Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 4th Meeting

of the 2007 Interim


<MeetMDY1> October 19, 2007


The<MeetNo2> 4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> October 19, 2007, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, Lexington, KY. Representative Joni L. Jenkins, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Gary Tapp, Co-Chair; Representative Joni L. Jenkins, Co-Chair; Senators Tom Buford, Julian M. Carroll, Julie Denton, Ray S. Jones II, Bob Leeper, and Ernesto Scorsone; and Representatives Tom Burch, Larry Clark, Ron Crimm,  Tim Firkins, Dennis Horlander, Dennis Keene, Reginald Meeks, David Osborne, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Carl Rollins II, and Sal Santoro.


Guests:  Kerry Gillihan, President and CEO, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital; David Cox, Executive Director, Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors; Van Cook, Executive Director, Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction; Sandy Gruzesky, Assistant Director, Ron Price, Manager, Resources Planning and Program Support Branch, Division of Water; and John M. Kenney, Kentucky Orthotics and Prosthetics Association.


LRC Staff:  Vida Murray, Bryce Amburgey, Tom Hewlett, and Susan Cunningham.


First on the agenda, Representative Jenkins called for a motion and a second, and the minutes from the September 13, 2007, meeting were adopted by voice vote.


Next, Kerry Gillihan, President and CEO of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, welcomed the members to the hospital.  Mr. Gillihan told members that Cardinal Hill was a non-profit operation owned and operated by the Kentucky Easter Seal Society.  He said that Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital with 232 beds, is the largest post-acute care hospital in Kentucky.  The hospital has  with units in Lourdes Hospital in Paducah,  outpatient centers in Louisville and Florence, a long term acute-care hospital at St. Luke's Hospital in Covington, and a sub-acute unit on the seventh floor at Samaritan Hospital.  Mr. Gillihan said that 70% of the patients in the last 10 years have been Medicaid patients.


Next on the agenda, Van Cook, Executive Director, Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction gave a report to the committee on agency issued permits affecting residential and commercial construction.  He reported that permit processing and turn-around times have improved over the past two years, and even though housing is in a slump the commercial end of construction has not seemed to slow down.  The office estimates that it will process 5,400 to 5,600 plan reviews this year.  Two years ago the Office made arrangements with the Division of Water to hire a professional engineer to review single-building sewer line extensions of up to 1500 feet.  These permits are still stamped by the Division of Water.  Also, the office has satellite plan review offices in Louisville and Northern Kentucky.  The two offices issue permits in two days, allowing the Frankfort office to review and issue a permit in five days.  Through a mutual agreement with Metro Louisville, the Division of Plumbing has jurisdiction over all plumbing in the metro area.  The office issues licenses for master and journeyman plumbers, reviews plans for construction on all buildings serving the public, issues plumbing construction permits including residential water heaters, and inspects installations to ensure compliance with the Kentucky Plumbing Code.


Projects processed through the Division of Building Code Enforcement impact several areas of commercial and residential construction in Kentucky.  Architectural and engineering construction documents as well as technical drawings of new or renovated buildings are reviewed to determine compliance with the Kentucky Building Code.  Plan reviewers conduct field inspections at regular intervals to ensure that the contractor is using approved plans.  In 2000 the Division, with seven plan reviewers, reviewed 5,500 plans with a turn-around time of 26 days.  The Division currently has 11 plan reviewers; however, six of those reviewers are trainees who will be in training for two years before becoming certified.  This certification is followed by one year of supervised practice.  Once the six plan reviewers have completed their training and become certified, the estimated turn-around time for issuing permits in 2008 is 10 work days.


Mr. Cook said that inspections range from the Toyota Manufacturing Plant to structures as small as portable classrooms, as complex as a hospital or as simple as an equipment storage facility.  The majority of reviews and permits are issued at the Frankfort Office; however, the Division of Plumbing maintains an office in all Kentucky counties.  Customers can visit local offices and receive a permit at the time of application, but approximately thirty-four percent of all plumbing permits are purchased on-line.  Mr. Cook said that as plumbers become accustomed to the on-line permit application, that number may rise to sixty percent.


The Boiler Inspection Department inspects all new boilers, pressure vessels, and related piping as well as existing boilers and pressure vessels, not inspected by an insurance company.  The Department administers the boiler contractor licensing program, reviews plans and issues installation, repair, and alteration permits.  Plan reviews are performed by the section chief, paper work is processed by temporary personnel, and final inspections are performed by state and insurance industry inspectors.  Since 2005, there have been two inspectors issuing approximately 900 permits each year with a turn-around time of 10 days.  Boiler inspections involve everything from the  twenty-three story boiler at the Trimble County Generating Plant to neighborhood dry cleaners.  Even food steamers in public school kitchens must be inspected because there is pressure involved.   In 2004, Kentucky Industrialized Building Systems (KIBS) reviews were transferred from the Building Code Enforcement Division to the Manufactured Housing Section.  KIBS units are any building or structure manufactured or constructed off-site by a manufacturer and inspected by an approved third-party inspector or inspection agency during construction at the manufacturer's site.  These units can range in size from a kiosk at a self-serve gas station to family dwelling units.  This division administers federal and state manufactured housing laws and regulations and performs fire investigations as requested for manufactured units.


