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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 4736 | Environmental health specialists

 
 
 
Section
Section 4736.01 | Definitions.
 

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Environmental health science" means the aspect of public health science that includes, but is not limited to, the following bodies of knowledge: air quality, food quality and protection, hazardous and toxic substances, consumer product safety, housing, institutional health and safety, community noise control, radiation protection, recreational facilities, solid and liquid waste management, vector control, drinking water quality, milk sanitation, and rabies control.

(B) "Environmental health specialist" means a person who performs for compensation educational, investigational, technical, or administrative duties requiring specialized knowledge and skills in the field of environmental health science.

(C) "Registered environmental health specialist" means a person who is registered as an environmental health specialist in accordance with this chapter.

(D) "Environmental health specialist in training" means a person who is registered as an environmental health specialist in training in accordance with this chapter.

(E) "Practice of environmental health" means consultation, instruction, investigation, inspection, or evaluation by an employee of a city health district, a general health district, the environmental protection agency, the department of health, or the department of agriculture requiring specialized knowledge, training, and experience in the field of environmental health science, with the primary purpose of improving or conducting administration or enforcement under any of the following:

(1) Chapter 911., 913., 917., 3717., 3718., 3721., 3729., or 3733. of the Revised Code;

(2) Chapter 3734. of the Revised Code as it pertains to solid waste;

(3) Section 955.26, 3701.344, 3707.01, or 3707.03, sections 3707.38 to 3707.99, or section 3715.21 of the Revised Code;

(4) Rules adopted under former section 3701.34 of the Revised Code pertaining to rabies control or swimming pools;

(5) Rules adopted under section 3701.935 of the Revised Code for school health and safety network inspections and rules adopted under section 3707.26 of the Revised Code for sanitary inspections.

"Practice of environmental health" does not include sampling, testing, controlling of vectors, reporting of observations, or other duties that do not require application of specialized knowledge and skills in environmental health science performed under the supervision of a registered environmental health specialist.

The director of health may further define environmental health science in relation to specific functions in the practice of environmental health through rules adopted by the director under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

Section 4736.02 | Environmental health specialist advisory board.
 

There is hereby created the environmental health specialist advisory board consisting of seven members appointed by the director of health with the advice and consent of the senate for terms established in accordance with rules adopted by the director under section 4736.03 of the Revised Code. The advisory board shall advise the director regarding the registration of environmental health specialists in training and environmental health specialists, continuing education requirements for environmental health specialists, the manner in which the passage of an examination required by section 4736.09 of the Revised Code is verified, the education criteria required under section 4736.08 of the Revised Code, and any other matters as may be of assistance to the director in the regulation of environmental health specialists and environmental health specialists in training.

Each member appointed by the director shall be a registered environmental health specialist who meets the education and experience requirements of section 4736.08 of the Revised Code for registration as an environmental health specialist. At least one and not more than two of the members shall be employees of a general health district; at least one and not more than two shall be employees of a city health district; and at least one and not more than two shall be employed in private industry. Not more than one member may be employed by a university and not more than one member may be employed by an agency or department of the state.

Within ninety days of September 29, 2017, the director shall make initial appointments to the advisory board.

Section 4736.03 | Director of health rules.
 

The director of health shall adopt and may amend or rescind rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code governing the manner in which the passage of an examination required by section 4736.09 of the Revised Code is verified, prescribing the form for application, establishing criteria for determining what courses may be included toward fulfillment of the science course requirements of section 4736.08 of the Revised Code, determining the continuing education program requirements of section 4736.11 of the Revised Code, and for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

The director shall adopt, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, rules establishing terms of office for members of the environmental health specialist advisory board created in section 4736.02 of the Revised Code.

Section 4736.05 | Director of health duties.
 

The director of health shall review and evaluate each application for an environmental health specialist registration and environmental health specialists in training registration. The director also shall review and approve expenses, prepare and approve reports, and transact all other business as may be necessary to administer and enforce Chapter 4736. of the Revised Code.

Section 4736.06 | Depositing receipts.
 

All receipts of the department of health that are associated with environmental health specialist and environmental health specialist in training registration and renewal fees shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general operations fund created in section 3701.83 of the Revised Code.

Section 4736.07 | Records.
 

The director of health shall keep a record of all applications for registration, which shall include:

(A) The name and address of each applicant;

(B) The name and address of the employer or business connection of each applicant;

(C) The date of the application;

(D) The educational and experience qualifications of each applicant;

(E) The date on which the director reviewed and acted upon each application;

(F) The action taken by the director on each application;

(G) A serial number of each certificate of registration issued by the director.

The director shall prepare annually a list of the names and addresses of every person registered by it and a list of every person whose registration has been suspended or revoked within the previous year.

Section 4736.08 | Application for registration.
 

A person seeking to register as an environmental health specialist shall submit an application to the director of health on a form prescribed by the director. Along with the application, the person shall submit the application fee prescribed in section 4736.12 of the Revised Code. The director shall register an applicant if the applicant complies with the examination requirements specified under section 4736.09 of the Revised Code and meets the education and experience requirements of division (A), (B), or (C) of this section:

(A) Graduated from an accredited college or university with at least a baccalaureate degree, including at least forty-five quarter units or thirty semester units of science courses approved by the director; and completed at least two years of full-time employment as an environmental health specialist;

(B) Graduated from an accredited college or university with at least a baccalaureate degree, completed a major in environmental health science which included an internship program approved by the director; and completed at least one year of full-time employment as an environmental health specialist;

(C) Graduated from an accredited college or university with a degree higher than a baccalaureate degree, including at least forty-five quarter units or thirty semester units of science courses approved by the director; and completed at least one year of full-time employment as an environmental health specialist.

