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Part 637: Qualifications For Environmental Conservation Personnel

Contents:

Sec.

§637.1 Applicability

The provisions of this Part establish qualifications for persons engaged in environmental conservation activities for agencies seeking to obtain State aid pursuant to section 3-0117 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

§637.2 Definitions

When used in this Part:

(a) Agency means county or city agency which regulates environmental conservation activities, other than a local health department. The population under an agency's jurisdiction shall be determined to reside within its political boundaries by reference to the latest Federal census.

(b) Accredited school, college, university or other place of learning means a degree-granting institution of learning which offers courses or programs that have been accredited by an organization acceptable to, or registered by, the New York State Education Department.

(c) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation or his designee.

(d) Environmental conservation activity means the protection of human populations from adverse environmental factors, the protection of the environment from degradation and the improvement of the environment for human benefit.

(e) Environmental conservation activity experience means activities performed while gainfully employed which are intended to protect human populations from adverse environmental factors, to protect the environment from degradation, and/or to improve the environment for human benefit. Such activities may be regulatory or operational in nature.

(f) Environmental engineering means the application of the knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience and practice for the protection of human populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors, for the protection of the environment from the potentially deleterious effects of human activities and natural deterioration, and for the improvement of environmental quality for human health and well-being. It includes public health engineering, sanitary engineering and environmental health engineering, and may be practiced by graduates of sanitary, environmental, civil, chemical or other engineering curricula, provided such graduates meet the requirements of this section.

(g) Environmental science means the investigation, observation and classification of data concerning natural objects, organic or inorganic, the substances composing these natural objects and the characteristics they exhibit which are required for the preservation and protection of the environment.

(h) Natural science means the branches of knowledge collectively which deal directly with natural objects, organic or inorganic, the substances composing these natural objects and the phenomena they exhibit. It includes biology in all its branches, geology, chemistry, physics, radiation, geography and other sciences, but not abstract mathematics, philosophy or metaphysics.

(i) Related courses shall refer to basic required subjects and programs pertaining to environmental conservation. The number of instruction hours shall be specified by the commissioner.

§637.3 Grades Established in Environmental Conservation

There are hereby established the following grades of environmental engineers, environmental scientists, environmental technicians and environmental aides: environmental engineer trainee, assistant environmental engineer, senior environmental engineer, associate environmental engineer, principal environmental engineer, environmental scientist trainee, assistant environmental scientist, senior environmental scientist, associate environmental scientist, principal environmental scientist, environmental technician trainee, environmental technician, senior environmental technician, principal environmental technician, and environmental aide.

§637.4 Employment of Persons in Environmental Conservation Programs

(a) No agency shall hereafter employ individuals who perform the functions of environmental engineer, environmental scientist, environmental technician or environmental aide, as detailed in this Part, unless the proposed appointee shall have presented in advance to such authority satisfactory evidence from the department that the applicant possesses the qualifications established by sections 637.6 through 637.9 of this Part.

(b) Persons responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental conservation programs and those responsible for engineering functions in environmental conservation agencies shall have the qualifications approved at the levels shown in the following table, depending upon population of jurisdiction:

TABLE Required Levels for Certain Functions
Population of jurisdiction agency Required minimum level for individual responsible for planning, directing, and administering all environmental conservation programs Minimum level required for individual responsible for all engineering functions in the agency
350,000 or greater Principal environmental engineer or environmental principal environmental scientist Associate engineer
Over 100,000 but less than 350,000 Associate environmental engineer or associate Senior environmental engineerX
Less than 100,000 Senior environmental engineer or senior environmental scientist Senior environmental engineer

(c) The provisions of sections 637.6 through 637.9 of this Part shall not interfere with the appointment of any person from a civil service list established prior to November 30, 1977, nor shall they interfere with the continued employment or advancement of an individual appointed from a civil service list prior to November 30, 1977 within a particular occupational series under the jurisdiction of these sections.

(d) The provisions of sections 637.6 through 637.9 of this Part shall not interfere with the appointment or employment of any individual by a local health department, providing that individual is qualified under appropriate regulations of the State Department of Health.

§637.5 Advanced Academic Degrees

A master's degree or doctorate in engineering and/or public health and/or natural science acceptable to the commissioner may be honored in lieu of one or two years, respectively, of general environmental experience required by sections 637.6 through 637.8 of this Part. However, when credit is allowed for a doctor's degree, no additional credit is allowed for a master's degree.

§637.6 Qualifications and Primary Functions for Environmental Engineers

(a) An environmental engineer applies the principles and data of engineering and natural and social sciences for the protection and improvement of the environment. The basic qualifications for an environmental engineer in any grade established in this Part shall be graduation with a baccalaureate in engineering from an accredited school, college, university or other institution of learning.

(b) Environmental engineer trainee.

(1) Primary functions. An environmental engineer trainee assists higher ranking engineers in the performance of professional field and office work under close and continuing supervision while participating in an approved training program.

