Nevada Board of Certification
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
April 14, 2004
NDEP conference room
Meeting was called to order at approximately 09:30 AM.
Attendees: Leo Drozdoff, Steve Cottrell, Starlin Jones, Jennifer McMartin, Bill Shepherd, John Solvie, Pete Rozis and Harvey Johnson.
Absent: Diana Silsby
Introduction of guests:
Kyle Menath of Carson City Public Works and Bob Forester and Curtis Duff of the Nevada Rural Water Association
Approval of the meeting minutes of January 14, 2004:
The minutes were unanimously approved.
Discussion of Small Water System (pond) certification.
Curtis Duff and Bob Forester asked the Board to entertain the thought of a separate certification for pond systems. They stated a high failure rate and minimal pond questions on the Grade I exam as the feedback from 12 of their members. An exam is available through the ABC. Bill indicated the pass/fail ratio of the Grade I exam is reasonable. Leo indicated State regulations will have to be changed and gave a short discussion on the process. Leo stated he will have Diana research the number of pond systems that have certified operators on staff or have contract operators responsible for pond performance. Steve indicated the Board needs more information before a decision can be made. Steve also indicated it would be a disservice to an operator with a special certification that cannot move on to other systems than ponds. Curtis indicated his members want more questions on the Grade I test to be pond related. Leo asked if this were possible. Jennifer indicated only if we went back to the prescriptive test. Leo asked Jennifer to obtain a Grade I and a SWS exam from ABC for review. A subcommittee of Bill, Pete, and Starlin will compare the tests for similarity. Starlin indicated that laboratory and safety questions need to be included as part of the comparison. John asked what the pass/fail ratio is for the pond operators. Leo invited Bob and Curtis to our next meeting for further discussion.
Discussion of reciprocity for wastewater and collection system with California.
Jennifer indicated to the Board that California will not accept certification reciprocity from Nevada Collection System operators. She also stated that she had spoken to the CWEA and they would not grant Nevada operators reciprocal certification in California. The CWEA will not object to Nevada giving reciprocal certifications to California operators. Leo indicated we have a chart of reciprocity and we should go by it. Kyle Menath indicated he has 7 collection system operators that are certified in California. He indicated Nevada is losing revenue by not granting reciprocity. His operators would then be responsible to maintain their own California certification. He indicated Incline Village operators are also required to maintain certifications. Harvey acknowledged Kyle�s statement. Kyle asked if there could be a one-time reciprocity for existing California certification holders working in Nevada. Steve recommended the operators contact the CWEA to allow the ABC to examine the California test for similarity. Steve indicated that the CWEA is doing a disservice to the operators in California and Nevada. Kyle asked that with the future institution of CMOM, will Nevada allow California certifications? John discussed ABC qualifications for reciprocity. Kyle indicated that Nevada operators need to learn many California regulations that do not pertain to Nevada. Leo indicated to Kyle to ask California to help with the reciprocity matter. Steve indicated that in the past if an operator passed the Grade I & II respectively from a non-ABC state, Nevada would allow the operator to test for the Grade III certification. Jennifer indicated we do not allow that at this time. John stated there is a liability issue if the state does not meet ABC qualifications. Leo stated that if you meet the requirements for certification, you may sit for the exam. Jennifer indicated ABC has a multi-level test. John asked how a non-ABC state certification holder can obtain certification. Jennifer stated they start from the beginning. Kyle again asked for a one-time grandfather for Nevada operators holding California Collection System Operator certifications. Starlin indicated that the process would require regulation and NRS change. Leo stated the possibility for operators to test at equal grade to certification held. Jennifer indicated the non-ABC applicant can take a multi-level exam at the operator�s present level for wastewater only. Leo asked Jennifer to talk to ABC about the risk of multi-level entry. Kyle mentioned the labor pool that Nevada draws from is from California and not having reciprocity narrows the pool of applicants. John indicated he is not comfortable with allowing a step up in certification with the multi-level exam. Leo asked Jennifer to report at the next Board meeting the time frame for the ABC multi-level exam in collection. The three options are;
1) existing option
2) test up
3) test across
Program Administrator�s report:
Jennifer distributed the new logo.
Jennifer distributed the report.
Certification activity to date for 2004
4 Late Fees
0 Replacement Certificate
It was mentioned that the pins have the old logo. Steve stated that as the pins are in need of replacement, then use the new logo. Bill mentioned that if there is extra revenue we might replace at that time.
Jennifer distributed the Assistant Program Administrator Log to the Board. She indicated she had just received her 1099 for 2003. Steve indicated the position is responsible for costs of Social Security incurred and that $16.35/hr is just compensation. Harvey indicated that Jennifer�s real wage is $15.25/hr. taking out the portion of Social Security that would be paid if not self employed.
Jennifer discussed the ABC conference she attended. She requires a copy of the applicants High School diploma with the first application for a Grade I or OIT exam and for reciprocity applicants. ABC is starting to track decertifications. 98% of the states in the ABC program require CEU�s. ABC reviews 20% of the questions on the exams per year in addition to questions that statistically indicate the need for review. Jennifer expressed that ABC does not have exams in Spanish due to the numerous dialects they encounter.
There was a discussion of items allowed/required at the exam site. The items are;
1) #2 pencil
2) driver�s license/picture ID card
3) non programmable calculator
On-line testing was discussed. DSL or T1 lines are required. It was decided we are not technically ready for that move at this time.
A short discussion of whether it was a conflict of interest to serve on more than one Board at a time. The consensus was �no�.
Jennifer and Bill distributed the 2003-04 budget with expenses as of 3/31/04 and the 2004-05 budget passed at the NWEA conference. Jennifer still has items that she cannot reconcile with Bruce�s books. Bill discussed the process of payment that all invoices go to Jennifer, then to Bill for approval, then to Leo for approval, and then on to Bruce for payment. Starlin stated he would send Bruce a letter explaining the process. Steve asked for a statement balance. Jennifer indicated she is not getting the monthly statements. Steve mentioned getting the actual checkbook register from Bruce. Leo asked for the balance which was not available. Starlin indicated all travel and meeting expenses go through the NWEA President for approval before they are sent to Bruce for payment. Jennifer will draft the process for the Board.
Bill distributed two letters from Scott Chappel and Bill�s response to Scott Chappel. Bill also distributed the reference material listing for the Wastewater Quality Analyst certification. The Board discussed the letters. Bill was commended for his letter. No further action was taken.
NAC 445A.287-292 Applicability to Operators that were not certified prior to the 9/11/02 Board policy changes.
A discussion was held of operators that cannot pass the exam. The discussion led to, it is the municipality�s interpretation of the NAC. Leo stated the NAC binds the State and the municipality.
NWEA Conference Meeting with Eric Leveque
Bill gave a synopsis of the NWEA conference Board meeting. The budget starts new in July.
Industrial Waste Operator exams:
John gave an update of the IWI exams. The management questions were replaced with regulatory questions. The biological exam will be available in January 2005.
ABC Environmental Compliance Inspector Certification Program Questionnaire � Response;
Leo read the questionnaire to the Board with his response. John indicated a different spin to the questionnaire as a replacement for the IWI exam. Leo asked John to obtain an update on the questionnaire at the ABC level. Leo also asked John how the questionnaire was perceived by other states. John will contact the ABC.
ABC Board meeting in June 2004;
Leo asked for responses for the ABC Board meeting. Jennifer had two. No other response was given.
Items for discussion by Board members:
Pete asked about a decertified employee wanting to take the Grade I exam over.
Jennifer asked about documentation to be destroyed. She stated she is going through the files from Diane. Leo indicated the legislative correspondence needs to go to State Archives.
New business for consideration at next meeting:
There was no new business.
Schedule for next Certification Board meeting:
Next meeting is July 7, 2004 at TMWRF.
April 14, 2004
Nevada Board of Certification