Law:Title 12. Practices And Trades Related To Water, Health, And Safety. Subtitle B. Practices Related To Health And Safety from Chapter 1953. Sanitarians (Texas)

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Subtitle B. Practices Related To Health And Safety

Contents

Chapter 1953. Sanitarians

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  1953.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Board" means the Texas Board of Health.

(2)  "Sanitarian" means a person trained in sanitary science to perform duties relating to education and inspections in environmental sanitation.

(3)  "Sanitation" means the study, art, and technique of applying scientific knowledge to improve the human environment for the purpose of promoting public health and welfare.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.002.  Employment Of Sanitarian.

This chapter does not require a person, including a municipality or governmental agency, to employ a sanitarian.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.003.  Exemptions.

This chapter does not apply to a person, including a physician, dentist, engineer, or veterinarian, who is licensed by an agency of this state other than the board and who, by nature of the person's employment or duties, might be construed as being subject to this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter B. Board Powers And Duties

Section  1953.051.  General Duties Of Board.

The board shall:

(1)  adopt rules to administer and enforce this chapter;

(2)  administer continuing education requirements; and

(3)  prescribe necessary forms.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.052.  Fees; Payment Of Administrative Costs.

(a) The board shall prescribe fees under this chapter.

(b)  General revenue of the state may not be used to pay the costs of administering this chapter in an amount that exceeds the amount of fees received under this chapter.

(c)  If the fees are inadequate to pay the costs of administering this chapter, the board may increase the fees to an amount sufficient to pay those costs.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.053.  Register Of Applications.

(a) The board shall keep a register of each application for a certificate of registration under this chapter.

(b)  The register must include:

(1)  the name, age, and place of residence of the applicant;

(2)  the name and address of the employer or business connection of the applicant;

(3)  the date of the application;

(4)  complete information regarding the applicant's education and experience qualifications;

(5)  the date the board reviewed and acted on the application;

(6)  a description of the board's action on the application;

(7)  the serial number of any certificate of registration issued to the applicant; and

(8)  any other information the board determines necessary.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.054.  Record Of Proceedings.

The board shall keep a record of proceedings under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.055.  Reports.

The board shall maintain a copy of each annual report and each report prepared by the state auditor issued in connection with this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter C. Certificate Of Registration

Section  1953.101.  Registration Required.

A person who engages or offers to engage in work in sanitation may not represent that the person is a sanitarian or use a title containing the word "sanitarian" unless the person holds a certificate of registration under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.102.  Eligibility Requirements.

(a) To be eligible to receive a certificate of registration as a professional sanitarian, a person must:

(1)  hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university that includes at least 30 semester hours in basic or applied science;

(2)  complete any additional training in the basic sciences or public health the board determines necessary to effectively serve as a professional sanitarian; and

(3)  have at least two years of full-time experience in sanitation.

(b)  The board by rule may establish other qualifications for registration.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.103.  Reciprocal Registration.

The board under rules adopted by the board may enter into an agreement with another state to provide for reciprocal registration if the other state provides by statute for the registration of sanitarians.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.104.  Issuance Of Certificate: Professional Sanitarian.

The board shall issue a certificate of registration as a professional sanitarian to a person who:

(1)  applies on the form prescribed by the board;

(2)  pays the registration fee set by the board;

(3)  meets the eligibility requirements prescribed by Section 1953.102; and

(4)  passes an examination under Subchapter D.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.105.  Issuance Of Certificate: Sanitarian In Training.

(a) On approval by the board, the board shall issue a certificate of registration as a sanitarian in training to a person who:

(1)  is employed in sanitation;

(2)  meets the eligibility requirements prescribed by Section 1953.102, other than the requirements relating to experience;

(3)  pays a registration fee prescribed by the board for a sanitarian in training; and

(4)  passes an examination under Subchapter D.

(b)  A certificate issued under this section is valid for a period not to exceed two years after the date of issuance.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.106.  Renewal Or Reinstatement Of Certificate.

(a) To renew a certificate of registration under this chapter, a professional sanitarian must:

(1)  pay to the board a renewal fee prescribed by the board; and

(2)  provide proof of completion of continuing education contact hours as prescribed by the board.

(b)  The board may reinstate a certificate of registration as provided by board rules that was revoked for failure to pay the renewal fee.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter D. Examination

Section  1953.151.  Examination.

(a) To obtain a certificate of registration under this chapter, an applicant must pass a written examination prescribed by the board that provides evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant is qualified for registration under this chapter.

(b)  An applicant for a certificate of registration may not take the examination unless the applicant pays the examination fee prescribed by the board.

(c)  In evaluating an applicant's performance on the examination, the board shall carefully consider the applicant's knowledge and understanding of the principles of sanitation and the physical, biological, and social sciences.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.152.  Examination Results.

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the examination date, the board shall notify each examinee of the results of the examination. If an examination is graded or reviewed by a national testing service, the board shall notify each examinee of the results of the examination not later than the 14th day after the date the board receives the results from the testing service.

(b)  If the notice of the results of an examination graded or reviewed by a national testing service will not be given before the 91st day after the examination date, the board shall notify each examinee of the reason for the delay before the 90th day.

(c)  If requested in writing by a person who fails the examination, the board shall provide to the person an analysis of the person's performance on the examination.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter E. Certificate Denial And Disciplinary Procedures

Section  1953.201.  Denial Of Certificate; Disciplinary Action.

