NEBRASKA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Title 124 - Rules And Regulations For The Design, Operation And Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
Chapter 20 - Certification Requirements

001 Only a certified professional, a professional engineer, a registered environmental health specialist, or a person under their direct supervision may engage in the inspection, pumping, siting, layout, construction, reconstruction, alteration, modification, repair, closure or otherwise changing of an onsite wastewater treatment system. For the purposes of these regulations, “direct supervision” means the person overseeing the work is physically present on the site where the work is being done and has control over, responsibility for, and professional knowledge of the work being done. The certification requirement does not apply to a private onsite wastewater treatment system at an electric generation facility site owned by a district organized under Nebraska Revised Statutes, Chapter 70, article 6.

002 Certified professionals must hold a valid certificate by examination in accordance with this Title or a hardship certificate in one or more of the following categories:

002.01 Master Installer

002.02 Journeyman Installer

002.03 Soil Evaluator

002.04 Inspector

002.05 Master Pumper

002.06 Journeyman Pumper

003 Authorization to Practice

003.01 Authorization to Practice under Certificates by Examination:

003.01A A Master Installer or Journeyman Installer is authorized to engage in the siting, layout, construction, reconstruction, alteration, modification, repair, or closure of onsite wastewater systems, except that a Journeyman Installer is only authorized to engage in any of these activities in accordance with the following restrictions:

003.01A.1 The Journeyman Installer is employed by a Master Installer, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is responsible for the work, or

003.01A.2 The Journeyman Installer is employed by a business or government entity that has a Master Installer, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist as an owner, officer, or employee of the business or of a government entity who is responsible for the work.

003.01B A Soil Evaluator is authorized to engage in the soil evaluation of onsite wastewater systems.

003.01C An Inspector is authorized to engage in the inspecting or soil evaluation of onsite wastewater systems.

003.01D A Master Pumper or Journeyman Pumper is authorized to engage in the pumping of onsite wastewater systems, except that a Journeyman Pumper is only authorized to engage in this activity in accordance with the following restrictions:

003.01D.1 The Journeyman Pumper is employed by a Master Pumper, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is responsible for the work; or

003.01D.2 The Journeyman Pumper is employed by a business or government entity that has a Master Pumper, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is an owner, officer, or employee of the business or government entity and responsible for the work.

003.02 Authorization to Practice under Hardship Certificates - A person holding a valid Hardship Certificate is authorized to practice in those categories listed on the certificate in accordance with Authorizations to Practice under Certificates by Examination of this Section.

004 No person shall engage in the siting, layout, construction, reconstruction, alteration, modification, repair, closure, or otherwise changing of a private onsite wastewater system unless a Master Installer, a Journeyman Installer, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is responsible for such work is physically present at the site where such work is being performed and is supervising the work, except that a Soil Evaluator or an Inspector may perform soil evaluation for the purpose of aiding in siting and layout.

005 No person shall engage in the pumping of a private onsite wastewater system unless a Master Pumper, a Journeyman Pumper, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is responsible for such work is physically present at the site where such work is being performed and is supervising the work.

006 No person shall engage in the inspecting of a private onsite wastewater system unless an Inspector, a professional engineer, or a registered environmental health specialist who is responsible for the work is physically present at the site where such work is being performed and is supervising the work.

007 Hardship Certificate

007.01 A Hardship Certificate may be issued to an individual upon submittal of the following in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director. All information shall be typed or legibly printed except as indicated:

007.01A Submittal of a request for certification by hardship that includes the words “Application for Onsite Hardship Certification” and states the conditions of the hardship and submittal of evidence supporting competency in the categories in which the individual is seeking certification;

007.01B The certified professional’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, and phone number.

007.01C The hardship certificate application fee in accordance with the fee schedule in Appendix A; and

007.01D The statement “I swear or affirm that the information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate” followed by the certified professional’s signature and date signed.

007.02 A separate hardship application with application fee will be required for each category of certificate that the applicant applies for.

007.03 A hardship certificate expires 180 days after the date of issuance.

008 Certificate by Examination

008.01 To obtain a certificate by examination in any category, an applicant must pass an examination administered by the Department.

008.02 All certificates by examination expire December 31 of every odd-numbered year unless renewed in accordance with this Chapter.

008.03 Application for Certificate by Examination

008.03A An applicant for certification by examination shall submit the following to the Department in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director. All information shall be typed or legibly printed except as indicated:

008.03A.1 A request that includes the words “Application for Onsite Certification by Examination”;

008.03A.2 The applicant’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, and phone number;

008.03A.3 The certificate application fee in accordance with the fee schedule (Appendix A);

008.03A.4 A listing of each certificate that the applicant wishes to take a certification examination for;

008.03A.5 The examination fee in accordance with the fee schedule (Appendix A). The examination fee is required for each examination to be taken; and

008.03A.6 The statement “I swear or affirm that the information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate” followed by the applicant’s signature and date signed.

