Gas Operator Qualification

For licensed plumbers and their technicians seeking operator qualification in Covered Tasks 86 and 87. For more background information, read below. Otherwise, please visit the links regarding application documents, application instructions, important updates, and FAQs.

For operator qualification in any tasks outside of CT86/87 you must email directly opqual@coned.com. The Plumbing Foundation does not administer tasks other than 86 and 87 at this time.

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 made such requirements effective in their respective operating manuals April 15, 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.