Kentucky Division of Water Releases Final Draft Wastewater Laboratory Certification Regulation
By Kelly Bartley, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
On April 4, 2012, the Kentucky Division of Water released its final draft of the wastewater laboratory certification program regulation that it intends to propose on May 14, 2012. The regulation, which has been crafted over the past year with input from interested stakeholders including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, will require laboratories providing wastewater testing services to entities holding Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) wastewater discharge permits to be certified under a program that establishes detailed operational, performance and quality control standards. The program, as currently contemplated, would also impose annual fees for certification and competency evaluations of laboratories. If filed as planned on May 14, public comments on the regulation are expected to be accepted through early July, and a final effective regulation is expected in late fall. Pursuant to KRS 224.10-670 beginning on year from that effective date all environmental samples collected pursuant to a KPDES permit will be required to be submitted to a certified laboratory for analysis.
One contentious issue in the development of the program has been the treatment of the large number of laboratories that analyze only field parameters, such as dissolved oxygen, residual chlorine, pH, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, and flow. Like earlier drafts, the latest draft of the regulation continues to require that field laboratories be certified under the program although certification requirements are abbreviated and fees are proposed to be less for those entities. Another contentious issue has been the annual certification fees to be established by the regulation. Like the previous draft, the current draft continues to contemplate parameter-specific annual fees generally ranging from $500 to $1,000. In addition, the draft calls for an annual general application fee of $1,500, although laboratories that provide only field analyses are exempt from the annual general application fee and laboratories operated by a permitted facility providing only field analyses for its facility are exempt from all fees. In response to numerous comments from the municipal sector, the latest draft also incorporates limited fee relief provisions for municipalities providing services for their own wastewater treatment facilities.
To view a complete PDF of the March/April 2012 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.