Talbot County, MD
 
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Talbot County 5-24-1994 by Bill No. 536. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Board of Appeals Rules of Procedure — See Ch. 21.
Building construction — See Ch. 28.
Minimum livability code — See Ch. 88.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 112.
This chapter shall be known as the "Talbot County Electrical Code," hereinafter referred to as the "code."
[Amended 7-8-2008 by Bill No. 1117]
The 2008 edition of the National Electrical Code, as published by the National Fire Protection Association, is hereby adopted as the minimum standard for electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland.
The County Council of Talbot County, Maryland, hereinafter referred to as the "County Council," shall appoint the Board of Electrical Examiners of Talbot County, Maryland, hereinafter referred to as the "Board," which shall be established in accordance with the following provisions:
A. 
The Board shall be authorized to define criteria for qualifications, registration, and licensing of various classifications of electricians permitted to perform electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland; to define the duties and powers of electrical inspectors qualified and authorized to inspect and approve electrical work performed in Talbot County, Maryland; and to enforce penalties for violation of provisions of the code, for the purpose of enforcing the National Electrical Code, as the minimum standard for electrical work in Talbot County.
B. 
The Board shall be comprised of five members; three members shall be currently engaged in the electrical business, and shall have engaged in such business for at least five years prior to their appointment, one member shall be appointed from a list of recommendations made by the Talbot County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, and one member shall be appointed from the public at large. All Board members shall be current residents of Talbot County, Maryland.
C. 
Members of the Board shall be appointed by the County Council.
D. 
The initial Board appointments were one member for a term of one year, two members for terms of two years each, and two members for terms of three years each. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of four years, such that no more than two full-term appointments are made in one calendar year. Interim appointments shall not extend past the partial term for which the appointment is made.[1]
[Amended 6-25-2002 by Bill No. 865]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, prohibiting members from serving more than two consecutive terms, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 6-25-2002 by Bill No. 865.
The County Council may suspend or remove, at any time, any member of the Board for misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or other sufficient cause deemed in the best interest of the Board, upon written notice of removal or suspension to the member, and after the member is given an opportunity to respond to the reasons for removal or suspension.
Members of the Board shall receive such allowance for compensation and expenses as approved by the County Council.
The Board shall annually elect members to serve as the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary of the Board. The Board shall adopt Rules of Procedure to govern meetings of the Board and shall hold such meetings as the Chairman shall determine necessary and proper to perform the Board's prescribed duties.
A. 
The Board may adopt and amend, subject to the approval of the County Council, all rules and regulations, which are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States of America and the laws and regulations of the United States, Maryland, and Talbot County governments, and which may be necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the Board and the proceedings before it.
B. 
The Board shall adopt an Official Seal of the Talbot County Board of Electrical Examiners, which shall be used in the conduct of the business and affairs of the Board to validate its authority.
C. 
In carrying out the provisions of the code, the Board, under the hand of its Chairman and the Official Seal of the Board, may subpoena witnesses for the purpose of obtaining depositions and/or testimony. The Board may also require the production of written information, papers, documents, or other items pertaining to the investigation of any case involving the revocation of registration to perform electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland, or the investigation of any person, persons, or corporations engaged in the practice of electrical work, or the offer to practice electrical work, without registration to perform electrical work, or in violation of the code provisions.
D. 
Any member of the Board may administer oaths or affirmations of witnesses appearing before the Board.
E. 
If any person refuses to obey a subpoena issued by the Board, or refuses to testify or produce any information, papers, publications, documents, or other items requested by the Board in the context of an official investigation, the Board may request the intervention of the Circuit Court of Talbot County in support of the facts of the case. If appropriate, the Court shall issue a subpoena to summon such person before the Court to testify or produce information, papers, publications, documents, or other items as deemed necessary and pertinent to the investigation of the Board. Any person failing or refusing to obey such subpoena or order of the Court shall be subject to the force and authority of the Court.
A. 
