The statutory requirements are repeated and referenced in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR), specifically OAR 338-010-0015 (3)(c) Registration Pathway 3(B).
McMillan explains that because the requirement is in statute, it would take legislative action to change.
"What sometimes confuses applicants is that the 45 quarter hours in science courses apply only to Pathway A, which is required for applicants with a bachelor's degree, not a master's degree," says McMillan.
Board members voiced concern that as the statute stands, it could be an unnecessary barrier to applicants who may not have advanced degrees in public or community health but who have obtained degrees in more specific areas of expertise that could be considered appropriate for work in the environmental health field, such as food science.
While it's too late for the board to pursue any changes to the statute in this year's session of the Oregon State Legislature, which officially convenes on February 4, McMillian says that the state association or other professional groups could do so.
"We're definitely willing to work with our stakeholder groups to assist them with the legislative process, but the window has passed for the agency to propose such legislation at this time," McMillan says.