401 KAR 47:070. Operator certification

Link to law: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/401/047/070.htm
Published: 2015

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      401 KAR 47:070.

Operator certification.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS

224.01, 224.10, 224.40, 224.43, 224.46, 224.70, 224.99

      STATUTORY

AUTHORITY: KRS 224.10-100, 224.40-605

      NECESSITY,

FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS Chapter 224 requires the cabinet to adopt rules

and administrative regulations for the management, processing or disposal of

wastes. KRS 224.40-605 requires the cabinet to promulgate administrative

regulations that establish standards and a certification program for operators

of waste sites or facilities. This chapter establishes the permitting standards

for solid waste sites or facilities, the standards applicable to all solid

waste sites or facilities, and the standards for certification of operators. An

overview of the permit program is found in Section 1 of 401 KAR 47:080. This

administrative regulation establishes the program for education, testing, and

certification of facility operators of solid waste sites or facilities.

 

      Section 1.

Definitions. The following are definitions as used in this administrative

regulation:

      (1)

"Category of solid waste site or facility" means inert, residual,

construction demolition debris, residential or contained landfill and includes

landfarming facilities receiving Class I, II and III sludges or wastes.

      (2)

"Certificate" means a written document issued by the cabinet stating

that the operator has met all requirements for certification.

      (3)

"Certified operator" means a solid waste site or facility operator

who holds a valid certificate. The following are categories of certified

operators:

      (a)

"Landfarming operator" means a certified operator who is the

individual responsible for ensuring compliance with all permit conditions at a

landfarming facility in accordance with 401 KAR 48:200, and who is reasonably

available to the site;

      (b)

"Landfill operator" means a certified operator who is the individual

responsible for the daily operating requirements identified in 401 KAR 47:120,

48,060, 48:090, or 48:170;

      (c)

"Landfill manager" means a certified operator who is the individual

with primary responsibility for management and operation of the residential or

contained or construction/demolition debris sanitary landfill to assure

compliance with all permit conditions including direct responsibility for

providing guidance to the landfill operator, or the permittee and the authority

to commit financial resources allocated for proper operation; or

      (d)

"Interim operator" means the individual identified by the permittee

as the replacement landfarming operator, landfill operator, or landfill manager

in accordance with Section 12 of this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 2.

Applicability. (1) The requirements in this administrative regulation apply to

all solid waste sites or facilities except as subsection (2) of this section

provides otherwise. Each solid waste site or facility shall have at least one

(1) operator certified in accordance with Section 3 (sanitary landfills) or

Section 4 (landfarming facilities) of this administrative regulation, as

appropriate to the category of solid waste site or facility.

      (2) Residual

landfills and facilities operating under a registered permit-by-rule or a

permit-by-rule are excluded from the requirements of this administrative

regulation, unless the cabinet requires operator certification as a condition

of the permit. In deciding whether to require operator certification at a

residual landfill, a site or facility with a registered permit-by-rule or a

permit-by-rule, the cabinet shall consider:

      (a) The

characteristics of the waste stream;

      (b) The

characteristics of the site, including geology and hydrology; and

      (c) The

experience and qualifications of the operator.

      (3) It shall be

the responsibility of the permittee to ensure that the solid waste site or

facility complies with the requirements of this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 3.

General Provisions for Landfills. (1) Each construction/demolition debris,

residential and contained landfill shall have a certified operator who is a

landfill operator and a landfill manager. The requirements of this subsection

may be fulfilled by:

      (a) One (1)

individual who has been certified in accordance with Section 6 of this

administrative regulation for both categories of certified operator (provided

this individual meets the qualifications in Sections 1(3) and 11 of this

administrative regulation); or

      (b) Two (2)

individuals who have been certified in accordance with Section 6 of this

administrative regulation in each category of operator such that one (1)

individual is certified as a landfill operator and one (1) individual is

certified as a landfill manager.

      (2) As provided

in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, the cabinet may require as a

permit condition that a residual landfill or a site or facility with a

permit-by-rule or registered permit-by-rule shall have a certified operator who

is a landfill operator or a landfill manager or both. The permit condition

imposed shall reference all applicable operating administrative regulations and

requirements for the specific category of sanitary landfill.