Elevator inspection is also regulated by the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction, including all new elevators and related equipment installed in permanent rails and guides and all altered installations.  The Elevator Inspection Section provides services for the entire Commonwealth, conducting annual inspections and issuing service certificates for existing elevators.  In 2000, turn-around time was 30 days and  171 alteration permits were issued by one office staff member.   In 2006, permit requests were up to 96 for alteration permits and turn-around time remained at 30 days.  Installation permit requests in 2000, were 57, and again in 2006, the requests for an installation permits were up to 68, with the turn-around time remaining at 30 days for one office staff.  Mr. Cook said that the office is currently having difficulty in the Louisville Metro area with enforcing the posting of elevator inspection certificates and is considering imposing a $100 fine if the certificate is not posted.


Senator Tapp asked if there were any inspectors, plumbing or electrical, that were requiring more than the actual code book required and if so, what procedure does a contractor follow to talk to the inspector.  Mr. Cook said that twice a year there is a three-day conference for the 83 plumbing inspectors that work for the office, where code changes are reviewed to make sure that all inspections are done the same way.  Electrical inspectors are hired by local governments.  Mr. Cook added that a contractor could file a complaint about an electrical inspection to the Electrical Advisory Committee.  Representative Clark said there should be a standard for electrical inspectors so that all inspections  are performed the same way.  Mr. Cook responded that the office certifies all inspectors now.  Representative Jenkins asked why temporary personnel were processing paperwork.  Mr. Cook said there was not an allocation for permanent staff from the Personnel Cabinet.  Representative Santoro asked how many boiler inspectors there are.  Mr. Cook replied that there are eight.  Senator Carroll asked what was the cost to pay temporary personnel versus the cost to hire permanent staff.  Mr. Cook said permanent staff cost more due to  health insurance and retirement benefits.  Representative Clark asked if the revenue stream from permits supported staff or if the state allocated money to the department.  Mr. Cook said most sections do sustain themselves; however, the General Inspection Section in the State Fire Marshals office operates with state General Fund dollars.  Representative Clark asked Mr. Cook to send the Licensing and Occupations Committee staff information on what other State Fire Marshal's charge for boiler inspection, with fee structures.


Representative Palumbo asked for a definition of an alteration permit for an elevator.  Mr. Cook said when an older elevator is upgraded with a new motor and cables, an alteration permit is issued.  Representative Meeks commented that some elevators had signs saying certificates were posted in the building's maintenance office.  Mr. Cook responded that the statutes require posting the certificate in the elevator.  Representative Crimm asked if the FEMA houses were manufactured houses.  Mr. Cook said the federal government inspects all manufactured homes, adding that the KIBS homes were "stick built" in a factory.  Representative Rollins asked why the volume of staff in the Plumbing Division went up but the number of permits issued stayed the same.  Mr. Cook said that some staff did not perform inspections but only checked licenses.  Representative Meeks asked whether a water company could require a homeowner to use a particular water line installer.  Tim House, Plumbing Division Director, said the installer is the person who must obtain the permit.  He said he was not aware of any water company that required a certain contractor to install plumbing from the meter to the home.


Next on the agenda, Sandy Gruzesky, Acting Director for the Division of Water, gave the committee an update on the permits issued by the Division.  Ms. Gruzesky said the Department of Water (DOW) issues construction permits in six branches; Drinking Water, Water Quality, Water Resources, Waste Water Facilities Construction, Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination (KPDES), and the Water Withdrawal Branch.  She stated that many of the branches have worked extra hours in the past year to eliminate backlogs.  The major delay in issuing a permit is getting a complete application from the applicant.  Ms. Gruzesky said permits were issued for construction of water treatment plants, line extension permits under 10,000 feet, and permits for small systems such as churches or schools that have their own water systems.  She said Kentucky does a good job of regionalizing public water systems.  Ms. Gruzesky said that currently there is no backlog in issuing drinking water permits.


Ms. Gruzesky said the Army Corp of Engineers issues a 404 permit to fill streams and wetlands and Kentucky issues a 401 certification, which is set in statute, to comply with the permit.  The Water Resources Branch issues permits for construction in flood plains if the Flood Plain Management section approves proposed construction activities in the 100 year flood plain of all streams in the Commonwealth.  The permitting in this branch changes depending on flooding events and requests for permits for new construction to repair or replace structures after flooding.  There is an on-site screening program in conjunction with FEMA to do an initial screening at the site and permits are issued at that time so work can start as soon as possible.


