Summary


To become certified to operate a Type A or Type B animal waste management system, you must first successfully complete the approved training program. Second, you must submit an application to the Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission with the appropriate fee attached. Third, you must pass an examination administered by the Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission.

 

Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission

The commission responsible for the certification of animal waste management system operators is the Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission (WPCSOCC). The Certification Commission is also responsible for the certification of other water pollution control system operators, such as wastewater treatment plant operators, collection system operators, spray irrigation system operators, land application of residuals system operators, and subsurface system operators. In addition to certification of operators, the Certification Commission is responsible for the classification of water pollution control systems and the development and implementation of training programs for the certification of operators.

The Certification Commission has 11 members. Two members represent the animal agriculture industry and are appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture. The remaining nine members are appointed by the Secretary of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources and represent other areas of the water pollution control system industry. The Commission is located in the Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources and is assisted by the staff of DWQ's Technical Assistance and Certification Group.

 

Classification of Animal Waste Management Systems

The Certification Commission has established two types of animal waste management systems:

The Type A systems primarily rely on an anaerobic lagoon and soil/plant systems for the treatment of animal waste. These systems are generally used to treat animal waste generated by animals that produce a low-fiber waste, such as swine and poultry. These systems generally include the following components: anaerobic lagoon; pumps; pipes and other structures that carry waste from the point of generation to the final treatment/disposal site; flushing systems; solids separation equipment; irrigation equipment; and land application site and crops.

Type B systems primarily rely on soil/plant systems for the treatment of animal waste. These systems are generally used to treat animal waste generated by animals that produce a high-fiber waste, such as cattle, horses, and sheep. These systems generally include the following components: dry stacks; solids and slurry collection equipment; storage ponds for the collection of solids and runoff; pumps, pipes and other structures that carry waste from the point of generation to the final treatment/disposal site; flushing systems; solids separation equipment; irrigation equipment; and land application site and crops.

 

Certification of Animal Waste Management System Operators

Separate training and certification programs have been developed for each type of animal waste management system.

To become certified as a Type A or Type B Animal Waste Management System Operator, you must complete the appropriate training program and pass the appropriate examination. To maintain your certification, you must pay an annual renewal fee and complete 6 hours of additional training every 3 years. If you fail to pay the annual renewal fee within 30 days of the due date, or if you fail to complete the approved additional training within 30 days of the end of the 3-year period, you must take and pass another examination in order to renew your certificate.

 

Enforcement Actions

Under certain circumstances, the Certification Commission may take enforcement actions against a certified operator. The Certification Commission may suspend or revoke your certificate, or may issue you a written reprimand. The Certification Commission may take these actions if it finds that you have practiced fraud or deceit, have not exercised reasonable care, judgment, or the use of your knowledge and ability in the performance of your duties as an operator, or you are incompetent or unable to perform your duties. In addition, civil penalties may be assessed against an owner, or operator in charge, for willful violations of the requirements of NCGS 90A-47.

 

Duties and Requirements of Owners

Owners of animal waste management systems were required to designate an operator in charge by January 1, 1997, if their animal waste management systems were in operation on that date. Owners of new animal operations having animal waste management systems must designate an operator in charge before these systems are placed into operation. Owners must also designate a new operator in charge within 30 days of a change in operators. Designation forms must be submitted to the Certification Commission. Failure to designate an operator in charge may result in the assessment of civil penalties of up to $1,000 according to NCGS 90A-47.

 

Duties and Requirements of Certified Operators

All certified operators, regardless of whether or not you are a designated operator in charge of an animal waste management system, must notify the Certification Commission within 30 days of a change in address. As mentioned earlier, you must also pay an annual renewal fee and complete 6 hours of approved training every 3 years following certification.

 

Duties and Requirements of an Operator in Charge

As an operator in charge of any type of animal waste management system, you must:

  1. possess a currently valid animal waste management system operators certificate of the appropriate type;
  2. visit and inspect each animal waste management system at a frequency to ensure proper operation of the system;
  3. inspect, or a person under the supervision of the operator in charge, shall inspect the land application site at least every four hours during the application of the waste;
  4. properly manage, supervise, and document daily operation and maintenance of the system;
  5. certify monitoring and reporting information as required in the permit; and
  6. be available for consultation, emergencies, and inspections.

 

As an operator in charge, or a designated back-up operator, of a Type A system you must:

  1. ensure that animal waste is being applied in accordance with the animal waste management plan and the permit;
  2. inspect, or have a person under the direct supervision of the operator in charge inspect, the land application site at least every 4 hours during the application of animal waste; and
  3. inspect the land application site within 24 hours of the application of animal waste if the operator in charge was not present during the application of animal waste.

 

As an operator in charge, or a designated back-up operator, of a Type B system you must:

  1. ensure that animal waste is being applied in accordance with the animal waste management plan and the permit;
  2. inspect, or have a person under the direct supervision of the operator in charge inspect, the land application site during the application of animal waste; and
  3. inspect the land application site within 48 hours of the application of animal waste if the operator in charge was not present during the application of animal waste.

 

Contract Operators (certified operators that contract with owners of animal waste management systems to serve as an operator in charge) are required to submit annual reports to the Certification Commission by January 15 of each year, beginning January 15, 1998. The annual report must include the name of the certified operator, mailing address, phone number, and certificate number. It must also include the name, mailing address, county, facility identification number, and type of each animal waste management system for which the certified operator has been designated as operator in charge.


Copyright © NC State University Cooperative Extension Service
Site maintained by David Crouse and the Department of Soil Science
Last Modified: 29-Aug-2003