008.03A.7 The Director may waive certification and examination fees for any Inspector employed by a governmental agency or subdivision which has adopted and has the authority to enforce an inspection and compliance program at least as stringent as the standards for siting, layout, construction, closure, reconstruction, alteration, modification, repair, inspection, and pumping provided by the Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Contractors Certification and System Registration Act and this Title.

008.03A.7a The application for certification or for certificate renewal for which the fee waiver is requested shall include verification of employment as an inspector of onsite wastewater treatment systems by a local governmental agency or subdivision.

008.03A.7b The Department may request additional information as needed to verify employment or to determine that the local inspection program is at least as stringent as the requirements in this Title.

008.03A.7c An Inspector who is granted this fee waiver shall be limited to inspecting as a government employee within the jurisdiction and under the authority of that local governmental agency or subdivision.
008.03B All applications received less than five days prior to a scheduled examination date may be held for the next scheduled examination date.

008.03C An individual seeking certification by examination in multiple categories of certification may submit a single application for certification by examination with one application fee for one or more categories, but must submit the examination fee for each examination to be taken. A separate examination is required for each category sought. Where application is made for multiple categories and certification application fees for the categories are different, the applicant shall submit the highest fee.

008.03D An applicant who fails an examination will be permitted to be re-examined at a subsequent examination. An applicant who desires to be re-examined shall submit an application for certification by examination as identified in 008.03A above and the examination fee in accordance with the fee schedule (Appendix A). The certificate application fee is not required for re-examination within two years of initial application as noted below. An applicant who fails three examinations in succession shall obtain a minimum of six hours of approved continuing education prior to re-examination. Failure to pass the examination within two years of the date the initial application for certification by examination was received shall result in the rejection of the application. An individual whose application has been so rejected who desires certification shall submit a new application for certification by examination and the applicable examination and application fees.

008.03E Adding Categories to Current Certificates

008.03E.1 A certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Master Installer, Master Pumper, Inspector, or Soil Evaluator category may apply for addition of other categories to the certificate by submitting an application for certification by examination as identified in 008.03A above and the examination fee for each additional category and passing the appropriate exam.

008.03E.2 A certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Installer category may apply to add the Journeyman Pumper category, and a certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Pumper category may apply to add the Journeyman Installer category to the certificate by submitting an application for certification by examination and the examination fee for the additional category and passing the appropriate exam.

008.03E.3 A certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Installer category may apply for certification in the category of Master Pumper, Inspector, or Soil Evaluator by submitting a new application for certification by examination and the examination fee for each additional category, and submit the difference in certificate fees between the Journeyman Installer certificate fee and the Master Pumper, Inspector, or Soil Evaluator certificate fee and passing the appropriate exam.

008.03E.4 A certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Pumper category may apply for certification in the category of Master Installer, Inspector, or Soil Evaluator by submitting a new application for certification by examination and the examination fee for each additional category, and submit the difference in certificate fees between the Journeyman Pumper certificate fee and the Master Installer, Inspector, or Soil Evaluator certificate fee and passing the appropriate exam.

008.03E.5 A certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Installer category may upgrade to a Master Installer category, and a certified professional holding a valid certificate by examination in the Journeyman Pumper category may upgrade to a Master Pumper category, by submitting a completed application for certification by examination (008.03A above) and the difference in certificate fees between the two certificates.

008.04 Renewal of Certificates by Examination

008.04A To renew a valid certificate, the certified professional shall submit the following to the Department in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director. All information shall be typed or legibly printed except as indicated:

008.04A.1 A request that includes the words “Application for Onsite Certificate Renewal”;

008.04A.2 The certified professional’s Record of Continuing Education which shall include the following information in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director. All information shall be typed or legibly printed except as indicated:

008.04A.2a The words “Record of Continuing Education for Onsite Certification”.

008.04A.2b The certified professional’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, phone number, and certification number.

008.04A.2c For each educational program or course the date of the program, a description of the educational program, the name of the provider of the program, the program location, and the number of Department approved professional development hours (recorded to the nearest quarter hour) obtained by the certified professional for participation in that program recorded to the nearest quarter-hour.

008.04A.2e The statement “I swear or affirm that the information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate”.

008.04A.2f The certified professional’s signature and date signed; and

008.04A.3 The certificate renewal fee in accordance with the fee schedule (Appendix A).

008.04B If the Department does not receive the application for renewal, which includes the renewal fee and record of continuing education, prior to the expiration date of the certificate, the certificate shall expire.

008.04C The certificate of any certified professional who fails to comply with the continuing education requirements of this Chapter will expire on the expiration date of the certificate.

