ADEM Division 10 Updates
What is Division 10?
For those who don't know, ADEM's Division 10 is the set of regulations which define and govern the Water Division Operator Certification Program. See the following description from the regulations section of ADEM's website:
This Division is promulgated to protect the public health and welfare and prevent pollution by establishing a program for the certification of the competency of operators to operate water and wastewater treatment plants, water distribution systems, and public wastewater systems; and classification of all such plants and systems.
What is New?
In early 2019, ADEM decided it was time to begin the work of updating the Division 10 Regulations in order to be able to formerly adopt and implement the Standardized Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) exams for all grades of classification. The process, at present, is well-underway and it is time for all of our members to begin to really begin to pay attention to these proposed changes and interact with this process through appropriate comment processes, training sessions, and other channels of discussion.
ADEM is one of ARWA's closest partners and, as a rule, we support their initiatives. One of the best ways we can support ADEM is by ensuring that those in charge of promulgating changes to the processes that affect water and wastewater utilities in Alabama are aware of all potential impacts of their decision making. This will empower them to ensure that Alabama remains relevant in the National realm without imposing anything that would be prohibitive for conducting the business of providing safe, compliant, and cost-effective water and wastewater services to our citizens.
These changes are guaranteed to affect every utility in Alabama, whether it be through operator acquisition and management, or even through entire plant reclassification, once these new regulations are finalized and implemented the consequences will result in a new way of conducting business with regard to water and wastewater operations.
We, at the ARWA, will work to ensure that our members and others in the industry remain informed and are afforded all opportunity to participate in this process. To date, we have already held several training sessions covering this topic and have many more planned. In addition, we will work to keep this page updated with as many changes and updates as we receive. So, keep a close watch and please contact us with any questions you may have.
Find below the progression of news and updates as we receive them. Click the buttons to see detailed information on the updates. We will update this throughout the process.
On January 8th, 2020, ADEM released the first preliminary draft of the operator certification regulations. Deadline for comments is Feb 28, 2020. Expand the full text of the update by clicking the link below.
Preliminary Draft Operator Certification Regulation - Click to view contents.
Preliminary Draft Operator Certification Regulation
Email from ADEM:
To Interested Stakeholders Involved in Alabama Operator Certification Issues:
ADEM has developed a Preliminary Draft version of the Department’s Division 10 regulations (Operator Certification). At this time, we are soliciting comments on the Preliminary Draft regulation. In the months ahead, we will develop a Formal Draft that will be placed on Public Notice. But, as this is a very notable revision, we are issuing a preliminary draft so interested stakeholders can get an early look at the content of the Preliminary Draft regulation.
Through this revised regulation, ADEM will be adopting the Standardized Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) exams for all grades of classification. This requires that ADEM revise its present classification system. The new classification system uses a numerical protocol to determine a site specific numerical value for each Water and Wastewater treatment plant. The numerical protocol is a simple itemized table that allows the person ranking a plant to arrive at a numerical value very quickly. The point tally for each plant will determine the final rank or “grade” of a plant. Note that there will now be four grades of both Water and Wastewater treatment plants: Grades I through IV.
For Collection and Distribution systems, the ranking new ranking process is extremely simple and will be based solely on population served. There will be two grades of Wastewater Collection and two grades of Water Distribution systems: Grades I and II.
Attached is a Word version of the revised regulation. Also attached are two writeable PDF documents representing the blank ranking worksheet for Water Treatment Plants and Wastewater Treatment Plants, respectively. Please take the time to rank the plant(s) for your Utility or your clients.
Note that the revised regulation and the new ranking processes are major changes to the Alabama Operator Certification Program. This is the most comprehensive change to ADEM’s Operator Certification regulations since the inception of the rule going back to the 1986. The Department’s intention is to strengthen and improve the rule, while allowing ADEM to adopt the Standardized ABC exams. Through this preliminary review process, our intention is to gain your feedback so that we can work closely with our stakeholders to make the rule even better.
During your review, please take note of the following changes.
Please provide written or verbal review comments on this regulation by close of business on February 28, 2020. Written comments are preferable. Provide your comments to Mary Alice Corcoran at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to accommodate the changes requested by our stakeholders. However, please be aware that we may not address changes that do not meet the objectives of improving the rule and the coordination necessary for ADEM to adopt the standardized ABC exams.
Mary Alice Corcoran
1400 Coliseum Blvd
Montgomery, AL 36110
Deadline for submitting initial comments. Reach out to our office for more information on
how to ensure your voice is heard.
(334) 396-5511 - ARWA office
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