Ms. Gruzesky said another category of permit is waste water facilities.  Waste water treatment plants and expansion of these plants for sewer lines and pump stations must be permitted even though these types of permits have declined recently due to sewer line extensions.  Permits are issued for water withdrawals of 10,000 gallons per day from surface water or ground water, with agricultural activities being exempt as well as certain power plants that use steam generation.  Currently there are about 30 applications for water withdrawal which are processed in the regulatory time frame (45 days).  Ms. Gruzesky said that the KPDES is the branch with the largest volume of permits.  Most of the permits are operational for discharge of pollutants into water; however, there is one type of construction permit for individual home waste water treatment plants.  These plants could be used for discharge into surface water or spray irrigation systems.  Generally, there are 300 permits issued in a two-year time period adding that is takes about 45 days for this permit to be issued.  The KPDES program issues agricultural feeding operations permits, confined animal operations permits, combined sewer overflow permits, individual residence permits, Kentucky Inter-Municipal Operating Permits (KIMOP), no-discharge operation permits , and storm water permits for construction.  She said the biggest backlog was in the KPDES operations permits.  The DOW has been streamlining the process such as once-a-month notices rather than weekly updated notices, returning incomplete applications, and revoking permits when fees are not received.  Ms. Gruzesky said that the DOW is developing an online permitting process for some programs and improving its Web site information.


Senator Tapp asked if an applicant was called when an incomplete application was received.  Ms. Gruzesky said the first attempt to contact an applicant is by phone call that would be followed by a letter if no action resulted from the phone call.  Representative Crimm asked if the DOW had authorization over bottled water.  Ms. Gruzesky said they did not.  Representative Palumbo asked if mountain top removal was permitted under stream quality.  Ms. Gruzesky said that removals referred to as valley fills are approved by the Corp of Engineers who issues a 404 permit, then DOW issues a 401 certification.  Representative Meeks asked what criteria was used if a company wanted to discharge pollutants into a stream that was not regulated by the Corps of Engineers.  Ms. Gruzesky said that type of discharge would require permits through the KPDES program, which pertains to any water in the Commonwealth.  She added that these are operational permits, approximately 15,000 currently, that exist for the life of the operation.  Representative Clark asked how the 100-year flood plain was updated.  Ms. Gruzesky said changes occur over time such as filling of streams, and natural stream erosion and that the DOW is currently updating maps.  Senator Tapp asked how a person became certified to issue flood plain certificates for real estate closings.  Ms. Gruzesky replied that the DOW maintains maps of flood plains for this type of certification.


Next on the agenda, David Cox, Executive Director, Kentucky Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors, told the committee that HB 46, passed in the 2007 Regular Session, allows the Board to develop regulations for continuing education for engineers.  The regulation was filed with the Legislative Research Commission on October 15.  The Board used model language from the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors as a guide to meet the Board's specific requirements.  The language has been reviewed by the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, who supports the regulation.  The key component of the regulation is that there is no pre-approval of courses.  Each professional can choose courses that fit his or her specific discipline.  There are on-line and self-study courses, and engineers attest on their renewal forms that they have complied with the regulation.  Thirty hours are required in the two calendar years preceding the June 30 renewal date beginning June 30, 2010, and the board will do random audits on licensees.  Mr. Cox said licensees have been notified of the requirements by publication in The Kentucky Engineer, on the board's Web site, and by communication with various engineer associations.


Next on the agenda, John M. Kenney, Kentucky Orthotics and Prosthetics Association, played a DVD showing the impact that orthotic and prosthetic devices have on patients and their family members.  Jason Baird, Baird Government Solutions, told committee members that during the 2007 Regular Session, SB 30, which would have licensed those designing and fitting orthotic and prosthetic devices was not enacted.  He said a bill would be pre-filed for the 2008 Regular Session.


Representative Meeks asked what other states do regarding regulating the practice and if the association had developed regulations.  Mr. Kenney said 11 states currently license practitioners.  Jason Baird responded that there will be a bill similar to SB30 from the last session.  Representative Clark asked what type of educational components were mandated in other states and how insurance companies in Kentucky recognized the profession.  Mr. Kenney said currently, practitioners are required to have an under-graduate degree and post-graduate study certification, adding that he attended Northwestern Medical School which requires a one year residency in each discipline to be eligible to take the American Board of Certification exam.  Senator Leeper asked if the current practitioners in the state met the requirements that were in the legislation.  Mr. Kenney said that the certified practitioners have met the requirements.


There being no further business to come before the committee, Representative Jenkins made a motion, and with a second the meeting was adjourned at 12:03 p.m.