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WASTE FACILITY OPERATOR CERTIFICATION BILL ANNOUNCED

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Legislation that would certify landfill incinerator operators to ensure they have the education and training needed to operate these facilities was announced today in the Senate by state Sen. David J. Brightbill (R-Lebanon), minority chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and in the House by state Rep. Carole Rubley (R-Chester).
 The proposal allows the state to revoke an operator's certification if the operator deliberately neglects the operation of the facility or disobeys a DER order or regulation and they cause pollution of the air, land or water.
 "Making sure our waste disposal facilities are designed and built to be environmentally secure only deals with part of the problem," said Brightbill. "Right now we have no way to ensure the people who will actually operate these facilities for the next 5, 10 or 15 years have the education and training they need to operate these facilities safely."
 The legislation would require the operator of a municipal, residual or hazardous waste treatment processing or disposal facility to be certified by the Department of Environmental Resources (DER). Operators of facilities handling source separated recyclables would be exempt.
 DER would establish minimum education and training standards and the categories of operators to be certified, as well as prepare a certification test and develop procedures for revoking, suspending or reinstating certifications.
 "The suggestion to certify waste facility operators was proposed by DER's Solid Waste Advisory Committee after months of discussions," said Rubley. "The committee includes representatives of citizen groups, local government, business, consultants and the waste industry."
 "The committee also felt it was important to certify the DER staff that review permit applications and inspect these facilities," Rubley explained. "DER often hires staff with little actual experience with waste facilities, in particular to do field inspections, and we thought they should have a basic understanding of what these facilities do."
 Rubley was a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee prior to her election to the House of Representatives in November of last year.
 "The certification program would be self-supporting through a fee on those individuals who want to be certified," said Brightbill. "This means the program will not be a burden on taxpayers."
 Approximately 1,500 waste facilities would be required to have certified operators under this proposal.
 Fourteen other states now have some form of solid waste facility operator certification program, including New York, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Texas and Washington.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/10/93
 /CONTACT: David Hess of Sen. David J. Brightbill's office, 717-787-5708, or Rep. Carole Rubley, 717-783-0157/


CO: Senate of Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG

MJ-CC -- PH006 -- 5097 02/10/93 11:08 EST
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Date:Feb 10, 1993
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