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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 1RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 13REGULATIONS FOR COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS (CNG)
SUBCHAPTER CCLASSIFICATION, REGISTRATION, AND EXAMINATION
RULE §13.70Examination Requirements and Renewals

(a) Examination general provisions.

  (1) No individual may work or be employed in any capacity which requires contact with CNG or CNG systems until that individual has submitted to and successfully completed an examination which measures the competency of that individual to perform the CNG related activities anticipated, and tests working knowledge of the Texas Natural Resources Code and the regulations for compressed natural gas related to the type of CNG work anticipated. Table 1 of this section sets forth specific requirements for examination for each category of license. This section applies to all licensees and their employees who perform CNG related activities, and also applies to any ultimate consumer who has purchased, leased, or obtained other rights in any vessel defined as a CNG transport by this chapter and any employee of such ultimate consumer if that employee drives or in any way operates such a CNG transport. Driving a motor vehicle powered by CNG or fueling of motor vehicles for an ultimate consumer by the ultimate consumer or its employees do not in themselves constitute CNG related activities. Only paragraph (2) of this subsection applies to an employee of an ultimate consumer or a state agency or institution, county, municipality, school district, or other governmental subdivision.

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    (A) Individuals wishing to take a management-level rules examination (for company representatives or operations supervisors) shall pay a nonrefundable fee of $70 before taking any such examination.

    (B) Individuals wishing to take an employee-level rules examination (for employees other than company representatives or operations supervisors) shall pay a nonrefundable fee of $40 before taking any such examination.

    (C) The examination fees are nonrefundable and, if an applicant fails an examination, the applicant shall pay the full examination fee for each subsequent examination.

  (2) Each individual who performs CNG activities as an employee of an ultimate consumer or a state agency, county, municipality, school district, or other governmental subdivision shall be properly supervised by his or her employer. Any such individual who is not certified by AFRED to perform such CNG activities shall be properly trained by a competent person in the safe performance of such CNG activities.

  (3) Each person wishing to submit to examination shall file a CNG Form 1016 with AFRED.

  (4) An individual who has filed CNG Form 1016 and the applicable nonrefundable examination fee may take the rules examination at the Commission's AFRED Training Center, 6506 Bolm Road, Austin, Texas, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday, except for state holidays, and at other designated times and locations around the state. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the preferred days for examinations at the AFRED Training Center. Dates and locations of available Commission CNG examinations may be obtained in the Austin offices of AFRED and on the Commission's web site at www.rrc.state.tx.us, and shall be updated at least monthly. Examinations shall be conducted in Austin and in other locations around the state. Individuals or companies may request in writing that examinations be given in their area. AFRED shall schedule its examinations and locations at its discretion.

  (5) Within 15 days of the date an individual takes an examination, AFRED shall notify the individual of the results of the examination.

    (A) If the examination is graded or reviewed by a testing service, AFRED shall notify the individual of the examination results within 14 days of the date AFRED receives the results from the testing service. If the notice of the examination results will be delayed for longer than 90 days after the examination date, AFRED shall notify the individual of the reason for the delay before the 90th day. AFRED may require a testing service to notify an individual of the individual's examination results.

    (B) Successful completion of any required examination shall be credited to and accrue to the individual.

    (C) Any individual who fails an examination shall be immediately disqualified from performing any CNG related activities covered by the examination. Any individual who fails an examination administered by AFRED at the Austin location only may retake the same examination only one additional time during a business day. Any subsequent examinations shall be taken on another business day, unless approved by the AFRED director. If requested by an individual who failed the examination, AFRED shall furnish the individual with an analysis of the individual's performance on the examination.

  (6) Time limits.

    (A) Effective June 1, 2008, an applicant shall complete the examination within two hours.

    (B) The examination proctor shall be the official timekeeper.

    (C) An examinee shall submit the examination and the answer sheet to the examination proctor before or at the end of the established time limit for an examination.

    (D) The examination proctor shall mark any answer sheet that was not completed within the time limit.

(b) General installers and repairmen exemption.

  (1) Any individual who is currently licensed as a master or journeyman plumber by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners or who is currently licensed with a Class A or B air conditioning and refrigeration contractors license issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulation may apply for and be granted an exemption to the Category 2 and 3 service and installation employee examination requirements by submitting to AFRED the following information:

    (A) CNG Form 1016B;

    (B) a $30 original filing fee; and

    (C) any information AFRED may reasonably require.