008.04D Late Renewal of Expired Certificate

008.04D.1 A person may late renew their expired certificate within 60 days after the certificate has expired by submitting to the Department a properly completed application for onsite certificate renewal (008.04A), record of continuing education, the certificate renewal fee (Appendix A), and a $50 late renewal penalty.

008.04D.2 The late renewal application (which includes the record of continuing education, certificate renewal fee, and late penalty) must be received by the Department no later than 60 days after the certificate has expired.

008.04D.3 Once the 60 day late renewal period has expired, in order to obtain certification the individual shall submit an application for certification by examination (008.03A), including the application fee along with the examination fee for each category, and pass the examination for each category desired.

008.04E The Department will not renew a certificate or issue a new certificate to an individual whose certificate has been revoked until at least one year has passed since the date of revocation.

008.05 Examination Development and Administration

008.05A Examinations for certification will be developed and administered by the Department.

008.05B Examinations for certification shall be designed to test the general knowledge of the applicants regarding onsite wastewater construction standards, soils and geology of the state, rules and regulations of this Title, and any other knowledge the Department deems essential to the successful practice of the profession for which certification is requested.

008.05C The examinations will be by open book testing.

008.05C.1 The Department shall make available to each examinee at the test site a copy of this Title and other documents which cover the subject matter tested in the exam. All materials provided to the examinee by the Department for use during the examination shall remain the property of the Department and shall be returned upon completion of the exam.

008.05C.2 Any such materials brought by examinees to the examination site for use in completing the examination may be subject to inspection by examination proctors and subject to confiscation or exclusion from the examination area for the duration of the exam without advance notice to examinees.

008.05C.3 Use of equipment capable of copying or reproducing the examination, by the examinee, during the examination is prohibited and may result in expulsion from the examination, rejection of the application and forfeiture of all fees submitted.

008.05C.4 Use of telephonic or radio equipment, by the examinee, during the examination is prohibited and may result in expulsion from the examination, rejection of the application and forfeiture of all fees submitted.

008.05D With good and sufficient cause shown, the Department may provide for special arrangements for administering the examinations, which to the extent possible will accommodate special circumstances of an applicant without compromising the examination purposes or integrity. Such special circumstances may include but not be limited to reading difficulties, physical skills limitations or absence from the state during regular examination dates. Accommodations may include special proctors or readers, oral examination, dictation of answers or use of non-resident proctors.

008.05E Applicants must show photographic identification at the examination site to be admitted for examination.

008.05F All applicants will be notified in writing regarding examination results. Results will be either pass or fail.

008.05G Applicants who pass an examination in any category will be issued a certificate in that category. A passing grade of 80 percent shall be required for certification in any category.

009 Continuing Education

009.01 Required Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for Certificate Renewal

009.01A A certified professional shall successfully complete a minimum of12 PDHs of continuing education during every two-year certificate period.

009.01B For a certificate issued in the first or even numbered year of the two-year certificate period a certified professional shall successfully complete a minimum of 12 PDHs of continuing education during the first certificate period.

009.01C For certificates issued in the second or odd numbered year of the two-year certificate period a certified professional shall successfully complete a minimum of six PDHs.

009.01D Completion within 30 days prior to obtaining initial certification by examination of continuing education programs approved in accordance with this Title shall be accepted for the purposes of complying with the PDH requirement for certificate renewal.

009.02 A professional development hour (PDH) shall be recorded to the nearest quarter-hour (15 minutes).

009.03 A maximum of six professional development hours acquired in excess of the minimum hours required during any certificate cycle may be carried over into the next two-year certificate cycle except that once a certificate has expired and the late renewal period has lapsed the PDHs also expire and there shall be no carryover of PDHs.

009.04 All PDHs for certificate renewal shall be from courses or programs approved by the Department. These courses or programs must be appropriate, directly associated with the onsite wastewater industry or related workplace safety, cover topics related to the responsibilities carried on by the certified professional, and provide information or training that serves to enhance a certified professional’s knowledge of and ability to perform activities that protect the public health and the environment.

009.05 Approval of Continuing Education Programs and Courses

009.05A Only continuing education programs or courses approved by the Department shall be used for fulfilling the education requirements of a certified professional.

009.05B A continuing education provider shall submit to the Department its proposed program or course for approval not less than 60 days prior to the date the proposed program or course is offered for presentation.

009.05C A continuing education provider shall not advertise or otherwise represent any program or course as approved for meeting the continuing education requirements of this Title until such program or course is approved by the Department.

009.05D For a classroom style continuing education program or course, the provider shall demonstrate that the instruction or presentations will be conducted by individuals qualified in the program or course topic. For an independent or self study program or course, the provider shall demonstrate that qualified individuals developed, and is directly responsible for, the program or course content. Adequate biographical information for each identified qualified individual shall be submitted for Department review and verification.

