1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Grist
House Bill 1414
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-67-3 AND 41-67-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THAT A PERSON CERTIFIED BY THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH AS AN INSTALLER OR INDIVIDUAL ON-SITE WASTEWATER DISPOSAL SYSTEMS NEED NOT BE A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER, IN ORDER TO INSTALL SUCH SYSTEMS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 41-67-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-67-3. (1) The State Board of Health shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) To exercise general supervision over the design, construction, operation and maintenance of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems with flows substantially equivalent to a single family residential generator, except when the property owner or lessee chooses to employ a professional engineer to comply with this chapter. To effectively administer this law, the department and the Department of Environmental Quality shall enter into a memorandum of understanding, which at a minimum shall clearly define the jurisdiction of each department with regard to wastewater disposal and procedures for interdepartmental interaction and cooperation;
(b) To adopt, modify, repeal and promulgate rules and regulations, after due notice and hearing, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to, to grant exemptions from and to enforce rules and regulations implementing or effectuating the duties of the board under this chapter to protect the public health. The board may grant variances from rules and regulations adopted under this chapter, including requirements for buffer zones, or from setbacks required under Section 41-67-7 where the granting of a variance shall not subject the public to unreasonable health risks or jeopardize environmental resources;
(c) To provide or deny certification for persons engaging in the business of the design, construction or installation of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems and persons engaging in the removal and disposal of the sludge and liquid waste from those systems;
(d) To suspend or revoke certifications issued to persons engaging in the business of the design, construction or installation of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems or persons engaging in the removal and disposal of the sludge and liquid waste from those systems, when it is determined the person has violated this chapter or applicable rules and regulations; and
(e) To require the submission of information deemed necessary by the department to determine the suitability of individual lots for individual on-site wastewater disposal systems.
(2) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude a professional engineer from providing services relating to the design, construction or installation of an individual on-site wastewater disposal system to comply with this chapter. Except as otherwise required by subsection (4) of this section or Section 41-67-8, a professional engineer shall notify the department in writing of those services being provided. If a professional engineer designs, constructs or installs or directly supervises the construction or installation of a design-based individual on-site wastewater disposal system consistent with this chapter and stamps the appropriate documentation with that professional engineer's seal, the department shall approve the design, construction or installation of the system, if requested. Professional engineers engaging in the design, construction or installation of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems shall not require certification under this chapter.
(3) To assure the effective and efficient administration of this chapter, the board shall adopt rules governing the design, construction or installation, operation and maintenance of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems, including rules concerning the:
(a) Review and approval of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems in accordance with Section 41-67-6;
(b) Certification of installers of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems and persons engaging in the removal and disposal of the sludge and liquid waste from those systems; and
(c) Registration and requirements for testing and listing of manufacturers of aerobic treatment systems.
(4) In addition, the board shall adopt rules establishing performance standards for individual on-site wastewater disposal systems for single family residential generators and rules concerning the operation and maintenance of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems designed to meet those standards. The performance standards shall be consistent with the federal Clean Water Act, maintaining the wastes on the property of the generator except as authorized under Section 41-67-8, and protection of the public health. Rules for the operation and maintenance of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems designed to meet performance standards shall include rules concerning the following:
(a) A standard application form and requirements for supporting documentation;
(b) Application review;
(c) Approval or denial of authorization for proposed systems;
(d) Requirements, as deemed appropriate by the board, for annual renewal of authorization;
(e) Enforcement of the requirements and conditions of authorization; and
(f) Inspection, monitoring, sampling and reporting on the performance of the system.
Any system proposed for authorization in accordance with performance standards must be designed and certified by a professional engineer and must be authorized by the board before installation. Such a system may be installed by a person other than a professional engineer, if the person is certified by the board as an installer of individual on-site wastewater disposal systems. Appeals from a final decision of the board regarding the authorization of an individual on-site wastewater disposal system based upon performance standards shall be taken using a procedure substantially equivalent to the procedure specified for hospital licenses in Chapter 9 of Title 41.
(5) To the extent practicable, all rules and regulations adopted under this chapter shall give maximum flexibility to persons installing individual on-site wastewater disposal systems and a maximum number of options consistent with the federal Clean Water Act, consistent with maintaining the wastes on the property of the generator except as authorized under Section 41-67-8, and consistent with protection of the public health. In addition, all rules and regulations, to the extent practicable, shall encourage the use of economically feasible systems, including alternative techniques and technologies for individual on-site wastewater disposal.
(6) All regulations shall be applied uniformly in all areas of the state and shall take into consideration and make provision for different types of soil in the state when performing soil and site evaluations.
SECTION 2. Section 41-67-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-67-25. (1) A person may not operate as an installer in this state unless that person is certified by the board except any individual who installs an individual on-site wastewater disposal system on his own property or a professional engineer. An installer is not required to be a professional engineer.
(2) An installer of aerobic treatment plants or subsurface drip disposal systems must be a factory-trained and authorized representative. The manufacturer must furnish documentation to the department certifying the satisfactory completion of factory training and the establishment of the installer as an authorized manufacturer's representative.
(3) The board shall issue a certification to an installer if the installer:
(a) Completes an application form that complies with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter;
(b) Satisfactorily completes the training program provided by the department; and
(c) Pays the annual certification fee.
(4) Each installer shall furnish proof of certification to a property owner, lessee, the owner's representative or occupant of the property on which an individual on-site wastewater disposal system is to be designed, constructed, repaired or installed by that installer and to the department or its authorized representative, if requested.
(5) The department shall provide for annual renewal of certifications.
(6) (a) An installer's certification may be suspended or revoked by the board after notice and hearing if the installer violates this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted under this chapter.
(b) The installer may appeal a suspension or revocation under this section as provided by law.
(7) The department semiannually shall disseminate to the public an official list of certified installers and provide to county health departments a monthly update of the list.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.