WSR 16-13-032
[Filed June 6, 2016, 2:55 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 246-292-060 Minimum education and experience requirements to become a certified operator, this rule making will consider revising WAC 246-292-060 to clarify the operator-in-training experience requirements for all levels of water treatment plant operator and water distribution manager. The rule making will also consider revisions to the experience requirements for cross-connection control specialist. Other clarifying changes may be made.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.119.050 Rules and regulationsSecretary to adopt.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Public water system purveyors and waterworks operators anticipate a dramatic decline in the number [of] certified operators in the near future due to upcoming retirements in the field. Rule amendments may be needed to increase public health protections by increasing the number of qualified staff available for hire and to allow flexibility in filling vacancies and give waterworks professionals the opportunity to develop skills and grow in the profession.
The department has filed a policy to assist purveyors in understanding the rule; however, rule making is necessary to ensure the rule is implemented consistently across the state.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other federal or state agencies regulate the certification of waterworks operators.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department of health will use a collaborative rule-making approach. The department will consult with public water system purveyors and certified operators, the waterworks operator certification advisory committee and member associations (public utility districts, American Water Works Association, and Water Utility Council) to develop rule recommendations. The department will keep stakeholders informed of the rule development through e-mail correspondence, regular posting of information to the office of drinking water web site, and department rule-making web site.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The department will engage stakeholders through an advisory process and provide the draft rule for informal and formal review and comment to all interested parties and stakeholders. The department will also keep stakeholders informed through the department web sites and e-mail distribution.
For more information, contact Chris McCord, Office of Drinking Water, P.O. Box 47822, Olympia, WA 98504, phone (360) 236-3137, or e-mail
May 31, 2016
John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH