Certification Meeting Minutes
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Nevada Board of Certification Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
April 14, 2006 - Meeting Minutes - NDEP Conference Room

Meeting was called to order at approximately 09:00 AM.

Attendees: Steve Cottrell, Alan Tinney, Diana Silsby, Jennifer McMartin, Bill Shepherd, John Solvie, Joe Crim, and Harvey Johnson.

Absent: Starlin Jones

Introduction of guests:
Valerie King, NDEP
Frank Johnson, Minden-Gardnerville WWTP

  1. Item #1: Approval of minutes of January 24, 2006 meeting: The minutes were approved as read.
  2. Item #2: Program Administrator’s report: The 2006-07 budget and justifications were distributed to the Board. The Program Administrator’s report was distributed to the Board.
  3. Item #3: Assistant Program Administrator (APA) items:
    • The APA is in the process of obtaining a business license which she recently found out is required.
    • The APA discussed comments from operators alleging that NVRWA was inferring that collection system certification will be mandatory in the near future. The APA advised NVRWA that this is not the case.
    • The list of APA responsibilities that was requested by the Program Administrator was distributed to the Board.
    • An example of Idaho collection system classification was distributed to the Board.
    • A new removable certification renewal sticker was presented to the Board. The sticker now denotes the date the certificate became valid in addition to the date the certificate expires. The new stickers will allow operators and employers to see if there was a lapse in certification. The Board approved using the new sticker.
    • The APA discussed her talk at the NWEA conference.
    • The Program Administrator intends to recommend that the APA present at the next ABC conference, as he serves on the ABC Technical Program subcommittee.
    • The Board discussed the importance of backing up our electronic files. The APA is now doing quarterly backup and giving it to the Program Administrator at the Board meetings.
  4. Item #4: Subcommittee to research commonalities between WWTP Operator Certification Board and the Public Water System Certification Board:
    • Three documents were distributed and discussed: the letter requesting information on operator satisfaction of the certification process from NDEP, the response letter from the Board, and the survey results. Valerie King presented the results of her study of the two Boards to this point. She discussed the comparison of business practices, recommendations from the Board on discipline, fees, and CEUs. She stated NDEP is committed to work with the Board to establish an advisory role for the Board with respect to discipline. The Board explained the decertification/suspension renewal process in place. There was discussion of the Board and NDEP working together to accomplish a fee increase upon justification of need to NDEP by the Board. Also discussed was the possibility of an automatic fee increase or a 5 year review being added to the regulations. The Board will continue to work with NDEP and the Water System Board on CEU’s. The question of a regulation change for a mandatory CEU requirement was discussed. NDEP described the process of regulation change with the legislature. The Board was informed there is 80 days to enter a fee increase for 2006. There was discussion of timing depending on the extent of the regulation change (fee alone or fee and CEU requirement).
    • The Board discussed the possibility of implementing on-line credit card payments using Acteva and PayPal as indicated in question 4 of the survey.
  5. Item #5: Provisional Operator Audit: The findings of the 2006 Nevada Provisional Operator Audit Survey were distributed to the Board. The Board discussed the survey. NDEP will make the final determination as to the current status of each provisional operator’s certification.
  6. Item #6: Proposed 2007 Fee Increases: The APA will begin a spreadsheet to determine the justification of a fee increase and present the information to the Board.
  7. Item #7: CEU Requirements: The Board discussed the requirement of CEUs and the management of the CEU program.
  8. Item #8: Plant Maintenance Certification:
    • The Board discussed the possibility of implementing Plant Maintenance Certification. The Program Administrator has been working with ABC on this, and will be making a formal motion for ABC to implement Plant Maintenance Certification at the ABC Board of Directors meeting in June. The possibility of NWEA implementing CWEA Plant Maintenance certification under a NWEA certificate was also discussed. Due to costs and regulatory constraints, the Board does not desire to pursue the CWEA option at this time.
  9. Item #9: Joint meeting with Water Certification Board:
    • If logistically possible our Board Chairman will attend the next Water Certification Board meeting Our Vice Chairman currently also serves on the Water Certification Board. Our Board plans to invite members of the Water Board to our next meeting in July.
  10. Item #10: ABC Board of Directors Updates:
    • The draft ABC examination proctor policy and the response letter from the Board to the ABC were distributed and discussed. The policy will be voted on at ABC Board of Directors meeting in June. ABC staff and President expressed to the Program Administrator that they enjoyed meeting with the Nevada Certification Board in January.
    • Pretesting was discussed as to the extent of participant interest. Those that participated gave positive feedback.
    • ABC will be updating all wastewater exams this year.
  11. Item #11: Website update:
    • The Board was informed of the new formatting capability of the website. This will allow easier reading of the website.
    • The Program Administrator will send a news release regarding pretesting to be posted on the website.
  12. Item #12: Newsletter update: Starlin will get the newsletter to Steve by the end of May. Starlin is soliciting the Board for articles.
  13. Item #13: Operator Pins: The Board will determine the purchase of new pins when the inventory reduces.
  14. Item #14: New Business for consideration at next meeting: The Board is awaiting an update on the decision from ABC on proctoring and the maintenance certification. The Board will be working on establishing better communication regarding disciplinary procedures between NDEP and the Board.
  15. Item #15: Schedule next Board Meeting: The next meeting will be held in Reno at TMWRF on 7/21/06 at 9:30 AM.

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