Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Qualified Environmental Professionals and Qualified Samplers

Overview


Quality Assurance Officer:

Todd Blessing

907-269-7699

todd.blessing@alaska.gov

 

State law (AS 46.04.070) specifies that the Department of Environmental Conservation adopt regulations for oil and substance pollution control. State regulations (Title 18, Chapters 75 and 78) define the requirements for responding to oil and hazardous substance releases. These requirements include provisions that response activities, with the exception of some “initial response actions” (see 18 AAC 75.315), be conducted by individuals that meet minimum education, training and work experience standards. See 18 AAC 75.333 and 18 AAC 78.088.


Note: DEC does not maintain a list of qualified environmental professionals or qualified samplers, nor does it issue qualification certificates. However, DEC may request resumes documenting workers’ qualifications be submitted with a work plan. If requested DEC is available to review qualifications or assist with evaluating qualifying criteria.


Qualified Environmental Professionals


A person responsible for investigating and cleaning up spills of oil and hazardous substances under the Site Cleanup Rules (18 AAC 75.325 - 75.390), or from a regulated underground storage tank (18 AAC 78), shall ensure that a “qualified environmental professional” does the following:

  1. Prepares site characterization work plans;
  2. Conducts or supervises the sampling, collection, interpretation and reporting of all data;
  3. Prepares site characterization, site assessment and release investigation reports;
  4. Prepares site cleanup and corrective action plans;
  5. Prepares post-treatment sampling plans and reports; and
  6. Prepares interim and final cleanup and corrective action reports.

Note: Under the site cleanup rules, a qualified environmental professional is an impartial third party, actively practices in the field of environmental science or another related scientific field, has not been found to have falsified environmental data or committed other acts of fraud directly related to environmental work.


The Spill, Prevention, and Response Division will determine if a person meets the qualified environmental professional standards. The following minimum qualifications are required:

  1. Completion of a four-year undergraduate or a graduate degree from a nationally or internationally accredited postsecondary institution in environmental science or another related scientific field; and
  2. Have at least one year of professional experience in contaminated site characterization and cleanup activities under the supervision of a qualified environmental professional after the degree was obtained.

Alternatively, the following minimal qualifications are required:

  1. Completion of a four-year undergraduate or a graduate degree from a nationally or internationally accredited postsecondary institution in any field or a two-year degree from a nationally or internationally accredited postsecondary institution in environmental science or another related scientific field, or certification as an environmental technician under an apprenticeship program approved by the DEC; and
  2. Have at least three years of professional experience in contaminated site characterization and cleanup activities under the supervision of a qualified environmental professional after the degree or certificate was obtained.

Qualified Samplers


Qualified samplers may conduct sampling under the direct supervision of a qualified environmental professional or, when specifically approved by DEC, may collect samples of soil, groundwater, and surface water for laboratory analysis as part of the cleanup process.


Note: Under the site cleanup rules, a qualified sampler is an impartial third party, collects samples from soil, groundwater and surface water (does not include air or soil gas) for laboratory analysis, and has not been found to have falsified environmental data or committed other acts of fraud directly related to environmental work.


The Spill Prevention and Response Division will determine if a person meets the qualified sampler standards. The following minimum qualifications are required:

  1. Completion of applied field work involving environmental sample collection associated with a degree in environmental science or another related field from a nationally or internationally accredited postsecondary institution. Alternatively, completion of an environmental sampling training program recognized by the Department of Environmental Conservation; and
  2. Have at least three months of experience in environmental sampling under the direct supervision of a qualified environmental professional completed after the training.

Qualified Sampling Training Programs


The Division of Spill Prevention and Response will assess if a training program or applied field work course meets the minimum qualifications required to become a qualified sampler or qualified environmental professional. DEC has provided guidance on whether a sampling course or training program meets the criteria to be recognized under the site cleanup rules. This memorandum also provides guidance for qualified sampler trainees on how to achieve and document the required three months environmental sampling experience. A link to this memorandum is provided below.


The following training program has been certified as meeting the educational requirement for becoming a qualified environmental professional or qualified sampler:



The following training programs have been certified as meeting the educational requirement for becoming a qualified sampler:




Links




Contact our Staff


If you have any questions or concerns regarding requirements to become a qualified environmental professional or qualified sampler, please contact Todd Blessing at 907-269-7699 or email him at todd.blessing@alaska.gov.