WSR 00-10-112

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed May 3, 2000, 11:37 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Revision of water works operator certification regulation, chapter 246-292 WAC to satisfy the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines (Federal Register, Vol. 64, No. 24), to implement legislative direction in state statute (chapter 70.119 RCW) and to be consistent with other drinking water regulations (chapter 246-290 WAC).

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 70.119 RCW; federal guidance to states for operator certification programs (Federal Register, Vol. 64, No. 24, February 5, 1999, Notices, Part III); and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 (Public Law 104-182).

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The requirements for certified operator are expanded to include all Group A community and nontransient noncommunity (NTNC) public water systems to satisfy EPA guidelines. EPA, which is responsible for the SDWA, requires that the federal guidelines be incorporated into state regulations, be enforceable and the expanded program implemented. The public health objectives of the federal guidelines for this rule are to ensure that: (1) Customers of Group A community and NTNC public water systems be provided with an adequate supply of safe, potable drinking water; (2) consumers are confident that their water is safe to drink; and (3) public water system operators are trained and certified and that they have knowledge and understanding of the public health reasons for drinking water standards.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); direct involvement includes review by EPA of existing regulation and proposed regulation; EPA's participation with the division's advisory committees; and review by EPA of a primacy revision application and crosswalk checklist to be completed prior to final federal approval of program.

Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. During the rule development and adoption process, stakeholders will be involved through the division's water works operator certification and water supply advisory committees. The draft rule will also be announced in the division's quarterly newsletter and through a direct mailing to all affected and/or interested parties. The draft rule will be distributed upon request and made available through the division's homepage on the Internet. Stakeholder participation has included: The division's advisory committees' program direction recommendations and discussion of proposed revisions to regulations; written notification to all impacted parties; stakeholder involvement through other representative groups, including extensive workshop and conference presentations regarding proposed program changes and impacts.

For more information contact Lisa Raysby, Operator Certification Rule Development Coordinator, (360) 236-3147 or Cheryl Bergener, Operator Certification Program Manager, 1-800-521-0323, Drinking Water Division, P.O. Box 47822, Olympia, WA 98504-7822, fax (360) 236-2253.

May 2, 2000

M. C. Selecky

Secretary

Washington State Code Reviser's Office