      (3) In the event

the certified operator who is the landfill operator is not physically at the

facility during operating hours, either the landfill manager or an interim

operator shall be designated responsible for daily site operation and shall be

physically located on site. If an interim operator assumes responsibility for

daily operation of the landfill, the requirements in Section 12 of this

administrative regulation shall be met.

      (4) In carrying

out its responsibilities, the cabinet shall examine the qualifications of

applicants for certification and maintain records of certification and a

register of certified operators.

      (5)(a) Except as

provided in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, no landfill shall

continue operation in the absence of a landfill operator on site for more than

ten (10) consecutive operating days without appointment of a qualified interim

operator in accordance with Section 12 of this administrative regulation or

written approval from the cabinet.

      (b) Except as

provided in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, no landfill shall

continue operation in the absence of a landfill manager for a period longer

than thirty (30) consecutive operating days without appointment of a qualified

interim operator in accordance with Section 12 of this administrative

regulation or written approval from the cabinet.

 

      Section 4.

General Provisions for Landfarming Facilities. (1) Each landfarming facility

shall have a landfarming operator certified in accordance with Section 6 of

this administrative regulation.

      (2) No

landfarming facility shall continue operation in the absence of a landfarming

operator for a period longer than five (5) consecutive working days without

appointment of a qualified interim operator in accordance with Section 12 of

this administrative regulation or written approval from the cabinet.

 

      Section 5.

Application for Certification. (1) An individual desiring to be certified shall

file an application on a form provided by the cabinet at least thirty (30) days

before beginning training for a scheduled examination.

      (2) The

applicant shall submit all information needed to determine eligibility of the

applicant for examination and certification.

      (3) The cabinet

shall review applications and supporting documents, determine the eligibility

of the applicant for examination and notify the applicant of the determination.

      (4) No person

shall be eligible for examination for certification unless that person

completes the appropriate training class or classes provided by the cabinet,

unless an alternative training program or certification program is accepted by

the cabinet in accordance with Section 7(6) of this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 6.

Training Classes and Examinations. (1) The cabinet will provide training

classes for the certified operator.

      (2) Training

sessions will be held at least annually at places and times set by the cabinet.

The last day of each training session will be set aside for the purpose of

examinations to determine the knowledge and ability of the applicant.

      (3)

Certification shall be conditioned on successful passage of a written

examination, unless an alternative examination process is accepted by the

cabinet.

      (4) Separate

examinations will be prepared to cover basic differences in the duties and

responsibilities for the operation of each category of solid waste site or

facility and each category of certified operator.

      (5) Applicants

who fail to pass an examination may reapply for the examination at a regularly

scheduled examination or by appointment with the cabinet. The cabinet shall

require the applicant to attend the training session again if the applicant

fails to pass the examination in three (3) attempts.

      (6) In the event

an applicant fails to meet the requirements for certification, he may petition

the cabinet for a one (1) time only "temporary hardship

certification." The cabinet will then conduct an informal hearing at which

evidence shall be presented by the applicant to support his hardship request.

Each temporary hardship certification request shall be considered on a

case-by-case basis under the following guidelines:

      (a) Failure of

the applicant to receive certification would leave a significant area of the

state without adequate waste disposal service.

      (b) The applicant

has shown a good faith effort by attending all required training sessions and

met all requirements except the applicant has failed in three (3) attempts to

pass the examination.

      (c) The

applicant has shown, through cabinet inspections, a capability for satisfactory

operation of the solid waste site or facility.

 

      Section 7.

Training Course Requirements. (1) All applicants for certification shall be

required to attend a training course provided by the cabinet in accordance with

KRS 224.844.

      (2) The training

course provided by the cabinet shall be designed to provide information as

appropriate to the category of certified operator. At a minimum, the training

course shall provide information which enables the certified operator to

perform his duties in a knowledgeable and competent manner.

