Important Notice to Natural Gas Service Line Installers Regarding Changes



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Important Notice to Natural Gas Service

Line Installers Regarding Changes

to Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Policies
As a result of regulatory activity at the State and Federal level, Columbia Gas is implementing a change that effects the installation of service lines within the Columbia Gas service territory. This policy change is being made to ensure the integrity of Columbia Gas’ operating system and to adhere to current and pending regulations governing work on natural gas lines.
Beginning January 1, 2007, Columbia Gas will require all service line installers, including those doing “new construction” work, to be in good standing with regard to the following requirements:


  1. DOT Operator Qualification – Installers must qualify initially, and every three (3) years thereafter.




  1. Mechanical Joining of Plastic Pipe – In order to make stab fittings on plastic pipe, all installers must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 192.285. Columbia Gas will require all installers to qualify initially and annually to perform this task.



  2. Drug and Alcohol Testing – Installers must participate in a program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR Part 40, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs and 49 CFR Part 199 (Subparts A&B), Drug and Alcohol Testing and have that program listed with National Compliance Management Services (NCMS).


GETTING QUALIFIED
Being “qualified” means that the Columbia Gas approved 3rd Party Qualifier has evaluated an individual and verified their ability to perform the various covered tasks. Columbia Gas does not provide qualification services for service line installers. Instead, we have approved the programs of the following three providers. Please contact the third party qualifiers directly regarding qualification session schedule, availability, and price.


Utility Technologies International Corp.(UTI)
Phone: 1-614-482-8080
www.uti-corp.com/training.html


Professional Utility Resources (PUR)

Phone 1-216-870-2707

http://www.pur-co.com








Additional information regarding qualification can be found on the Columbia Gas web site:

http://www.columbiagaspamd.com/products_services/plumber_information.htm

DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING PROGRAMS
Every installer performing natural gas service line work must be included in a drug and alcohol testing program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR Part 40. Columbia Gas utilizes the services of National Compliance Management Services (NCMS) to verify the status of these programs. Instead of administering their own plan and testing program, most small employers opt to join a consortium that administers the plan and testing program on their behalf. Several of these are listed below.
There are several components required in order to comply with Federal Pipeline Regulations regarding Drug and Alcohol Programs. These include: A DOT anti-drug and alcohol misuse prevention plan, pre-employment and random testing for prohibited substances, post accident and reasonable cause testing for alcohol and prohibited substances, training, recording keeping, and an Employee Assistance Program.
There are several consortiums available that meet these regulatory requirements. Columbia Gas does not endorse one consortium, below is a listing of several national consortiums. Please contact them by phone or mail, if interested.



Ameritest

1221 Granville Pike

Lancaster, Oh 43130

Phone: 888-708-2008

Fax : 888-708-2008

Email: lynn@ameritest.com



Bem Enterprises, Inc
145 Eagle Avenue
Indiana, PA 15701
Phone: 1-800-862-2191
Email: bementerprises@verizon.net

www.bemdrugtesting.com



DDTA Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 461
East Palestine, OH 44413
Phone: 1-800-488-3382

Email:DDTAservices@epohi.com




Occupational Care Consultants

7010 Spring Meadows Dr., West

Holland, Ohio 43528

Phone: 419-865-4448

www.occhealth.com


Integrity Verifications, Inc.

735 N. Court Street, Suite D

Medina, Ohio 44256

Phone: 330.725.3866

Fax 330.725.7981

www.integrityverifications.com




Pipeline Testing Consortium, Inc.
9 Compound Drive
Hutchinson, KS 67502
Phone: 1-800-294-8758

Email: mikeneuway@pipelinetesting.com



Spectrum Medical Services, Inc.
6505 Mars Road
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Phone: 1-800-253-5077

Fax: 724-776-9022

www.spectrumedical.com




You are encouraged to visit the DOT website for more detail on the drug and alcohol testing regulations.


If interested, contact any or all of the companies listed above for information and pricing. If you elect to join a consortium, ensure that your information is going to be submitted to NCMS for inclusion in their database. This is the only method Columbia Gas has to verify your status.
SUMMARY
Columbia Gas is fully committed to complying with all Federal and State regulations and takes seriously its role in providing a safe, reliable natural gas delivery system. As the operator of the system, Columbia Gas is responsible for all aspects of the installation, maintenance, and operation of the system, including the customer-owned service line. Service line installers must adhere to Columbia Gas policies and procedures, or the right to install service lines may be revoked.
In conclusion –

Individuals who are currently in compliance with all requirements:

  1. DOT Operator Qualification – 3 Year Plumber Program

  2. Annual Mechanical Joining of Plastic Pipe

  3. A DOT Approved Drug & Alcohol Program listed with National Compliance Management Services – NCMS

Do not need to take additional actions for the January 1, 2007 deadline.
Current Operator Qualified individuals do need to recognize that as of January 1, 2007 the following items will go into effect:

  • Operator Qualification is required for New Construction Work.




  • “Mechanical Joint” card will no longer be accepted




  • A completed “Operator Qualification” card will be required.

Columbia Gas must be able to verify electronically the individuals U-ID before we establish or restore service.


Each person who works as an Operator Qualified Plumber must be individually qualified and have their own Unique ID (U-ID). It is not acceptable for an employee of a company to use the U-ID of their supervisor/boss or another employee.

QUESTIONS
If you have any questions regarding the above changes, you may contact
Justin J. Magestro

Columbia Gas

Compliance Specialist II

Standards & Compliance

Office - 724-658-4707

E-mail – jmagest@nisource.com



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