September 20: Governor Cooper has declared September 20-26, 2021, as Registered Environmental Health Specialist Week in North Carolina. The Board extends a heartfelt “thank you” to each of you for the pandemic-related work you’re doing for your community while also maintaining our core environmental health services. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, you are on the front lines of preventive public health services delivery and our ongoing work demonstrates the vital role of environmental health during this response. Thank you for all that you do!
Public Hearing Notice – Permanent Rule Changes. January 2021.
Proposed Permanent Rules
The State Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners has proposed permanent rules that were published on the Office of Administrative Hearings website on January 4, 2021. Click here to review the rules.
Reason for the Proposed Permanent Action
Due to the serious and unforeseen threat to the public health and safety caused by COVID-19, the Governor of North Carolina issued Executive Order No. 116, declaring a state of emergency to coordinate a response and enact protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional Executive Orders throughout the year have prohibited mass gatherings. COVID-19, a respiratory disease, spreads easily from person to person, can result in serious illness or death. The Board seeks to contribute towards social isolation efforts directed by the Federal and State Government and assist registrants who are unable to complete required training within the timelines outlined in 21 NCAC 62 .0407(e), 21 NCAC 62 .0407(f), 21 NCAC 62 .0407(k) and 21 NCAC 62 .0411. The one-time extensions would create a situation where everyone has the same opportunities in light of an evolving public health landscape. The Board also recognizes that, due to circumstances beyond its control, it may not be possible for some to meet the prescribed standards.
Public Comments and Public Hearing on Proposed Permanent Action
To submit public comments regarding the amendment, contact Donna Coffey, Board Assistant, Post Office Box 238, Efland, NC 27243; phone (919) 304-1168; fax (919) 304-1165; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that your comments must be received on or before March 5, 2021.
The Board will conduct a public hearing on January 29, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. by teleconference for anyone who wishes to verbally comment on the amendment. Members of the public may join by calling (712) 775-7031 and entering access code 816685.
Questions About Rules
Contact Donna Coffey, Board Assistant, Post Office Box 238, Efland, NC 27243; phone (919) 304-1168; fax (919) 304-1165; email email@example.com if you have any questions about the amendment or the public hearing.
July 21, 2020 Notice:
The Rules Review Commission (RRC) approved the temporary rule changes.
- Continuing Education – For 2020 (ONLY), continuing education hours are optional and not required. If you choose to complete CE hours this year, you can carryforward a maximum of 5 hours into 2021. There are lots of free online courses available if you are interested in getting the 5 carryforward hours – they are catalogued in RSTAS CE database.
- Environmental Health Law Course – If you are in your fourth year of registration and have not yet attended the Environmental Health Law course, you will have one additional year to complete the course.
- Centralized Intern Training – Interns registered with the Board in 2020, you will have 18 months to complete Centralized Intern Training (CIT) instead of 12.
What remains the same?
- Annual Renewal – The annual renewal period will open in October 2020. As in past years, your annual renewal fee and renewal form (either electronic or paper) are due on or before 12/31/2020.
April 14, 2020 Notice: The reality of COVID-19 has impacted all of us in our personal as well as our professional lives. The Board thanks you for your dedication and professionalism in safeguarding the health of our public.
Continuing education is important for our profession and is required by North Carolina Rules and General Statutes. The importance of being informed of best practices for investigating and responding to disease, monitoring for hazards, and educating the public becomes more vital every day.
It is clear, based on phone calls and emails received in our office, registrants are concerned about meeting annual continuing education requirements in 2020. Based on what we have heard from you, the Board is working under the assumptions: (1) over the last few weeks and into the coming months many, if not all, of your employers, have/will implement(ed) travel & training restrictions for an indefinite period of time, and (2) not all of you have access to online or virtual training, thus you rely solely on in-person training.
In an effort to balance its commitment to education with its dedication to social isolation efforts directed by Federal, State and Local Governments, the Board will seek one-time waivers of the following education requirements by adopting Emergency and Temporary Board Rules at its April 16, 2020 meeting:
• Grant a one-time waiver (for 2020) of the annual Continuing Education.
• Grant a one-time extension (for 2020) of the length of time to complete the Environmental Health Law Course from 4 years to 5 years.
• Grant a one-time extension (for 2020) of the length of time to complete Centralized Intern Training from 12 months to 18 months.
The purpose of these changes is to level the playing field in light of an evolving public health landscape. The Board encourages you to complete online and virtual training opportunities as you are able during 2020. The Board also recognizes that, due to circumstances beyond our collective control, it may not be possible for some to meet the prescribed standards.
Please keep in mind that Rule changes are not automatic – there is a prescribed process and timeline for the Board to follow to take requested changes from the initial process through the final codification step. Our next benchmark in the process is for the Board, in collaboration with our Attorney, to complete the required paperwork and submit it to the Office of Administrative Hearings. Please watch our website, ncrehs.com, and the listserv to stay informed of where we are in the process.
Feel free to contact our office should you have questions. Stay safe, practice social distancing and avoid crowds. We appreciate you and all that you do!
The mission of the NC State Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners is to assure that the services performed by Registered Environmental Health Specialists are ethical, legal, and provide appropriate protection of the public’s health.
The Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners is charged with the responsibility of regulating the practice of environmental health in North Carolina. It regulates the practice through the enforcement of state laws and rules so that the health of the public is protected from environmental hazards.
The Board creates, maintains, and publishes annually a registry of individuals awarded the “Registered Environmental Health Specialist” or “Registered Environmental Health Specialist Intern” status as demonstrated by education, experience, and testing by the Board. It determines eligibility for registration, considers requests for credit for prior experience, accepts courses and training to meet the continuing education requirements, conducts an examination that includes oral and essay questions and a nationally accepted professional exam
The Board holds routine meetings to do business, consider requests for continuing education credit, approve applications for registration, consider exam grades, issue certificates of registration, and perform routine business of the Board.