All funds, revenues, fees, fines, payments, or other monies received by the Board shall be submitted to the Talbot County Finance Officer, upon receipt by the Board, and shall be credited to the general fund of Talbot County, Maryland.
B. 
All disbursements made by the Board for salaries, compensation, expenses, or other authorized expenditures shall be paid by the Talbot County Finance Officer, out of funds appropriated for such purposes by the County Council, on vouchers signed by the Chairman and attested to by the Secretary of the Board, or by an employee, department, agency, or office authorized by the Board and the County Manager to administer payment requests on behalf of the Board.
C. 
The Board may employ such clerical or other assistants, as the County Council deems proper, to provide services, special expertise, or resources which are necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the Board under the authority of the code. The Board may make expenditures from authorized funding for such support and services.
No person, firm, or corporation shall install, repair, maintain, or erect any kind of electrical wiring, conduits, motors, fixtures, signs, electrically operated or controlled heating, ventilation, cooling or refrigeration equipment, air conditioners, elevators, or any other electrically operated apparatus or device, in or about any premises in Talbot County, Maryland, including the incorporated municipalities within Talbot County, Maryland, without having first obtained a Talbot County certificate of registration, hereinafter referred to as "license," to perform electrical work, as required by the provisions of the code, except as specifically exempt under § 56-10 of this chapter.
The following exceptions to § 56-9 of this chapter are permissible:
A. 
Electric light and power companies, railway companies, telephone companies, telegraph companies, or cable television companies, or persons employed or contracted to perform the electrical work of any such companies, when such work is part of the plant or services of such company in rendering its authorized service to the public.
B. 
Employees engaged in maintenance and repair of electrical equipment on the premises of their employer.
C. 
Any person doing electrical work in a single-family dwelling used exclusively for living purposes, provided that person is a bona fide owner and occupant of such dwelling for a period of six months immediately following completion of the work, and said owner and occupant personally purchases and installs all equipment and materials in connection with the installation therewith, except that such work is not relieved of the inspections and approvals as required under § 56-16, of this chapter.
D. 
Employees of persons licensed to perform electrical work as master electrician, electrician general, or electrician limited, when engaged in the performance of their duties under the supervision of their employer.
E. 
Employees or contractors engaged in the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, or repair of any state or federal installations.
F. 
Anyone engaged in the installation of insertion (plug-in) devices or appliances which are designed for such insertion devices.
Application for a license to perform electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland, may be processed through the responsible agency of the County government as assigned by the County Council. The applicants must state that they are applying for one of the following classifications of registration:
A. 
"Master electrician" means any person engaged in, or publicly available to be engaged in, the business of installing, erecting, repairing, or contracting to install, erect, or repair, electric conductors to be used for the transmission of electric current for electric light, heat, ventilation, cooling, refrigeration, or power purposes, or moldings, ducts, raceways, or conduits for the reception of such conductors, or electrical machinery, apparatus, devices, or fixtures to be used for electric light, heat, ventilation, cooling, refrigeration, or power purposes, or planning, estimating, laying out, or supervising of such electrical work.
B. 
"Electrician general" means any person engaged only in residential wiring, limited to a dwelling containing no more than four family units, and commercial wiring limited to a circuit of not more than 60 amperes, three-phase, in an existing commercial structure. No license in this category and no certificate of registration for reciprocity under § 56-17 may be issued upon any application filed on or after August 1, 2009. However, licenses issued before August 1, 2009, may continue to be renewed in accordance with the provisions of § 56-15B, as amended.
[Amended 5-12-2009 by Bill No. 1164]
C. 
"Electrician limited" means any person who limits electrical work to the installation of the maintenance and control wiring in not more than two of the following categories of electrically operated equipment, systems, or devices:
[Amended 5-12-2009 by Bill No. 1164]
(1) 
Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration equipment.
(2) 
Display signs.
(3) 
Elevators.
(4) 
Any alarm system, including but not limited to: fire, burglary, medical, or detection systems.
(5) 
Appliances.
(6) 
Voice, audio, or video wiring.
(7) 
Swimming pool and spa bonding.