009.05E The continuing education provider shall submit an outline of the program or course with adequate detail to verify the topics of presentation, including detailed time lines to show the hours of education presentation planned. The continuing education provider shall provide the Department access to monitor or audit the program.

009.05F The continuing education provider shall demonstrate adequate capability to document and maintain records that verify successful participation in or attendance at the program or course, and shall agree to provide the Department a list of participants who have completed the program or course within 30 days of its completion.

009.05G A certified professional may at his or her discretion submit a proposed program or course for approval if the provider has not submitted the same for consideration, except for independent or self study programs or courses which must be submitted by the provider. Any such submission, which is approved, shall thereafter be eligible for use as continuing education by any attending certified professional. The submitted information must include the contact name, address, and telephone number for the sponsoring organization or provider and the program or course agenda with adequate detail to verify the topics of presentation, including detailed time lines to show the hours of education presentation planned and the name of the presenter for each topic.

009.05H When an application for approval is submitted by a certified professional without participation in the application by the continuing education provider, the certified professional shall submit a description of the means by which the continuing education provider has or will document successful participation or attendance and how the applicant has or will obtain and maintain records of participation or attendance. For independent or self study programs or courses this documentation must be submitted by the program provider.

009.05I The provider shall include a request for the number of professional development hours for the program or course with the request for approval, and include adequate supporting documentation for the PDHs requested. The Department will evaluate and determine the number of professional development hours that a certified professional can claim for successful, documented completion of the course or program.

009.06 A maximum of two professional development hours in each two-year certification cycle may be from pre-approved courses peripheral to the actual activity of the onsite wastewater industry for such things as business tax law, accounting, insurance, or first aid training. For the purposes of professional development hours, work place safety and protection of work activities shall be considered directly related to the actual activity of the onsite wastewater industry.

009.07 Continuing education records shall be maintained by the certified professional and submitted to the Department as part of application for certificate renewal. The record of continuing education shall include the information specified in 008.04A.2 above.

009.08 Continuing education records including evidence of participation shall be retained by the certified professional for a minimum of three years and shall be submitted to the Department upon request.

009.09 The Department may waive or exempt a certified professional from continuing education requirements or extend the period for completion of the required continuing education, in whole or in part, for any period for which the certified professional submits documentation supporting an exemption for circumstances beyond his or her control which prevented completion of such requirements.

010 Certification Endorsement

010.01 An endorsement shall be issued, upon successful completion of examination, authorizing the certified professional so endorsed to engage in special activities or procedures that require advanced training or skills identified in this Title as requiring an endorsement to perform.

010.02 An endorsement to engage in a special activity or procedure shall only be issued to a person holding a valid certificate in the appropriate categories as identified in the rules and regulations for such special activity or procedure.

010.03 Application and Examination for Endorsement

010.03A Application for endorsement shall include submittal of the following information in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director and submittal of the endorsement application fee and the examination fee in accordance with the fee schedule (Appendix A). All information shall be typed or legibly printed except as indicated. A separate application and examination fee shall be required for each endorsement examination.

010.03A.1 The words “Application for Onsite Certification Endorsement”.

010.03A.2 The certified professional’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, phone number, and certification number.

010.03A.3 The category of endorsement requested.

010.03A.4 The statement “I swear or affirm that the information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate”.

010.03A.5 The certified professional’s signature and date signed;

010.03B Any application received less than five days prior to a scheduled examination date may be held for the next scheduled examination date.

010.03C Applicants will be required to show photographic identification at the examination site to be admitted for examination.

010.03D Use of equipment capable of copying or reproducing the examination by the examinee during the examination is prohibited and may result in expulsion from the examination, rejection of the application and forfeiture of all fees submitted.

010.03E Use of telephonic or radio equipment by the examinee during the examination is prohibited and may result in expulsion from the examination, rejection of the application and forfeiture of all fees submitted.

010.03F Applicants will be notified in writing regarding examination results. Results will be either pass or fail.

010.03G Applicants who pass an examination for endorsement will be issued an endorsement to their certificate.

010.03H Applicants who fail and desire to be re-examined for endorsement shall submit an application and the examination fee as specified in 010.03A above.
010.04 An endorsement shall automatically renew upon the renewal of the certificate to which it is attached.

010.05 An endorsement expires upon the expiration, suspension, or revocation of the certificate to which it is attached, except that an endorsement may be late renewed in conjunction with late renewal of the certificate to which it is attached. An individual whose endorsement has expired who desires to obtain a new endorsement shall re-apply and meet all requirements for endorsement by examination in accordance with requirements of this section.

011 All fees are nonrefundable.

012 A certified professional shall only practice in the categories in which they hold a valid certificate.


Enabling Legislation: Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-15,244; 81-15,247; 81-15,248; & 81-15,252.

Legal Citation: Title 124, Ch. 20, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.