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The Certification and Licensing Branch is home to the solid waste, drinking water and wastewater certification programs. Through education and certification exams, these three programs help ensure that the people charged with dealing with community solid waste, drinking water and wastewater are knowledgeable and capable of handling the responsibilities required of those positions.

COVID-19 Related Announcements

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Department for Environmental Protection has implemented telecommuting to enable better social distancing and slow the spread of the virus. During this time there will be periods when the staff of the Division of Compliance Assistance will be working remotely. This contact list will help you identify the staff member that can best help you.

We highly encourage you to reach out via e-mail in addition to leaving email contact information in any phone messages or communications with us at this time.

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Classes, Testing and Renewal Deadline

DCA is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its impacts on drinking water renewal, our classes, the classes of partner agencies and our ability to provide certification testing.  We want to provide the following update:

  • The late fees on renewal have been waived through Aug. 31st. 

  • As of right now, we are unable to hold class and testing events due to group size limitations and building access restrictions.  Currently, we are moving classes scheduled in June to August and later dates.  Staff will contact you to move your registration if you have already signed up.  We are also evaluating the ability to provide these online as an alternative. We will keep you posted. 

  • We will be evaluating the ability to hold July classes and tests starting in June. 

  • The program is working through ways to provide testing to operators.  This is highly dependent on the ability to access meeting space and the ability gather as a group (size limitations).  

As decisions are made, we will update the website and let those who have already registered for classes and tests know of changes and availability.  We appreciate your continued patience.

Class Cancellations and Reschedules

Because of current events the Certification and Licensing Branch has had to cancel and/or reschedule several training/testing events.

  • Landfill Operator/Manager, March 18-20, has been cancelled. The next available date is September 2-4.
  • Exam Only Event, March 20, has been cancelled.
  • DW & WW CEU class, March 26-27, has been rescheduled to June 24-25.
  • DW Treatment Certification School and Exam, April 6-9, has been cancelled.
  • WW Treatment Certification School and Exam, April 6-9, has been cancelled.
  • DW & WW CEU class, April 23-24, has been cancelled.
  • Exam Only Event, May 1, has been cancelled.
  • DW Distribution Certification School and Exam, May 5-8, has been cancelled.
  • DW Treatment Certification School and Exam, June 9-12, has been cancelled.

We will continue to monitor the situation to determine if additional changes/additions need to occur.

Operator Shortages/Sampling Requirements

Please contact the Division of Water (DOW) immediately if you find you are running into with complying with staffing, sampling and reporting requirements or any other issues.  Sarah Gaddis is DOW's point of contact in the event of an emergency.  In the event there is an issue at your system here is a list of certified operators. DOW can also help you locate resources to help in these situations. 

Information from the EPA

On March 27, 2020, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to Governors in all 50 states, territories, and Washington, DC, requesting that water and wastewater workers, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers who provide vital services and materials to the water sector, are considered essential workers and businesses by state authorities when enacting restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Agency has provided a template that state, localities and water utilities can use to provide documentation to workers that are considered essential: Water Utility Template: COVID-19 Pandemic (DOCX).

New Regulations in Effect

As of Nov. 1, 2019, new regulations governing drinking water and wastewater operator certification took effect and are being implemented by the cabinet. This fact sheet covers highlights of changes made to Title 401 KAR Chapters 5, 8 and 11.  We are currently processing all applications in accordance with the new regulations.  However, not all of our online processes will be immediately available. Watch the DCA webpage for more information as new materials and processes become available. 

What does the Certification and Licensing Branch do to ensure that operators are properly trained?

The Kentucky Operator Certification Program provides training and issues certifications to ensure that individuals engaged in performing many of Kentucky's critical environmental activities are qualified and capable to perform their duties. Program activities include:

  • Issuing certification licenses to Kentucky's bottled water, collection, distribution, treatment and solid waste operators.
  • Presenting classes for bottled water, collection, distribution, treatment, landfarm, landfill and composting operators.
  • Assisting the Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators and the Kentucky Board of Certification of Wastewater System Operators.
  • Developing and implementing an operator recruitment strategy that encourages individuals to consider a career in wastewater, drinking water and solid waste facilities.
  • Attending career fairs and speaking to groups about water treatment and solid waste careers.
  • Providing relevant information to certified operators and interested parties through e-mail newsletters and the program blog. You can be added to the program's distribution list by calling the Division of Compliance Assistance at (502) 564-0323, or by emailing

Operator Certification is responsible for the testing and training records of certified operators. The Certification Program does not administer facility requirements. If you have a question on what classification of operator your drinking water, wastewater or solid waste facility is required to have or any other staffing requirements, contact the Kentucky Division of Water at (502) 564-3410 or the Kentucky Division of Waste Management at (502) 564-6716.​​​