity Belt Thickeners (GBT).
Membrane Bioreactor (MBR): A combination of two basic processes – biological degradation and membrane separation – into a single process where suspended solids and microorganisms responsible for biodegradation are separated from the treated water by membrane filtration unit.
Odor Control: Specific devices for reducing odors. Does not include “masking” devices.
Oil and Water Separator: Specific devices for the separation of oil from wastewater.
P.F.R.P.: Processes to “further” reduce pathogens in bioresiduals, prior to further use. Now currently known as Class A sludge which limits coliform bacteria to a single count of less than one (1) thousand per gram by analysis.
pH Adjustment: The alteration of the pH of the raw wastewater or pre-finished wastewater by mechanical or chemical procedures, to enhance the performance of the treatment process.
Population Equivalent (P.E.): Means the population computed by relating the total daily weight (W lbs.) of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) to the daily per capita BOD of 0.17 lb. as shown below:
P.S.R.P.: Processes to “significantly” reduce pathogens in bioresiduals, prior to further use. Now currently known as Class B sludge which limits coliform bacteria to an average count of less than two (2) million per gram by analysis.
Rapid Infiltration Basin (RIB): means earthen basins designed for a repetitive cycle of flooding, infiltration/percolation, and drying of treated wastewater.
Reverse Osmosis (R.O.): Passage of wastewater from a concentrated solution through a semipermeable membrane, to finished water with the application of pressure.
SCADA Instrumentation: The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system is a computer-based system that monitors and controls remote wastewater treatment facility sites. A SCADA master control is typically located in a dedicated control center or treatment plant control room. Remote sites are equipped with remote terminal units to gather information and issue controls from the master station.
Secondary Treatment: A type of biological treatment of wastewater followed by secondary clarifiers.
Sequential Batch Reactor (S.B.R.): An activated sludge treatment process that takes place in a single vessel, cycling through stages.
Solids Composting: Biosolids treatment process whereby solids are combined with other organic matter and operated to promote thermophilic decomposition of wastes which may then be used as a soil conditioner or fertilizer.
Solids Stabilization: The processes to oxidize or reduce the organic matter in the sludge, to a more stable form. These processes reduce pathogens or reduce the volatile organic chemicals, and thereby reduce the potential for odor. These processes would include lime (or similar) treatment and thermal conditioning.
Spray Irrigation: A method for disposing of treated wastewater by spraying it on the land surface.
Subsurface Disposal: See definition for Land Treatment and Disposal (surface or subsurface) above.
Tertiary Treatment: Those processes commonly used after secondary treatment to meet water reuse requirements.
1 Any technologies outside of those listed will be evaluated for point equivalencies.
1. A Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator may serve as a regular and/or backup Wastewater Operator in Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) of a combination of Wastewater Treatment Facilities in accordance with the following table. A Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator may be approved to operate in DRC any combination of Wastewater Treatment Facilities provided that the total accumulation of regular points from the table below does not exceed 25 regular points. A Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator may serve as a backup Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator at Wastewater Treatment Facilities other than the ones currently operated provided the total accumulation of backup points from the table below does not exceed 20 backup points. Special circumstances will be considered by the Board.
Where the type of Wastewater Treatment Facility is determined by permitted plant design average flow as shown in the following table:
7. Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operators (not associated with an RME) must complete the following: Approval for a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator to Operate More Than One (1) Wastewater Treatment Facility – Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operators Not Associated with a Responsible Management Entity (RME).
4. Employees (full-time and part-time) of a RME who will be assigned to multi-plant operations must complete the following: Approval for a Delaware Licensed Wastewater Operator to Operate More Than One (1) Wastewater Treatment Facility – Employee of a Responsible Management Entity (RME). This application must be filed on the initial assignment of any employee; thereafter, any changes to assignments will be included in the RME’s required Quarterly Report to the Department.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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