Under the Dome

Well drilling bill tweaked, but concerns persist

Electricians’ associations oppose a House bill that would exempt well contractors from electrical contractors licensing requirements.

Senators O.K.’d the bill in Tuesday’s Commerce committee meeting. It added an exemption to current law, making it unnecessary for well contractors to obtain electrical licenses before running electrical wires from well pumps to pressure switches.

Concerns about the training necessary to perform this task led several senators to vote against it. Opponents said that the lack of licensing could be unsafe, and that the bill didn’t provide any limitations on the amount of voltage involved.

Well contractors don’t want to be required to obtain electrical licenses in addition to the licenses they already have, said Alex Miller, a lobbyist for the N.C. Ground Water Association, which supports the bill. They are already trained to do the necessary electrical tasks, which are “simple work,” he added.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jon Hardister, a Greensboro Republican, had been previously amended to require electrical training for well contractors getting certified after the legislation’s passage. The training wouldn’t apply to the 900 people who are already certified in their profession.

--Annalise Frank, staff writer

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