(2) Additional qualifications.

(i) Satisfactory completion of a training program approved by the commissioner; or

(ii) one year of satisfactory environmental engineering experience.

(c) Assistant environmental engineer.

(1) Primary functions. Under administrative and technical supervision of higher ranking engineers, an assistant environmental engineer performs environmental engineering activities of ordinary difficulty and responsibility which may include investigating, evaluating and inspecting facilities and premises; making analyses, measurements and calculations relating thereto; interpreting the results of laboratory examinations; assisting in the instruction of staffs of local wastewater treatment plants, incinerator and landfill operations; reviewing plans; participating in the investigation of environmental problems; writing reports and recommendations; and testifying at enforcement proceedings.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) One year of satisfactory environmental engineering experience, which includes completion of a training program as an environmental engineer trainee which was approved by the commissioner; or

(ii) two years of satisfactory environmental engineering experience.

(d) Senior environmental engineer.

(1) Primary functions. A senior environmental engineer is responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs, or has responsible charge of all engineering functions in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of less than 100,000 population or, under administrative supervision, has responsibility for the same or similar functions for segments of an environmental conservation program in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 100,000 or greater population.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) Possession of a license to practice professional engineering in New York State; and either

(ii) one year of satisfactory experience as an assistant environmental engineer in an environmental conservation or health agency, or

(iii) three years of satisfactory environmental engineering experience.

(e) Associate environmental engineer.

(1) Primary functions. An associate environmental engineer has responsibility for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs or has responsible charge of all engineering functions in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of more than 100,000 but less than 350,000 population, or under administrative supervision has responsibility for the same or similar functions for segments of an environmental conservation program in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 350,000 or greater population.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) Possession of license to practice professional engineering in New York State; and either

(ii) one year of satisfactory experience as a senior environmental engineer in an environmental conservation or health agency, or

(iii) four years of satisfactory environmental engineering experience, of which one year must be in a position equivalent to that of a senior environmental engineer.

(f) Principal environmental engineer.

(1) Primary functions. A principal environmental engineer is responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs or has responsibility for all engineering functions in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 350,000 or greater population.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) Possession of a license to practice professional engineering in New York State; and either

(ii) two years of satisfactory experience as an associate environmental engineer in an environmental conservation or health agency, or

(iii) six years of satisfactory environmental engineering experience, of which two years must be in a position equivalent to that of an associate environmental engineer.

(g) Equivalent State titles. As examples of comparable experience for qualification purposes, experience in the following State Department of Health and/or State Department of Environmental Conservation civil service engineering series is considered to be equivalent to the experience in the following sanitary code titles and for the titles in these rules and regulations:

(1) Junior engineer--public health engineer--environmental engineer trainee.

(2) Assistant sanitary engineer--assistant public health engineer--assistant environmental engineer.

(3) Senior sanitary engineer--senior public health engineer--senior environmental engineer.

(4) Associate sanitary engineer--associate public health engineer--associate environmental engineer--associate air pollution control engineer--associate solid waste control engineer--associate nuclear engineer.

(5) Principal sanitary engineer--principal public health engineer--principal environmental engineer--principal air pollution control engineer--principal solid waste control engineer--principal nuclear engineer.

§637.7 Qualifications and Primary Functions for Environmental Scientists

(a) An environmental scientist applies the principles and data of physical, biological and social sciences for the preservation and protection of the environment. The basic qualification for an environmental scientist in any grade established in this Part shall be graduation from an accredited school, college or other institution of learning with a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, physics or other natural science acceptable to the commissioner, including or supplemented by the satisfactory work in the natural sciences or related courses acceptable to the commissioner.

(b) Environmental scientist trainee.

(1) Primary functions. An environmental scientist trainee assists higher ranking environmental scientists and engineers in the performance of professional field and office work under close and continuing supervision while participating in an approved training program.

(2) Additional qualifications.

(i) Satisfactory completion of a training program approved by the commissioner; or

(ii) one year of satisfactory environmental science experience.

(c) Assistant environmental scientist.

(1) Primary functions. An assistant environmental scientist, under administrative and technical supervision, performs professional activities which encompass the investigation, inspection and analyses of the non-engineering aspects of environmental conservation, including investigating, evaluating and inspecting facilities and premises; making analyses, measurements, and evaluations thereof; interpreting the results of laboratory examinations; training, assisting and supervising technicians and aides; preparing reports and recommendations; and testifying at enforcement hearings.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) One year of satisfactory experience in environmental conservation programs, including completion of a training program for environmental scientist trainee approved by the commissioner; or

(ii) two years of satisfactory environmental science experience.

(d) Senior environmental scientist.

(1) Primary functions. A senior environmental scientist is responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of less than 100,000 population or, under administrative supervision, is responsible for non-engineering functions in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 100,000 or greater population.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) One year of satisfactory experience as an assistant environmental scientist in an environmental conservation agency; and

(ii) three years of satisfactory environmental science experience.

