Gas Operator Qualification

Gas Operator Qualification Membership

Background

The Utility companies (Con Edison & National Grid), by virtue of the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) and the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”), will be requiring licensed master plumbers (“LMPs”) and LMPs’ employees to be operator qualified in Covered Task 86 (Inspections) and/or Covered Task 87 (Maintenance/Repairs) to do such inspections and/or maintenance on USDOT jurisdictional gas piping. Operator Qualification entails a 7-hour course and a written and practical examination. This also will require anyone doing such inspections and/or maintenance to take a baseline (“pre-employment”) drug and alcohol test and to be part of a drug testing pool; per USDOT requirements, 50% of such pool will be drug tested at random per year. The Utilities will be making such requirements effective in their respective operating manuals by January 1, 2019. The Plumbing Foundation has been working closely with the Northeast Gas Association (“NGA”), Con Edison, National Grid, the Master Plumbers Council and other industry experts and stakeholders (the “Gas Working Group”) on the requirement for operator qualification in Covered Tasks 86 and 87, as described above. The Gas Working Group decided the most beneficial means for the industry to become operator qualified and comply with the drug and alcohol component is to have the Plumbing Foundation administer the program and act as the drug testing pool representative for the entire NYC licensed plumbing community. Therefore, the Plumbing Foundation has issued its “Gas Operator Qualification Membership” or “GOQ Membership” application package, open to current members of the Foundation and non-members alike.

The GOQ Membership is applied to by an NYC-licensed plumbing firm on behalf of those employees the LMP wishes to enroll in the operator qualification program. Cost is per employee. LMPs and their employees must have prior experience with gas work to enroll. Once members, employees will first receive a baseline (or “pre-employment”) drug and alcohol test, and if they pass they will be placed in the drug testing pool. The USDOT requires 50% of this pool to be tested at random annually. Once in the pool, employees will be scheduled for the 7-hour training course with authorized instructors. Following confirmation that employees completed the training with the authorized instructors, employees will be scheduled for the written and practical examinations, which will take place at an approved testing facility. The written examination consists of approximately 100 questions on general knowledge and specific knowledge relevant to Covered Tasks 86 and 87. The practical examination requires an individual to identify corrosion on gas piping. Once the Plumbing Foundation receives confirmation of passing grades for both the written and practical examinations, those employees will receive a “QR” card and can engage in Covered Task 86 and/or 87 work. The QR card requires a photograph of the individual and will contain the individual’s operator qualification status and drug testing pool status. The QR card can be scanned by Utilities for compliance purposes.

Northeast Gas Association Covered Tasks 86 and 87 Descriptions

Application Documents (now fillable!)

Checklist and Step-by-Step Summary
Application
Attachment A
Attachment B
Attachment C
Attachment D
Attachment E

Instructions

(1) The LMP Firm must fill out the application, please use the attached checklist to ensure you fill out all required paperwork. We will not accept incomplete applications.

(2) Please send application via email to GOQmembership@plumbingfoundation.nyc (preferred!) -OR- fax to 212-481-7185. DO NOT MAIL OR DELIVER IN PERSON.

(3) In your email or fax, please indicate whether you are a union (Plumbers Union Local #1) firm or a non-union firm. This matters for where we send you for training. NOTE: Persons employed by a signatory firm with Local #1 and even members of Plumbers Local #1 does not necessarily mean people are eligible for training at Local 1 Trade Education Facility. Only persons who contribute into the “U.A. Plumbers Local No. 1 Trade Education Fund” are permitted to be trained there. According to Plumbing Industry Board, if you are not a contributor into the Trade Education Fund, you will be invoiced the going industry rate (separate cost from GOQ membership) for OQ training to allow for training at Local 1 Trade Education Facility. The processing of your training paperwork and ability to become operator qualified is conditional based on payment.

(4) For payment, we will send you an invoice. Once you receive the invoice, you will be asked to either pay through PayPal -OR- send a check via regular mail to: The Plumbing Foundation City of New York, Inc., 535 8th Ave, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10018

(5) IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • The Utility companies reviewed and approved Attachment B so it MUST be filled out. The LMP signs Addendum I on page 26 and all employees seeking operator qualification must be given Attachment B and sign page 25.
  • Attachment C must be filled out for EACH participating employee and they MUST include a unique and accessible email address and phone number.
    • Do not forget Step 7 in Attachment C — photos must be a clear, digital head shot. Send that via email and make sure you indicate who the photo is of.
  • Signing the Application itself is agreeing to Attachment A, no need to sign Attachment A.
  • PLEASE LOOK AT FAQs BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS, MOST OF YOUR QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED IN THE FAQS BELOW. THANK YOU.

(6) Once your information and payment are processed, we will contact you to coordinate all training and testing. You do not need to follow up via email or phone. We are processing the applications on a rolling basis and do ask for your patience.

Click Here for FAQs on Operator Qualification

Click here for access to Con Ed’s Contractor Resources (including Yellow Book)

Click here for access to National Grid’s Gas Specifications (including Blue Book)

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