      (3) Landfill

managers shall be trained on:

      (a) The

requirements for permit application for the applicable category of sanitary

landfill including ownership, zoning, chapter 109 district boards, geologic and

hydrologic information and specific design details;

      (b)

Characteristics of the waste stream; the physical, chemical and biological

reactions including the hydrogeologic interactions of a landfill; and measures

that shall be employed to meet the environmental performance standards in 401

KAR 47:030 and all other regulatory requirements; and

      (c) Specific

duties expected to be performed by individuals who are wholly responsible for

the requirements associated with the operation of the applicable category of

sanitary landfill permitted by the cabinet. These actions include at a minimum,

the commitment of resources, oversight of operating personnel, and verification

that site operation is in accordance with all provisions of the permit

including technical documents.

      (4) Landfill

operators shall be trained on the requirements contained in the solid waste

administrative regulations as they apply to daily site operation duties. These

duties include judging indicators regarding a site's ability to receive wastes;

judging waste characteristics for disposal acceptability; employing site

equipment to maintain waste compaction, cover, and surface water management on

a daily basis; maintaining equipment; maintaining site safety; and generally

assuring compliance with the administrative regulations.

      (5) Landfarming

operators shall be trained on the Kentucky waste management program as it

applies to landfarming; wastewater treatment processes; the nature and

characteristics of sludges; the physical and chemical properties of sludges;

landfarming design and management; environmental considerations; and the

Kentucky waste management permit process. The permit process includes

requirements for application, conditions for maintaining a permit in compliance

with the application and administrative regulations, and amendments to the

landfarming activity and associated permit.

      (6) The cabinet

shall provide the training course to applicants for certification. However, the

cabinet may consider alternate training courses or certification programs

provided they are equivalent to the content prescribed by the cabinet's

training course. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to submit such

documentation as the cabinet requires for an equivalency judgment of the

alternate training course. This information shall contain at a minimum the

following specifics: the course name; sponsoring agency; the date, location and

the beginning and ending times of the course; a summary of the course content

of sufficient detail to determine relevance and quality of the course; and a

copy of the certificate received.

 

      Section 8.

Issuance of Certificates. (1) Upon passage of the examination the cabinet will

issue a certificate to the applicant which will indicate the category of solid

waste site or facility and the category of certified operator for which the

operator is certified.

      (2) Certified

operators shall be recertified every five (5) years.

      (3) Certificates

will be issued to holders of certificates of another state if the training

requirements of the issuing state are deemed comparable as specified in Section

7(6) of this administrative regulation and if the operator passes the cabinet's

examination.

      (4) The

certificates of operators who terminate their employment at a solid waste site

or facility will remain valid until expiration or revocation of the

certificate.

      (5) Certificates

shall be carried on the person of each certified operator during working hours

at the facility or prominently displayed on site.

 

      Section 9.

Compliance Dates. (1) An operator who is not an appropriately certified

operator and who assumes the responsibility of a certified operator shall

immediately comply with the requirements in Section 12 of this administrative

regulation; and

      (2) Comply with

the requirements in Section 6 of this administrative regulation within fifteen

(15) months of assuming the responsibility.

 

      Section 10.

Revocation of Certificate. (1) The cabinet may revoke the certificate of an

operator, following a cabinet hearing, when it determines that the operator has

practiced fraud or deception, or that the operator has failed to perform an

operator's duties including, but not limited to, failure to comply with permit

conditions.

      (2) The cabinet

may revoke a certificate whenever the holder fails to use reasonable care and

judgment in the performance of an operator's duties. No certificate shall be

valid if obtained through fraud, deceit, or the submission of inaccurate data

on qualifications.

      (3) Individuals

who have had their certificate revoked by the cabinet shall be ineligible for

future recertification.

 

      Section 11.

Operator Qualifications: Education and Equivalencies. (1) All applicants shall

be evaluated by the cabinet as to education, and experience as related to the

appropriate category of solid waste site or facility.

      (2)(a)

Applicants for landfill operator shall have completed high school (by

graduation or by obtaining an equivalency certificate) and shall have a minimum

of one (1) year of experience at a landfill similar to the category of landfill

for which certification is sought.

