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Florida is the first state to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a program to certify operators of public drinking water supplies, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
"The health and well-being of Florida's citizens and its economy is directly linked to the inventory of safe drinking water," said DEP secretary David Struhs. "The state has deployed significant resources in this area and on behalf of our citizens and system operators, we are deeply gratified to be the first in the nation to declare Florida as a safe drinking water state."
The Florida Operator Certification Program is a statewide licensing program to ensure that operators of drinking water and wastewater facilities have the knowledge and skills to operate a facility of a particular class. Training courses must meet minimum standards set by the Department of Education before they can be approved to satisfy the education requirement. These training courses are available through correspondence courses, various community colleges and vocational schools.
The applicant also must pass a statewide examination, which is conducted twice a year and is offered at various locations throughout the state. To obtain the approval from EPA, the program has added continuing education requirements to the license renewal process. The continuing education courses will be designed to keep the operators current with the latest technology and will be required to renew a license beginning in 2003.
(Source: Environmental News Service)