VOLUME 47, ISSUE 12
June 15, 2015
Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs
State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers
Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:32-1.3, 1.4, 2.2, and 6.3
Authorized By: New Jersey Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, Rosemarie Baccile, Acting Executive Director.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:14C-7.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2015-057.
[page=1240] Submit written comments by August 14, 2015, to:
Rosemary Baccile, Acting Executive Director
State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers
PO Box 45008
124 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07101
or electronically at:
The agency proposal follows:
P.L. 2007, c. 150, the Propane Gas Customer Protection Act (the Act), authorized the Department of Community Affairs (Department) to [page=1288] establish standards for the certification of those engaged in the sale of propane and performing propane services. P.L. 2011, c. 43 amended the Act, so that a licensed master plumber who has completed training and competency testing established by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers (Board) may perform propane services. At its July 28, 2011, meeting, the Board consulted with representatives of the Liquified Petroleum Gas Education Board, which is within the Department, to discuss implementation of P.L. 2011, c. 43. Based on this discussion, and further consideration at later Board meetings, the Board proposes amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:32-1.3, 1.4, 2.2, and 6.3 to require every licensed master plumber to complete training in propane services. The Board will also revise its licensing examination in order to include additional questions regarding propane services so that newly licensed master plumbers will meet competency testing standards in propane services.
The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:32-1.3 provides a definition for "propane services." This definition is taken from N.J.S.A. 52:27D-510. The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:32-1.4 states that the provision of propane services is within the scope of practice of licensed master plumbers.
The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:32-2.2 would require that an education that qualifies an applicant to take the licensing examination include education in propane services. This education must include substantially the same information that is covered in either the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association's Fundamentals of LP manual, 2003 edition or the United Association's Gas Installation for UA Journeyworkers and Apprentices manual, 2003 edition, which are incorporated by reference, as amended and supplemented.
The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.3 would require sponsors of continuing education programs to provide one hour of continuing education on propane services during the first biennial period after the effective date of the amendment. This hour of continuing education must contain substantially the same information as in either the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association's Fundamentals of LP manual or the United Association's Gas Installation for UA Journeyworkers and Apprentices manual.
After the completion of the one hour in propane services, licensed master plumbers will be required to complete a competency examination administered by the sponsor of the continuing education course.
The Board has determined that the comment period for this notice of proposal will be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.
The proposed amendments will ensure that licensed master plumbers are authorized to provide propane services to consumers. Historically, licensed master plumbers have provided such services and these amendments will ensure that they may continue to do so. The education and testing requirements in the amendments will ensure that licensed master plumbers have the education necessary to safely and effectively provide propane services.
The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:32-2.2 may impose costs on apprenticeship programs and bachelor's degree programs that provide the education that qualifies an applicant to take the licensing examination. These programs will be required to incorporate education in propane services. These costs would likely be passed on to students in the form of higher fees for these programs. The Board believes that the majority, if not all, of these programs are currently providing some education in propane services, so this cost should not be unduly high.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.
The Board believes that the proposed amendments will not increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.
Regulatory Flexibility Statement
Since licensed master plumbers are individually licensed by the Board, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. Apprenticeship and bachelor's degree programs and sponsors of continuing education courses may also be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
The proposed amendments imposes the same costs on small businesses as on all businesses as discussed in the Economic Impact above. The Board does not believe that licensed master plumbers or education programs will need to employ any professional services to comply with the proposed amendments. The proposed amendments do not impose any recordkeeping or reporting requirements, but do impose compliance requirements on licensed master plumbers, education programs, and continuing education sponsors as discussed in the Summary above.
As the compliance requirements contained in the proposed amendments are necessary to ensure that licensed master plumbers will provide propane services in a safe and effective manner, the Board believes that the rules must be uniformly applied to all licensed master plumbers, education programs, and continuing education sponsors and no exemptions or lesser requirements are provided based on the size of a business.
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis
The proposed amendments will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the amendments would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments concern education and testing standards for the provision of propane services by licensed master plumbers.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface
SUBCHAPTER 1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE, BOARD MEETINGS
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Propane services" means the performing of safety and leak testing of, and the performing of installation, maintenance, repair, removal, adjustment, and other services to propane appliances including, without limitation, ranges, water heaters, heaters, furnaces, containers, and other propane fueled systems, for residential and commercial applications.
13:32-1.4 Scope of practice
(a)-(b) (No change.)
(c) For purposes of this section, the following shall also be considered within the scope of the practice of plumbing and shall only be performed by individuals designated in (b) above:
1.-8. (No change.)
9. Installation, extension, alteration, repair, maintenance, testing, and removal of storm, sanitary, and water piping between buildings or structures on a property; [and]
10. Installation and service of closed loop, non-potable water systems, not including geothermal heating and cooling systems or fire protection [page=1289] and suppression systems that are not connected to plumbing systems[.] ; and
11. The provision of propane services.
(e)-(j) (No change.)
SUBCHAPTER 2. APPLICATION, EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS, EXAMINATION
13:32-2.2 Experience requirements
(a) (No change.)
(b) Applicants for examination for a license as a master plumber shall present proof to the Board that he or she:
1. Has completed a four-year apprenticeship program approved by the United States Department of Labor, which includes education in propane services that meets the requirements of (c) below, and has completed one year of practical hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber; or
2. Has been awarded a bachelor's degree in mechanical, plumbing, or sanitary engineering from a college or university accredited by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, which includes education in propane services that meets the requirements of (c) below, and has completed one year of practical hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber.
(c) Education in propane services required by (b) above shall include substantially the same information covered in either the Fundamentals of LP manual, 2003 edition, published by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, 180 S. Washington Street, P.O. Box 6808, Falls Church, VA 22046, incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented, or the Gas Installation for UA Journeyworkers and Apprentices manual, 2003 edition, published by the United Association, Three Park Place, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401, incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented.
SUBCHAPTER 6. CONTINUING EDUCATION
13:32-6.3 Required course topics
(a)-(b) (No change.)
(c) During the biennial renewal period beginning July 1, 2015, and ending on June 30, 2017, sponsors of continuing education courses shall include one hour of education in propane services which includes substantially the same information covered in either the Fundamentals of LP manual, published by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, 2003 edition or the Gas Installation for UA Journeyworkers and Apprentices manual, published by the United Association, 2003 edition.
(d) After completion of the education in propane services required by (c) above, sponsors of continuing education courses shall administer a competency evaluation examination which tests a licensee's understanding of the information provided on propane services.