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Maine Code Enforcement Officer Certification Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 4
Summer 2010
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In This Issue
SPO is Moving!
New Certification Rule is Adopted
Applications Explained
Legal Issues Training Recap
Training for Recertification
Soil Science Workshop
Bureau of Codes and Standards Accepting Public Comments
SPO is Moving!!
19 Union Street

19 Union Street, Augusta


In September 2010, the State Planning Office will relocate to 19 Union Street, the former Department of Labor building adjacent to Capitol Park. The move is part of the State's overall capitol planning started nearly 10 years ago, which envisions the current SPO home, the Gannett House, restored and used as a visitor's center or Blaine House reception annex. The Smith-Merrill Building across the street from the Gannett House will be sold.  


While email addresses for SPO employees will remain the same, phone numbers will change. New contact information will be posted to our web site as soon as we know it.  

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Maine State Planning Office
38 State House Station
 184 State Street
Augusta, ME  04333-0038 

Did you know?  

About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material? Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.

SPO Adopts New Rule for Certification Standards for CEOs and TPIs
 SPO Logo
The CEO program is very excited to announce that our rule has been adopted and went into affect July 4th. This rule affects all current code enforcement officers, local plumbing inspectors, and third party inspectors as it sets the standards for being certified. A few of the highlighted pieces of the rule include:

  • An increase in the recertification cycle from five to six years;
  • New provisions that allow work experience, education, professional licensure, and professional activity to count towards recertification;
  • A new honorary certification process;
  • Establishing the training and testing requirements for existing CEOs to be recertified in the new building code;
  • A year's grace period for CEOs to become recertified in the new building code; and
  • Grandfathering provisions that exempt some municipal building officials from the recertification examination for the new building code.
You can read the CEO rule here. You can also view the public comments and our responses to them here.

We understand that the new standards may create some additional questions so we have created two frequently asked questions documents. One specifically for CEOs and one for TPIs.

If you have any additional questions not related to the building code you can contact Brianne Hasty.

If you have questions related to the building code training and exams please contact Amanda Lessard.
New Applications and Forms Explained
woman filling out a formWith the new certification standards come multiple new forms and applications. All of these forms can be found on the FORMS section of the CEO webpage.
Application for Additional Contact Hours (includes the Professional Activity Form) - This application will allow CEOs to request additional contact hours, up to 6 in each certification area, for activities such as job experience, education, and professional activities. If you are applying for contact hours for professional activities you must include the Professional Activity Form. We ask that CEOs and LPIs submit this form towards the end of their certification cycle when it is apparent that the additional credits are needed.
Application for Honorary Certification - This application is for code enforcement officers and local plumbing inspectors serving Maine towns for 20 or more years. Applicants must show an excellent ability and knowledge in the field of codes enforcement; an ongoing record of improvement in ability and knowledge as a code enforcement officer; and contributions to the profession. The Office may award honorary certification in one or more specific areas if, in its determination, the candidate meets a wide array of criteria described in Rule Chapter 300 Section 7. A CEO granted honorary certification does not need to accrue recertification credits in the granted certification area for the tenure of his or her career so long as they maintain municipal employment. 
Application for Outside Training - Please fill out this form every time you attend a training that is not sponsored by the State Planning Office. Outside trainers do not always provide their attendance list to our office. Once we receive this application along with a certificate or agenda from the training we will add the contact hours to your record.
Application to Waive Building Standards Certification (National Certification) - This application is for CEOs and TPIs. The new rule allows those holding a national certification to have the corresponding exam and update training waived. If a person holds a certification from ICC in Residential Building then he or she will not have to have take the exam or take the update course. You will be notified in writing (either email or mail) once we have processed your application. Application deadline: August 31, 2010
Application to Waive Building Standards Certification (Grandfathering) - This application is for CEOs who are currently municipally employed and have been continuously enforcing a model building code since August 2008. If a person has been continuously enforcing the 2003 IRC since September 2004 then the residential building exam will be waived. He or she would just have to take the update course. You will be notified in writing (either email or mail) once we have processed your application. Application deadline: August 31, 2010
Appointment Notice - Please be sure that your municipality has submitted an appointment notice with our office. This notice is required annually.
 Legal Issues Training Recap from June
 Durward Parkinson from the law firm of Bergen & Parkinson provided another great training to code enforcement officers and local plumbing inspectors during the month of June. The CEO program was able to use grant monies from MEMA to hire Durward for two workshops, one at the Wells Reserve and one at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department. Both trainings were well attended, providing 6 contact hours for nearly 125 people. The training in Wells was recorded in hopes of having it on our website for those that could not attend. We are working on editing those tapes and will announce when they are on our site.
Issues covered during the training included; jurisdiction and authority of the code enforcement officer regarding State and local laws, employment issues, conflict of interest and incompatibility of offices, resisting political pressure, ethical use of authority, record-keeping, liability, municipal ordinance authority, ordinance interpretation, noncomforming uses and lots, subdivisions, and appeals and variances.
Basic and Advanced Outside Training Opportunities
 clip art of classroom
The CEO Program is currently designing a one day basic land use training featuring a variety of trainers. We are also working to put together a basic subsurface wastewater training. Once dates and locations for these trainings have been set they will be on our training calendars. You will also receive an email with details on these trainings.

