Certification Meeting Minutes
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Nevada Board of Certification Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
July 20, 2007 - Meeting Minutes - IVGID Conference Room

Meeting was called to order at approximately 09:30 AM.

Attendees: Steve Cottrell, Jennifer McMartin, Bill Shepherd, John Solvie, Starlin Jones, and Harvey Johnson.

Absent: Joe Crim

Introduction of guests:
Donna Bloom, NWEA Executive Director
Gary Hutchinson, NWEA Treasurer

  1. Item #1: Approval of minutes of April 13, 2007 meeting: The minutes were approved as presented.
  2. Item #2: Certification Program Update:
    • Contract Scope of Work
      • Bill Shepherd, Donna Bloom, Leslie Long and John Solvie met with the NDEP On May 29th. NDEP is satisfied with the draft scope of work but requested some further revisions, which have been addressed. NDEP is working to get a sole source contract approved.
      • The contract is expected to be in place by January 2008.
      • Mandatory certification program fees and applications will go to the NDEP. NDEP will then fund the mandatory program with the NWEA as provided in the contract.  Communication with the NDEP, NWEA & the Certification Board is critical to this process.
      • Certification Board account cash analysis was distributed to the Board.
      • The board discussed future balances and disbursements as covered by the NDEP.
    • Voluntary Program fees
      • The Board received a proposed fee structure for the voluntary program.
      • The fee structure is based on 80 annual exams and 82 annual renewals.
      • The Board discussed proposed fees.
      • The Board discussed costs to the NWEA.
      • The Board discussed avenues of communication with the NWEA Executive Board.
      • The Assistant Program Administrator (APA) will break down the voluntary as compared to mandatory certification activity in future Program Administrator Reports.
      • The Board will submit three fee options to the NWEA Executive Board for their discussion and approval.
    • ABC Contract
      • ABC membership information and the ABC testing contract were updated to reflect the organization name NWEA (formerly listed as the Nevada Board of Certification for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators), as requested by NDEP.  The Certification Board will remain as the primary NWEA contact for ABC membership and testing matters.
      • Future meetings were discussed as to options of meeting locations, including other cost savings measures.
  3. Item #3: Program Administrator Report:
    • The PAR was distributed to the Board.
    • The number of exams increased considerably.
    • There were 68 questions changed in the Grade III wastewater certification exam.
    • There were 65 questions changed in the Grade IV wastewater certification exam.
    • The passing percentage of the wastewater operator exam decreased.
    • The certification checking account was reconciled with the NWEA account.
    • The certification budget will be reconciled with the NWEA budget.
    • The Board approved sending a survey to the certified community on the interest in on-line exams at an additional cost of $75.
    • The Board discussed updating the decertification policy to meet the NDEP requirements once the contract is in place.
    • The Board discussed changes to the NWEA bylaws that are to be voted on by the membership.
  4. Item #4: Assistant Program Administrator Items: The Board discussed New Mexico’s request for certification reciprocity agreement. This would be a variance from current policy. The Board decided to remain with the current policy of considering reciprocity only from programs listed on ABC’s exam equivalency chart.
  5. Item #5: Training Update: The collection system training in Las Vegas went very well. Future training will consist of flow monitoring in September and disinfection in November. The NWEA will include Joe Crim as the training representative in the training conference call process.
  6. Item #6: Policies & Procedures Manual: The Board approved the manual.
  7. Item #7: ABC Update:
    • The Plant Maintenance need-to-know criteria will be developed at the next ABC Plant Maintenance Task Force meeting in August.
    • John Solvie is running for the ABC Vice President position. It is a four year commitment and if elected, he will continue to serve as a Board member but time constraints will require him to step down as Program Administrator.
  8. Item #8: Water Operator Certification Advisory Board Update: There was no update as there was no meeting in June.
  9. Item #9: Website update:
    • There was nothing to update on the website.
    • The Board commended Steve Cottrell for all the fine work he has done on the website.
    • Steve stated to the Board that this will be his last term on the Certification Board.
    • Steve stated that he is willing to continue updating the certification website after his term is completed.
  10. Item #10: New Business: The polling of Board members interested in filling the Program Administrator position.
  11. Item #11: Schedule next Board Meeting: Friday November 9, 2007 at 9:30 AM at CCWRD.

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