Sewage Sludge Incinerator Operator Training Certification
Instructions for DEC Approval of Training/Certification Programs
The following procedures are to be followed by applicants wishing to train and certify operators of existing sewage sludge incinerators (SSI) (both initial certification and annual refresher training/recertification) to satisfy the requirements of 6 NYCRR Parts 219-9 and 200.10(b) Table 2 MMMM (see 40 CFR 60 Subpart MMMM).
Initial Applications are Due 60 Days Prior to Proposed Course Date
For each proposed training event, applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the commencement of the first course to allow sufficient time for review, approval, and return of course approval documents to the applicant. Initial applications submitted less than 60 days before the course date will NOT be approved. Applications are processed on a first in/first out basis. Plan accordingly if you need certification information in advance for course announcements. Once an applicant has obtained DEC approval to provide training (both initial and recertification) subsequent applications will be accepted 30 days prior to the proposed course date.
Applications must contain the following to be considered for DEC approval:
- A detailed professional biography of relevant qualifications of each training instructor teaching the course.
- The name(s) of the facility and persons the training is intended for, and the minimum educational and experience requirements required of the class participants in order to become certified operators of sewage sludge incinerators.
- A detailed course description with time of training in each subject:
1) for certification, all subjects listed in 6 NYCRR Part 200.10 (b) Table 2 MMMM (see 60.5130 (c)(1) through (c)(3) under 40 CFR 60 subpart MMMM); or
2) for refresher/recertification classes, 6 NYCRR Part 200.10 (b) Table 2 MMMM (see 60.5145(a) through (e) under 40 CFR 60 subpart MMMM).
The subjects identified above are the minimum requirements. Well-developed programs must consider any unique aspects of the facility for which the training is being given, such as energy recovery from the incinerator or known variations in waste stream for the particular facility. Detailed topic descriptions are necessary. Applications without adequate subject detail will be returned. For certification programs, this includes details of the certification examination and criteria for passing the exam and being certified.
- A program agenda that includes course location and start/stop dates and times, in clock hours, for all topics and breaks. The start and stop times (e.g. 10:00-10:30) for each subject or speaker, as well as any breaks or meals, must be shown. A maximum of 7.5 hours of training per day will be approved for a certification eligibility course. Minimum break periods of 15 minutes for every three hours of continuous training must be included. If the course or activity involves a tour, an itinerary must be provided which includes travel stops and times.
- A description of the methods used to confirm student identity at roster sign-in, and to ensure that only attendees who sit for the entire course and have a passing examination grade receive a course certificate.
- Copies of all materials to be handed out at the course, including a sample of the course certificate.
The applicant must e-mail (PDF format only) all required documents to email@example.com or submit by mail to NYSDEC, Bureau of Stationary Sources, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-3254.
Distance Learning Course Requirements for Annual Recertification
Remote learning courses will not be accepted for initial certification training, but will be considered for annual refresher/recertification.
Trainers of a DEC-approved SSI operator annual recertification training course offered as distance learning must have procedures in place to verify the identification of the individual enrolled in the course. The course application must include a description of the methods used to verify the individual's identity. A user ID and password must be included with the application to allow the DEC course reviewer access to the course.
The trainer must ensure that the student completes the entire course (i.e., all of the material and the required amount of time specified in the approved course). Slides and other material within the course must be timed to prevent the student from skipping course material.
The trainer must submit electronic Excel spreadsheets for completed distance courses. The spreadsheet must list all students completing any course and must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org within 5 days of issuance of a recertification certificate.
The course sponsor must issue an original course certificate, with the required information in a format approved by the DEC, to students who complete the entire course. Students must not be able to print their own course certificate upon completion of the course. The course number on the certificates should always reflect the course number that was issued by DEC upon approval.
Once an application has been approved by DEC, a course number will be provided which must be included on the course certificate issued to individuals attending the entire course and who successfully complete the exam for their certification. A list of SSI Operator Training Courses will be maintained on DEC's web site once they are approved. The application and approval process is the same for refresher courses/recertification.
Prior to the start of a training session, the trainers must confirm the identity of any attendees who wish to earn DEC operator certification. Attendees must show photo identification. Certification eligibility candidates print and sign their name on the course roster. The trainer must secure the rosters to prevent late arriving attendees from signing the roster forms. All original rosters for each day of training must be mailed to DEC at the above address with a postmark no more than 5 days following course completion. Failure to follow this procedure may result in rejection of future course applications submitted by the sponsor and/or cancellation of the course approval. The trainer must keep a copy of these records on file for a minimum of 5 years.
At the conclusion of the course, the trainer must provide and issue to each student attending the course and passing the approved exam a certificate of proof of course attendance and successful completion of the operator exam. The course trainer must only issue one original course certificate to candidates attending the course for initial certification. A separate certificate is to be issued to existing certified operators attending recertification courses. The trainer must send a list of recipients to DEC at the above address within 5 days of issuing any certification. Appropriate controls must be used to ensure that only attendees who sit for an entire course, as approved by DEC, receive a course certificate. The trainer must have sufficient staff present to monitor the audience and supervise the roster sign-in process.
Attendees who arrive after the start of the first training topic or leave before the end of the last topic shall not be issued a course certificate. The trainer or representative monitoring attendance must cross out the name and ID number on the roster for any person who leaves before the end of the course.
The trainer of the sewage sludge incineration operation certification course plays a key role in ensuring the integrity of the certification training process. In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, the course trainer must submit any required or requested information to DEC within the requested timeframes and immediately notify DEC of any proposed changes to the approved course content, structure, time, date, and/or location. Failure to follow these instructions may result in disapproval of future course applications and DEC's rejection of training certificates issued at the course.
Certification for In-house Training Courses
Facilities subject to the requirements 40 CFR 60 Subpart MMMM may submit applications to provide operator training using trainer(s) employed by the facility. This should be clearly indicated in the application, along with all the required elements of a complete application specified above. If approved by the DEC, the final exam will be administered and proctored by DEC personnel.
Monitoring of Certification Training Courses
NYSDEC Division of Air Resources staff routinely monitor certification training courses for course content, time allocated to topics, etc. As a condition of course approval, sponsors must grant access for DEC or USEPA staff to monitor any approved course and waive registration fees. If the actual course is found to deviate significantly from the approved course, DEC may change the approved status of any or all components of the course.