The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 [Section 1419 (a)] direct the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the States, to publish guidelines specifying minimum standards for certification and recertification of operators of community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems. Final guidelines were published on February 5, 1999. States have two years to adopt and implement an operator certification program that meets the requirements of these guidelines (February 2001). After that date, if a State has not adopted and implemented an approved program, the Administrator must withhold 20 percent of the funds a State is otherwise entitled to receive in its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) capitalization grants under section 1452 of SDWA. All the requirements contained in these guidelines are requirements to avoid DWSRF capitalization grant withholding.
The SDWA amendments [Section 1419 (d)] provide reimbursement to the states for the costs of training and certification of individuals operating systems serving 3,300 persons or fewer that are required to undergo training pursuant to the minimum standards established by the guidelines.
Final Operator Certification Guidelines were published in the Federal Register (Vol 64, No. 24, pages 5916-5921) on Friday, February 5, 1999.
Adobe Acrobat version of the Final Operator Certification Guidelines.
Region 10 funded development of the "Very Small Water System Operators' Guidebook to Preparing for Certification". This guide is a "need to know" document targeting very small water system operators that must for the first time become certified as a result of new federal guidelines published on February 5, 1999.
Very Small Water System Operators' Guidebook to Preparing for Certification in pdf format.
State Operator Certification Program Initial Submittal Contents
Checklist & Crosswalk for the Review of State Operator Certification Programs
For information on the National Operator Certification Program including: National Guidance, Workgroups, EPA Regional Contacts, State Programs, Project Plan, and current State Program Approvals, link to EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Operator Certification page
If you have questions about definitions, terms or acronyms used on this Web Page click on the link to the Drinking Water Glossary
Contact: Bill Chamberlain (206) 553-8515
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