Under new regulations announced recently, municipal wastewater treatment plant operators in Michigan must renew their state certifications every three years. Michigan Gov. John Engler has directed the state Department of Environmental Quality to amend its rules to require the renewals. Under existing law, operators of industrial wastewater treatment plants in Michigan are required to renew their certifications every five years. However, until now, although municipal treatment plant operators were required to be certified by the state, no renewal requirement was in force. The new rules will require municipal wastewater treatment plant operators "to update their skills regularly, giving them additional tools to help prevent illegal discharges into waterways," according to a press statement issued by the governor's office. The renewal requirement has broad support among municipal leaders and treatment plant operator statewide, the release says.