(8) 
Low-voltage wiring not included in the above categories.
If not applying for a license under the provisions of reciprocity, in accordance with § 56-17 herein, applicants shall submit validation of qualifications for the license classification requested. At a minimum, the application shall be supported by the following documentation:
A. 
Master electrician. An applicant for a Talbot County license as master electrician shall have been regularly and principally employed or engaged in electrical construction, maintenance, installation, and repair of all types of electrical equipment and apparatus, in accordance with the criteria as stipulated in § 56-11A, for not less than seven years preceding the date of application, under the direction and supervision of a master electrician, three years during which the applicant supervised, or was actively in charge of, electrical installation work. The Board may credit not more than three years for formal course study or professional training in electrical installation if, in the opinion of the Board, the study or training provided comparable experience and training otherwise attainable under the supervision of a master electrician, or while employed by certain companies, agencies, commissions, or government organizations exempt under § 56-10.
B. 
Electrician general. An applicant for a Talbot County license as electrician general shall have had at least three years of practical experience in the fields of work outlined for electrician general in § 56-11B. Training in a technical school or college, in a related field of electrical installation, may be substituted for not more than one year of this experience requirement.
C. 
Electrician limited. An applicant for a Talbot County license as electrician limited shall have had at least two years of practical experience related to each of the particular categories of equipment, under § 56-11C, for which they are applying.
The Board is required to verify that applicants have the knowledge and skills required to perform the duties of the various classifications of registered electricians. If not applying for a license under provisions of reciprocity, in accordance with § 56-17, applicants shall be tested by the Board through written examination, based on the current issue of the National Electrical Code, to verify qualifications for the license classification for which they are applying. Examinations shall be conducted under the following rules:
A. 
A separate examination shall be given for each of the electrician classifications defined in § 56-11.
B. 
Examinations shall be conducted at such dates, times, and locations as scheduled by the Board, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Board.
C. 
Applicants requiring testing shall pay the appropriate registration fee, as approved by the Board, prior to sitting for the examination.
D. 
At least three members of the Board shall be present during examination sessions.
E. 
The use of the National Electric Code book by the applicant will be permitted during the examination.
F. 
An examination score of at least 70% correct will be deemed a passing grade.
G. 
Applicants failing an examination may, upon request, be permitted to review their corrected testing papers in the presence of two Board members. Retesting shall be permitted upon reapplication and approval by the Board.
The Board shall establish a schedule of fees for all licenses required under the code, subject to the approval of the County Council. Such fee schedule may be altered or amended at the discretion of the Board, subject to the approval of the County Council.
A. 
Any person, firm, or corporation in the business of electrical contracting in Talbot County, Maryland, or holding a valid license to perform electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland, may not undertake any electrical work within Talbot County, Maryland, unless they carry, or are covered by, general liability insurance in the minimum amount of $300,000 and property damage insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000, or a combined policy in the minimum amount of $400,000. Proof and certification of current insurance shall be submitted with applications for registration or license renewal, regardless of classification. Insurance shall be validated prior to the issuance or renewal of any license. Notice of cancellation of general liability insurance or property damage insurance, or any change in the insured status, shall be forwarded to the Board within 10 calendar days of the effective date of the insurance cancellation or status change. Inactive license holders are exempt from the insurance requirements, provided that the inactive license status is established as required under § 56-15D.
B. 
License renewal for all classifications shall be required every two years during the month of July. Beginning in July 2009, approximately 1/2 of all license renewals shall be for one year, and 1/2 for two years; thereafter license renewals shall be staggered so that approximately 1/2 shall be renewed each July for a two-year period. Renewal of licenses in good standing shall be approved upon compliance with requirements for certification of insurance under § 56-15A, and payment of the fee according to the fee schedule in effect. Failure to renew the license as required by this section shall not deprive any registrant of the right of renewal. However, the fee to be paid for the license renewal after the month of July shall be assessed an additional $2 for each calendar day, or fraction thereof, that payment of the renewal fee is delayed, up to 90 days, at which time the license will be subject to revocation at the discretion of the Board.