The Legislative Service Commission presents the text of this section as a composite of the section as amended by multiple acts of the General Assembly. This presentation recognizes the principle stated in R.C. 1.52(B) that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation.

Last updated October 9, 2021 at 5:06 AM

Section 4736.09 | Examinations.
 

Prior to applying for an initial environmental health specialist registration, a person shall take the credentialed national environmental health association examination administered by the department of health.

The director of health shall not register the person if the person fails to meet the minimum grade requirement for the examination specified by the national environmental health association. An applicant for registration who meets the minimum grade requirement shall verify the grade with the director on a form and in a manner prescribed by the director.

Section 4736.10 | Registration as environmental health specialist in training.
 

Any person who meets the educational qualifications of division (A), (B), or (C) of section 4736.08 of the Revised Code, but does not meet the experience requirement of such division may make application to the director of health on a form prescribed by the director for registration as an environmental health specialist in training. The director shall register the person as an environmental health specialist in training upon payment of the fee required by section 4736.12 of the Revised Code.

An environmental health specialist in training shall apply for registration as an environmental health specialist within three years after registration as an environmental health specialist in training. The director may extend the registration of any environmental health specialist in training who furnishes, in writing, sufficient cause for not applying for registration as an environmental health specialist within the three-year period. However, the director shall not extend the registration more than an additional two years beyond the three-year period.

Section 4736.11 | Certificate of registration.
 

(A) The director of health shall issue a certificate of registration to any applicant whom it registers as an environmental health specialist or an environmental health specialist in training. Such certificate shall bear:

(1) The name of the person;

(2) The date of issue;

(3) A serial number, designated by the director;

(4) The signature of the director;

(5) The designation "registered environmental health specialist" or "environmental health specialist in training."

(B) Certificates of registration expire biennially on the date fixed by the director and become invalid on that date unless renewed pursuant to this section. All registered environmental health specialists are required biennially to complete a continuing education program in subjects relating to practices of the profession as an environmental health specialist. The purpose of the program is that the utilization and application of new techniques, scientific advancements, and research findings will assure comprehensive service to the public.

(C) The director shall prescribe by rule a continuing education program for registered environmental health specialists to meet this requirement. Under the program, an environmental health specialist shall complete twenty-four hours of continuing education during the biennial period. At least once annually the director shall provide to each registered environmental health specialist a list of courses approved by the director as satisfying the program prescribed by rule. Upon the request of a registered environmental health specialist, the director shall supply a list of applicable courses that the director has approved.

(D) A certificate may be renewed for a period of two years at any time prior to the date of expiration upon payment of the renewal fee prescribed by section 4736.12 of the Revised Code and upon showing proof of having complied with the continuing education requirements of this section. The director may waive the continuing education requirement in cases of certified illness or disability which prevents the attendance at any qualified educational seminars during the twenty-four months immediately preceding the biennial certificate of registration renewal date. Certificates that expire may be reinstated under rules adopted by the director.

(E) An environmental health specialist shall not be required to pass an examination for purposes of renewal.

Section 4736.12 | Fees.
 

(A) The director of health shall charge the following fees:

(1) To apply as an environmental health specialist in training, fifty dollars;

(2) For an environmental health specialist in training to apply for registration as an environmental health specialist, fifty dollars.

(3) For persons other than environmental health specialists in training to apply for registration as environmental health specialists, one hundred dollars.

(4) The renewal fee for a registered environmental health specialist is seventy-five dollars.

(5) The renewal fee for a registered environmental health specialist in training is thirty-five dollars.

(6) For late application for renewal, an additional seventy-five dollars.

The director, with the approval of the controlling board, may establish fees in excess of the amounts provided in this section, provided that such fees do not exceed the amounts permitted by this section by more than fifty per cent.

(B) The director shall charge a fee for the examination required by section 4736.08 of the Revised Code, provided that the fee is not in excess of the actual cost to the department of health of conducting the examinations.

(C) The director may adopt rules establishing fees for all of the following:

(1) Application for the registration of a training agency approved under rules adopted by the director pursuant to section 4736.11 of the Revised Code and for the annual registration renewal of an approved training agency;

(2) Application for the review of continuing education hours submitted for the director's approval by approved training agencies or by registered environmental health specialists or environmental health specialists in training;

(3) Additional copies of pocket identification cards and wall certificates.

Section 4736.13 | Denial, refusal, revocation, or suspension of certificate.
 

The director of health may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, or suspend a certificate of registration in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for unprofessional conduct, the practice of fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration, dereliction of duty, incompetence in the practice of environmental health science, or for other good and sufficient cause.

Section 4736.14 | Reciprocity.
 

The director of health may, upon application and proof of valid registration, issue a certificate of registration to any person who is or has been registered as an environmental health specialist by any other state, if the requirements of that state at the time of such registration are determined by the director to be at least equivalent to the requirements of this chapter.

Section 4736.15 | Registration required for practice of environmental health.
 

No person shall engage in, or offer to engage in, the practice of environmental health without being registered in accordance with sections 4736.01 to 4736.15 of the Revised Code. An environmental health specialist in training may engage in the practice of environmental health for a period not to exceed five years, provided the environmental health specialist in training is supervised by a registered environmental health specialist. No person except a registered environmental health specialist shall use the title "registered environmental health specialist" or the abbreviation "R.E.H.S." after the person's name, or represent self as a registered environmental health specialist. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Section 4736.17 | Effect of child support default on certificate.
 

On receipt of a notice pursuant to section 3123.43 of the Revised Code, the director of health shall comply with sections 3123.41 to 3123.50 of the Revised Code and any applicable rules adopted under section 3123.63 of the Revised Code with respect to a certificate issued pursuant to this chapter.

Section 4736.18 | Compliance with law regarding sanctions for human trafficking.
 

The director of health shall comply with section 4776.20 of the Revised Code.