(e) Associate environmental scientist.

(1) Primary function. An associate environmental scientist is responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision with population equal to or greater than 100,000, but less than 350,000, or, under administrative supervision, has responsible charge of non-engineering functions in a larger political subdivision.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) One year of satisfactory experience as a senior environmental scientist in an environmental conservation agency; or

(ii) four years of satisfactory environmental science experience, of which one year must be in a position equivalent to senior environmental scientist.

(f) Principal environmental scientist.

(1) Primary functions. A principal environmental scientist is responsible for planning, directing and administering all environmental programs in an agency having regulatory responsibility for a political subdivision of 350,000 or greater population.

(2) Qualifications required.

(i) Two years of satisfactory experience as an associate environmental scientist in an environmental conservation agency; or

(ii) six years of satisfactory environmental experience, of which two years must be in a position equivalent to that of an associate environmental scientist.

(g) Equivalent titles. As examples for comparable qualification purposes, experience in the following State Department of Health, State Department of Environmental Conservation and, where specified, local civil service titles are considered to be equivalent to experience in the environmental scientist titles in this code:

(1) Sanitarian trainee--public health sanitarian trainee--environmentalist I (local)--environmental scientist trainee.

(2) Public health sanitarian--sanitary chemist--public health sanitarian-- environmentalist II (local)--assistant environmental scientist.

(3) Senior sanitarian--senior sanitary chemist--senior public health sanitarian--environmentalist III (local)--senior environmental scientist.

(4) Associate sanitarian--associate sanitary chemist--associate public health sanitarian--environmentalist IV (local)--associate environmental scientist.

(5) Principal sanitarian--principal sanitary chemist--principal public health sanitarian--environmentalist V (local)--principal environmental scientist.

§637.8 Qualifications and Primary Functions for Environmental Technicians

(a) Primary functions. An environmental technician assists environmental engineers and environmental scientists in carrying out the various functions relating to prevention and control programs affecting the environment, including inspections, surveys, investigations and evaluations to determine compliance with laws and regulations. The grades of environmental technician established by an agency will be dependent upon the level of responsibility to be given the environmental technician.

(b) The basic qualifications for a technician in any grade herein established shall be:

(1) possession of at least an associate degree in applied science; or

(2) successful completion of two years or 60 semester credit hours of college, including 12 semester credit hours in mathematics and natural sciences; or

(3) successful completion of one year or 30 semester credit hours of college, including 12 semester credit hours in mathematics and natural science, and two years of satisfactory environmental conservation experience; or

(4) high school graduation or possession of a New York State high school equivalency diploma, with a minimum of two Carnegie units in mathematics and three Carnegie units in natural science, and four years of satisfactory environmental conservation experience.

(5) The associate degree or college training referred to in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of this subdivision shall be acceptable to the commissioner.

(c) Additional qualifications for environmental technician trainee. Satisfactory completion of a training program approved by the commissioner.

(d) Qualifications for environmental technician.

(1) An individual possessing an associate in applied science in an environmental technology curriculum specifically approved by the commissioner shall be considered qualified as an environmental technician; all other individuals shall possess the qualifications required for environmental technician trainee, and either

(2) one year of satisfactory experience as an environmental technician trainee, including completion of a training program for environmental technician trainee approved by the State Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, or

(3) two years of satisfactory environmental technical conservation experience.

(e) Qualifications for senior environmental technician.

(1) One year of satisfactory experience as an environmental technician; or

(2) Four years of satisfactory technical environmental conservation experience.

(f) Qualifications for principal environmental technician.

(1) Two years of satisfactory experience as a senior environmental technician; or

(2) Six years of satisfactory technical environmental conservation experience.

§637.9 Qualifications and Primary Functions for Environmental Aides

An environmental aide assists other environmental personnel under direct supervision to perform tasks including but not limited to collecting samples, making simple field measurements or observations, sketches or diagrams, performing simple calculations and tabulating data. The basic qualifications of an environmental aide shall be graduation from high school or possession of a New York State high school equivalency diploma.

§637.10 Procedures

(a) Agencies considering employing or promoting individuals as environmental engineers, environmental scientists, environmental technicians or environmental aides shall submit satisfactory evidence to the commissioner that those individuals have had their qualifications approved under this Part prior to said employment or promotion.

(b) Prior to employing a trainee for a position described in this Part, the agency shall file a training plan for that individual for approval by the commissioner. Within 30 days after the completion of a training program, the agency shall notify the commissioner.

(c) The commissioner shall establish additional procedures, certificates and forms as necessary for the implementation of this section.

§637.11 Submission of Evidence of Qualifications

Any person may apply to the commissioner for approval of his qualifications in a specific grade as herein provided.

§637.12 Examinations

The commissioner may require any person whose qualifications are submitted for consideration to take written, oral or practical examinations, and may approve such qualifications in a specific grade on the basis of the results of such examinations.