Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Waste Management Facility Operators
Waste Management Facility Operators Regulations [18 VAC 155 ‑ 20]
Action Addition of license class
Comment Period Ended on 1/15/2014
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1/15/14  8:09 am
Commenter: Linda Shultz

Same license for all composters - Class I is sufficient

 Under current DPOR regulation, a Class 2 WMFO license is required of both landfill operators, and facilities that compost municipal solid waste.  Landfills and compost facilities are quite distinct operations.  This grouping places a burden on operators of both facilities, especially the compost facility operators, to be trained and tested on information that is not relevant to the operation and management of their respective facilities. 

 Also under current DPOR regulation, compost facility operators fall under two different license classes:  A WMFO Class 1 license is required for operators of a composting facility receiving yard waste, and a WMFO Class 2 license is required of operators of facilities that compost municipal solid waste.   Since all compost facilities have similar permitting, siting, and operational requirements, regardless of the type of material composted, the same class operator license should be required of all compost facilities. 

 Two possible options for resolving the current problems with the compost facility license requirements are: 
                1 - Require a Class 1 license for all compost facility operators, or
                2 - Create a fifth license class that covers all compost facility operators.

As the Board considers the scope of practice allowed under each license class, I recommend including all composting facilities in the definition of a Class I license for the following reasons:

 ·         1) The Class 1 basic training course and examination are sufficient to meet the minimum competency requirements needed to operate a composting facility, and to meet the intent of the statute requiring a WMFO license.  Therefore, creation of a 5th license class for operators of composting facilities is unnecessary. 

·         2) Compost facility operators should be subject to equivalent basic training and testing requirements as other solid waste management facilities that hold similar-type Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) solid waste management facility permits and are subject to similar requirements under DEQ regulations 9VAC20-81-300 et seq.  (In addition to composting facilities, these include primarily transfer stations and material recovery facilities.)

·        3)  Specific additional knowledge pertaining to compost facility operations can be obtained through the Continuing Education requirements of the WMFO license, as is done by other WMFO licensees.

·        4)  The subject matter of a Class 1 license exam applies generally to operators of all facilities subject to Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations (VSWMR) Part IV (9VAC20-81-300 et seq), which includes all categories of compost facilities.

·         5) The WMFO license exam, which recently underwent a review, could be readily modified by placing all compost-related questions into the Class 1 exam question bank. 

·        6)  Avoids the potential dilemma of how to “grandfather” those operators of compost facilities who already have either a Class 1 or Class 2 license, if a new license class were to be created.

·         7) Reduces unnecessary regulatory and financial burden on composting facilities, which in many cases are small businesses. 

CommentID: 30568