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ASDWA & EPA Co-host “101” Webinars for National Meeting

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, ASDWA and EPA cohosted webinars to provide “101” style information basics about capacity development and operator certification programs for state staff.  The webinars were a “pre-event” option in anticipation of the upcoming December 8-10, 2015 National Capacity Development & Operator Certification Workshop in Dallas, Texas and focused on information needs for new state program staff as well as a refresher for others who work with small systems.

The Tuesday Operator Certification 101 webinar showcased both statutory requirements and the Nine Baseline Standards for Operator Certification.  Presenters Bob Dunlevy (EPA Region 7 Operator Certification Coordinator) and Andy Barienbrock (Ohio EPA’s Operator Certification Coordinator) spoke about the history of the program, the details of what’s included in the Baseline Standards, and how those elements are applied in a state operator certification program.  Bob explained some of the rationale that went into the state-designed Baseline Standards and Andy described how those Standards are used in Ohio.

Thursday’s Capacity Development 101 webinar highlighted the versatility of both Regional and State staff by calling, again, on Bob Dunlevy (Region 7) and on Beth Goldowitz of Wisconsin.  Both Bob and Beth manage both the Capacity Development and Operator Certification programs for their Region and state, respectively.  Bob described the statutory requirements and history behind the non-regulatory capacity development program and included helpful tips for successful implementation taken from his own experience in working with state programs.  Beth explained how the capacity development program is managed in Wisconsin and noted that her predecessor explained that “everything we do in this [drinking water] program is capacity development.”

Both webinars were recorded and will be posted soon on the ASDWA website www.asdwa.org under the Small Systems tab.

Hopefully, attendees at the upcoming National Workshop will now be able to hit the ground running.  The Workshop’s theme is “Roadmap to the Future: Building Sustainability and Integrating Resiliency.”  For more information on the Workshop (there’s still time to register and the hotel room block cutoff is November 16), go to the Conferences section of the ASDWA website www.asdwa.org.