The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the availability of the Tribal Drinking Water Operator Certification Program Draft Final Guidelines (Draft Final Guidelines).
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 directed the EPA, in cooperation with the states, to develop guidelines specifying minimum standards for certification and recertification of operators of state community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems. The requirements pertaining to states do not apply to tribes.
However, because having a certified operator is a key factor in public health protection, EPA has developed a voluntary Tribal Drinking Water Operator Certification Program. This program is intended to protect public health by providing operators of drinking water systems in Indian country with additional opportunities to become trained and certified, by developing baseline standards for non-state organizations certifying operators of systems in Indian country, and by establishing a consistent method of assessing, tracking, and addressing certification and training needs of those operators.
The draft guidelines were made available to the public in a Federal Register notice dated March 30, 2000 (65 FR 16917), and comments were sought.
Today, EPA is seeking any additional comments from tribes and other interested parties who will be affected by the Tribal Drinking Water Operator Certification Program. EPA will consider the comments received when finalizing the Program Guidelines.
Comments should be postmarked or received via email or courier by June 18, 2004.
Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Send comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2004-0004.
For copies of the Draft Final Guidelines, and for general information about the document, please contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791. The Draft Final Guidelines are also available on the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water website at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/tribal.html.
For technical inquiries, contact Jill Nogi, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Mail Code: 4606M, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone: (202) 564-1721; email: [email protected]