      (b) If an

applicant for landfill operator does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a)

of this subsection, the cabinet may consider the number of years of experience

in operating a landfill or experience in a related field (i.e., heavy equipment

operator, road construction, surface mining, etc.) in determining eligibility

for examination on a year-for-year basis.

      (3)(a)

Applicants for landfill manager shall have completed high school (by graduation

or by obtaining an equivalency certificate) and shall have:

      1. A minimum of

two (2) years administrative experience in a related field (i.e., waste

management, wastewater treatment, etc.); or

      2. A minimum of

two (2) years of postsecondary education; or

      3. A minimum of

two (2) years of a combination of experience in a related field and

postsecondary education.

      (b) If an

applicant for landfill manager does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a)

of this subsection, the cabinet may consider the qualifications of the

applicant on a case-by-case basis.

      (4)(a)

Applicants for landfarming operator shall have completed high school (by

graduation or by obtaining an equivalency certificate) and shall have a minimum

of one (1) year of experience at a landfarming facility.

      (b) If an applicant

for landfarming operator does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of

this subsection, the cabinet may consider the number of years of experience in

operating a landfarming facility or experience in a related field (i.e., waste

water treatment, water treatment, etc.) in determining eligibility for

examination on a year for year basis.

 

      Section 12.

Interim Operators. (1) In accordance with the requirements in subsection (2) of

this section, the permittee shall notify the cabinet in writing of the extended

absence of a certified operator ten (10) days prior to an anticipated absence

and immediately upon discovery of an extended absence due to an emergency or

unanticipated circumstances. The notice from the permittee shall provide the

cabinet with the following information:

      (a) Name and

qualifications of the individual intended to replace the certified operator;

and

      (b) The length

of time for which the permittee seeks to have the interim operator fulfill the

obligations of the certified operator.

      (2) The

permittee shall notify the cabinet of the extended absence when the operator or

manager shall be absent for:

      (a) More than

ten (10) consecutive operating days for a landfill operator;

      (b) More than

thirty (30) consecutive operating days for a landfill manager; and

      (c) More than

five (5) consecutive operating days for a landfarming operator.

      (3) Consecutive

operating days as used in subsection (2) of this section shall be determined as

any days:

      (a) When the

solid waste site or facility accepts waste, operates equipment or otherwise

performs the business of solid waste management; and

      (b) Which days

occur in sequence regardless of whether nonoperating days such as weekends or

holidays fall in between.

      (4) The cabinet

shall evaluate the qualifications of the designated interim operator and shall

notify the permittee of the cabinet's determination in writing within thirty

(30) days of receipt of the permittee's notice. The determination shall:

      (a) Approve or

deny the permittee's request for designation of the interim operator;

      (b) Identify the

length of time the interim operator may operate the solid waste site or

facility; and

      (c) Specify

conditions as appropriate to the site and the interim operator's

qualifications.

 

      Section 13.

Permit Condition. As specified in Section 2 of this administrative regulation,

every solid waste site or facility requiring a permit shall be operated by the

operator certified pursuant to this administrative regulation. Pursuant to

Sections 2 and 3 of this administrative regulation, maintaining the certified

operator(s) shall be considered a permit condition, and the permit may be

revoked, or penalties for permit violations sought as appropriate, upon

violation of the requirements and duties established by this administrative

regulation.

 

      Section 14.

Fees. (1) Fees for application for certification shall be:

      (a) $125 for

application for certification as a landfill operator;

      (b) $125 for

application for certification as a landfill manager;

      (c) $150 for

application for certification as both a landfill operator and a landfill

manager when the application is made for certification for both categories at

the same training session;

      (d) $125 for

application for certification as a landfarming operator; and

      (e) Fifty (50)

dollars for certification by reciprocity for all categories of operator.

      (2) Fees shall

accompany applications and will not be returned to those who do not qualify for

a certificate. (Recodified from 401 KAR 2:111, 3-1-83; Am. 10 Ky.R. 172; eff.

12-2-83; 13 Ky.R. 913; 1228; eff. 1-13-87; 16 Ky.R. 1642; 2174; eff. 5-8-90.)