(a) The board may deny a person's application for a certificate of registration if:

(1)  the person's certificate or license to engage in a profession in this state or elsewhere has been revoked for unprofessional conduct, fraud, deceit, negligence, or misconduct in the practice of the profession; or

(2)  satisfactory proof is presented to the board establishing that the person has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct, fraud, deceit, negligence, or misconduct in the practice of a profession.

(b)  The board may suspend or revoke a certificate of registration if the certificate holder:

(1)  practiced fraud or deceit in obtaining the certificate; or

(2)  acted in a manner constituting gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of sanitation.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Section  1953.202.  Hearing.

The board may not deny an application for a certificate of registration or suspend or revoke a person's certificate until a hearing is held and the person is given the opportunity to answer any charges filed with the board.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter F. Penalties

Section  1953.251.  Criminal Penalty. (a)

A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 1953.101.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1421, Sec. 4, eff. June 1, 2003.



Subchapter G. Administrative Penalty

Section  1953.301.  Imposition Of Administrative Penalty.

The board may impose an administrative penalty on a person registered under this chapter who violates this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.302.  Amount Of Administrative Penalty.

(a) The amount of the administrative penalty may not be less than $50 or more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for the purpose of imposing a penalty.

(b)  The amount shall be based on:

(1)  the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;

(2)  the economic harm caused by the violation;

(3)  the history of previous violations;

(4)  the amount necessary to deter a future violation;

(5)  efforts to correct the violation; and

(6)  any other matter that justice may require.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.303.  Report And Notice Of Violation And Penalty.

(a) If the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee determines that a violation occurred, the commissioner or the designee may issue to the board a report stating:

(1)  the facts on which the determination is based; and

(2)  the commissioner's or the designee's recommendation on the imposition of an administrative penalty, including a recommendation on the amount of the penalty.

(b)  Within 14 days after the date the report is issued, the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee shall give written notice of the report to the person. The notice must:

(1)  include a brief summary of the alleged violation;

(2)  state the amount of the recommended administrative penalty; and

(3)  inform the person of the person's right to a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.304.  Penalty To Be Paid Or Hearing Requested.

(a) Within 10 days after the date the person receives the notice, the person in writing may:

(1)  accept the determination and recommended administrative penalty of the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee; or

(2)  make a request for a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

(b)  If the person accepts the determination and recommended penalty of the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee, the board by order shall approve the determination and impose the recommended penalty.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.305.  Hearing.

(a) If the person requests a hearing or fails to respond in a timely manner to the notice, the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee shall set a hearing and give written notice of the hearing to the person.

(b)  An administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings shall hold the hearing.

(c)  The administrative law judge shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and promptly issue to the board a proposal for a decision about the occurrence of the violation and the amount of a proposed administrative penalty.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.306.  Decision By Board.

(a) Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and proposal for decision, the board by order may determine that:

(1)  a violation occurred and impose an administrative penalty; or

(2)  a violation did not occur.

(b)  The notice of the board's order given to the person must include a statement of the right of the person to judicial review of the order.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.307.  Options Following Decision: Pay Or Appeal.

(a) Within 30 days after the date the board's order becomes final, the person shall:

(1)  pay the administrative penalty; or

(2)  file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both.

(b)  Within the 30-day period prescribed by Subsection (a), a person who files a petition for judicial review may:

(1)  stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A)  paying the penalty to the court for placement in an escrow account; or

(B)  giving the court a supersedeas bond approved by the court that:

(i)  is for the amount of the penalty; and

(ii)  is effective until all judicial review of the board's order is final; or

(2)  request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A)  filing with the court a sworn affidavit of the person stating that the person is financially unable to pay the penalty and is financially unable to give the supersedeas bond; and

(B)  giving a copy of the affidavit to the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee by certified mail.

(c)  If the commissioner of public health or the commissioner's designee receives a copy of an affidavit under Subsection (b)(2), the commissioner or the designee may file with the court, within five days after the date the copy is received, a contest to the affidavit.

(d)  The court shall hold a hearing on the facts alleged in the affidavit as soon as practicable and shall stay the enforcement of the penalty on finding that the alleged facts are true. The person who files an affidavit has the burden of proving that the person is financially unable to pay the penalty and to give a supersedeas bond.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.308.  Collection Of Penalty.

(a) If the person does not pay the administrative penalty and the enforcement of the penalty is not stayed, the penalty may be collected.

(b)  The attorney general may sue to collect the penalty.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.309.  Determination By Court.

(a) If the court sustains the determination that a violation occurred, the court may uphold or reduce the amount of the administrative penalty and order the person to pay the full or reduced amount of the penalty.

(b)  If the court does not sustain the finding that a violation occurred, the court shall order that a penalty is not owed.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.310.  Remittance Of Penalty And Interest.

(a) If the person paid the administrative penalty and if the amount of the penalty is reduced or the penalty is not upheld by the court, the court shall order, when the court's judgment becomes final, that the appropriate amount plus accrued interest be remitted to the person.

(b)  The interest accrues at the rate charged on loans to depository institutions by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

(c)  The interest shall be paid for the period beginning on the date the penalty is paid and ending on the date the penalty is remitted.

(d)  If the person gave a supersedeas bond and the penalty is not upheld by the court, the court shall order, when the court's judgment becomes final, the release of the bond.

(e)  If the person gave a supersedeas bond and the amount of the penalty is reduced, the court shall order the release of the bond after the person pays the reduced amount.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  1953.311.  Administrative Procedure.

A proceeding under this subchapter is a contested case under Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 326, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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