Keep up to date with our training calendars by checking back often. Please remember to submit an outside training request form after attending these workshops.
Upcoming Training:

A Guide to Lien Law for Consumer Owned Water and Wastewater Utilities (SW)
July 26, 2010, Presque Isle
August 19, 2010, Portland
August 26, 2010, Augusta

Septic Systems: The Growing Problem and Solutions to Maine's Greatest Coastal Threat (SW)
August 6, 2010, Bath

Groundwater Rules (SW)
August 19, 2010, Calais

Cool Climate Soil, Hydrology and Site Evaluator Soil Pit Classification Workshop (SW)
September 1, 2010, Saddleback Mountain
Workshop Description
Workshop Registration

MWWCA Fall Convention sponsored by Maine WasteWater Control Association (SW)
September 15-17, 2010, Northport

The Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010 (LU)
September 27-30, 2010, Portland

Local Planning Board and Board of Appeal (LI)
September 21, 2010, Bethel Inn, Bethel

Local Planning Board and Board of Appeal (LI)
November 18, 2010, Holiday Inn Express, Saco

Local Planning Board and Board of Appeal (LI)
November 29, 2010, Dover-Foxcroft
Soil Science Workshop Offered at Saddleback Mountain
hands holding seedling plantThe Maine Association of Professional Soil Scientists, in cooperation with the Maine Association of Wetland Scientists, Maine Association of Site Evaluators, Soil Science Society of Northern New England and the Maine Forest Service will be offering a workshop on Saddleback Mountain near Rangeley, Maine on September 1, 2010. The focus of this workshop will be on the unique soils and hydrology features frequently encountered when undertaking construction in the higher elevation areas of the state, particularly the western Maine mountains. Participants will visit 5 sites during the morning of the workshop where they will have the opportunity to observe unique hydrological features and evaluate 17 soil pits in different positions in the landscape. Some of the soil pits have large contributing watersheds with oxygen rich groundwater flowing through them. Unique hydrological features include boulder fields where there is standing or moving water between the boulders but non-hydrophytes grow in the organic duff on top of the boulders and stone lined subsurface channels that have running water in them.

One of the outcomes of this workshop is to have a determination of the classification of these unique hydrological features by state and federal regulators. In order to provide that determination, the Army Corps of Engineers is sending a problem solving team based in their Cold Regions Lab in Hanover, New Hampshire, to the sites this July. Participants will be provided with a detailed soil description taken by a team including NRCS, the State Soil Scientist, the State Site Evaluator and private sector soil scientists. The workshop will conclude at the lodge with an afternoon power point presentation and discussion of each site, moderated by the State Soil Scientist, which will include state and federal regulators.

State regulatory agency personnel, code enforcement officers, town managers and environmental groups should attend to familiarize themselves with the unique soils and hydrology features that development projects in the higher elevation areas must contend with.

LPIs will receive 6 subsurface wastewater recertification contact hours for this training. You can register here.

If you have any questions, contact David Rocque at (207) 287-2666.
Bureau of Codes and Standards Accepting Public Comments on Rules
The Bureau of Codes and Standards at Department of Public Safety is working to adopt rules for the new state wide building code. This includes amendents to the code itself. The public hearing was held July 26th but the public has until August 5th to submit comments on the rule.

You can submit your comments to:
Bureau of Building Codes and Standards
Department of Public Safety
45 Commerce Drive, SHS #165
Augusta, Maine 04333-0165
You can find more information on the bureau's rulemaking here.