(a) The Department shall establish qualifications for, and encourage the development of training programs for, operators of incinerators, operators of landfills, coordinators of local recycling programs, and other solid waste management facilities.
(b) The Department shall work with accredited community colleges, vocational technical centers, State universities, and private institutions in developing educational materials, courses of study, and other such information to be made available for persons seeking to be trained as operators of solid waste management facilities.
(c) A person may not perform the duties of an operator of a solid waste management facility after 1 January 1998, unless he has completed an operator training course approved by the Department. An owner of a solid waste management facility may not employ any person to perform the duties of an operator unless the person has completed an approved solid waste management facility operator training course.
(d) The Commission may adopt rules and minimum standards to effectuate the provisions of this section and to ensure the safe, healthy, and lawful operation of solid waste management facilities. The Commission may establish, by rule, various classifications for operators to address the need for differing levels of training required to operate various types of solid waste management facilities due to different operating requirements at the facilities.
(e) In developing training programs for incinerator operators under this section, the Department shall establish and consult with ad hoc advisory groups to help coordinate the requirements under this section with other training programs for incinerator operators.
(f) This section does not apply to any operator of a solid waste management facility who has five years continuous experience as an operator of a solid waste management facility immediately preceding January 1, 1998, provided that the operator attends a course and completes the continuing education requirements approved by the Department. (1989, c. 784, s. 2; 1993, c. 29, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 594, s. 19; 1997-443, s. 15.49(a).)