  (2) This exemption does not become effective until the examination exemption card is issued by AFRED.

  (3) The examination exemption accrues to the individual and is nontransferable.

  (4) Any individual granted such exemption shall maintain certified status at all times. Upon failure to maintain certified status, all affected CNG operations shall cease immediately until proper status has been regained.

  (5) In order to maintain an exemption, each individual issued an examination exemption card shall pay a $20 annual renewal fee to AFRED on or before May 31 of each year. Failure to pay the annual renewal fee by May 31 shall result in a lapsed exemption. If an individual's exemption lapses, that individual shall cease performing all CNG related activities granted by this exemption until that individual renews the exemption. To renew a lapsed exemption, the individual shall pay the $20 annual renewal fee plus a $20 late-filing fee. Failure to do so shall result in the expiration of the examination exemption. If the individual's examination exemption has been expired for one year or longer, the individual shall complete all requirements necessary to apply for a new exemption.

  (6) Any individual who is issued this exemption agrees to comply with the current edition of the regulations for compressed natural gas. In the event the exempt individual surrenders, fails to renew, or has the license revoked either by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners or Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, that individual shall immediately cease performing any CNG activity granted by this section. The examination exemption card shall be returned immediately to AFRED and all rights and privileges surrendered.

(c) Trainees.

  (1) A licensee or ultimate consumer may employ an individual as a trainee for a period not to exceed 45 calendar days without that individual having successfully completed the rules examination subject to the following conditions.

    (A) The trainee shall be directly and individually supervised at all times by an individual who has successfully completed the rules examination for the areas of work being performed by the trainee.

    (B) The licensee or ultimate consumer shall ensure that CNG Form 1016 is on file with AFRED for each trainee at the time that trainee begins supervised CNG activities. The trainee shall then have 45 calendar days to pass the applicable rules examination.

  (2) A trainee who fails the rules examination shall immediately cease to perform any CNG related activities covered by the examination failed.

  (3) A trainee who has been in training for a total of 45 calendar days, in any combination and with any number of employers, shall cease to perform any CNG activities for which he or she is not certified.

(d) Renewal of certified status.

  (1) AFRED shall notify licensees of any employees' pending renewals, or shall notify the individual if not employed by a licensee, in writing, at the address on file with AFRED no later than March 15 of a year for the May 31 renewal date of that year.

  (2) In order to maintain active status, a certificate holder shall pay the $25 annual certificate renewal fee to AFRED on or before May 31 of each year. Individuals who hold more than one certificate shall pay only one annual renewal fee.

  (3) Failure to pay the annual renewal fee by the deadline shall result in a lapse of certification unless the late filing fee in paragraph (4) of this subsection is paid. If an individual's certification has been expired for one year or longer, that individual shall comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. If an individual's certification lapses or expires, that individual shall immediately cease performance of any CNG activities that require certification. Certified status shall be regained only by successfully completing the examination requirement for certification and meeting the requirements of paragraph (4) of this subsection.

  (4) Any lapsed renewals submitted after May 31st of each year shall include a $20 late filing fee in addition to the renewal fee, proof of successful completion of the examination required for certification, and be received in AFRED's Austin office no later than close of business on August 31 or, if August 31 falls on a weekend or state holiday, close of business on the last business day before August 31 of each year. Upon receipt of the renewal fee and late filing penalty, AFRED shall verify that the individual's certification has not been suspended, revoked, or expired for one year or longer. After verification, AFRED shall renew the certification and the individual may resume CNG activities.

(e) Expired certification(s). Any renewal submitted after the August 31 deadline shall be considered expired. If an individual wishes to renew a certification that has been expired for less than one year, that individual shall submit the annual renewal fee and late filing fee, and proof of successful completion of the examination required for certification. Upon verification that the individual's certification has not been suspended, revoked, or expired for one year or longer, AFRED shall renew the individual's certification and the individual may resume CNG activities.


Source Note: The provisions of this §13.70 adopted to be effective November 15, 1990, 15 TexReg 5941; amended to be effective October 15, 1993, 18 TexReg 6457; amended to be effective August 30, 1999, 24 TexReg 6733; amended to be effective October 22, 2001, 26 TexReg 8342; amended to be effective June 9, 2003, 28 TexReg 4416; amended to be effective June 5, 2006, 31 TexReg 4604; amended to be effective October 29, 2007, 32 TexReg 7677; amended to be effective February 1, 2008, 33 TexReg 141; amended to be effective December 24, 2012, 37 TexReg 9917

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