[Amended 5-12-2009 by Bill No. 1164]
C. 
Should any person holding an active master electrician's license desire to represent another applicant or registrant as their master electrician, said master electrician shall deposit his/her license with the Board, with a written request for such action by the Board, before he/she is duly registered under the license of the represented party. Should the said master electrician cease at any time to represent another applicant or registrant under their license, the master electrician's license so deposited will be returned, upon written notification and request to the Board, provided the Rules of Procedure of the Board have not been violated. Any master electrician holding a license deposited with the Board, under the representative procedure, shall be granted a renewal of said license, provided that application and payment for renewal is made to the Board, in accordance with § 56-15B.
D. 
Any applicant or registrant can be licensed under inactive status upon written request to the Board and payment of any additional fee in effect for this action. Registrants licensed under inactive status may maintain and renew their license, upon payment of the renewal fee in effect, without insurance coverage as specified in § 56-15A, provided the Rules of Procedure of the Board, or provisions of the code, have not been violated. Registrants licensed under inactive status shall not be permitted to perform or represent electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland.
E. 
Any applicant or registrant applying for or holding a license under the provisions of the code is responsible for notifying the Secretary of the Board of any change of residence, business address, place of employment, or telephone contact, within 30 calendar days of the effective date of said change.
F. 
No license for any classification of registration of electrician, issued according to the provisions herein, may be used by anyone other than the registrant to whom the license is issued, for purposes of transferring or representing the authority to inspect or perform electrical work in Talbot County, Maryland, or to seek registration in another licensing jurisdiction under provisions of reciprocity.
All classified electrical work and electrical installations performed in Talbot County, Maryland, except the installation of one single-phase, 20-ampere (or less), electrical circuit, shall be inspected and certified for compliance with the provisions of the code. Applications for electrical inspection, inspections, and certifications of compliance shall be administered by an authorized person, firm, corporation, commission, or agency, hereinafter referred to as the "Electrical Inspector." The authority and procedure for electrical inspection in Talbot County, Maryland, shall be as follows:
A. 
The Electrical Inspector shall be certified and licensed by the Board to perform inspections in Talbot County, Maryland, in accordance with the provisions for registration of electricians, as stipulated herein. Electrical Inspectors shall be insured in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 professional liability coverage, as required by the Board.
B. 
The Electrical Inspector shall hold a current approval from the Maryland State Fire Marshal before being authorized to perform any electrical inspections in Talbot County, Maryland.
C. 
An Electrical Inspector shall perform electrical inspections in Talbot County, Maryland, only under the authority and approval of the Board, which can, at its discretion, direct any change, addition, deletion, or amendment to the authority of any Electrical Inspector. The Board shall assure that an authorized Electrical Inspector is approved for service, in Talbot County, Maryland, at all times.
D. 
An application for electrical inspection shall be filed with an authorized Electrical Inspector in accordance with the rules, policies, regulations, and procedures of the Electrical Inspector and the Rules of Procedure of the Board. Records of electrical inspection shall be maintained by the Electrical Inspector, as required by the Board, and shall be available for submittal to the Board upon request.
E. 
Applications for electrical inspection shall certify that the electrical installation has been performed by the applicant, by employees or contractors under the applicant's supervision, or under the authority of the applicant's license. Applications for electrical inspection shall include a comprehensive schedule of wiring and equipment for which the inspection is requested.
F. 
All electrical work to be certified, under the provisions herein, shall be inspected only by an authorized Electrical Inspector. Inspections shall be performed within two business days from the date of receipt of application for inspection by the Electrical Inspector. Failure of the Electrical Inspector to perform inspections, or omissions or deficiencies by the Electrical Inspector in performing requested inspections, shall not relieve any registrant from the responsibility to install all electrical work in compliance with the code.
G. 
Fees for inspection services shall be stipulated by the Electrical Inspector, subject to review and approval of the Board.
Upon receipt of an application with payment of the required fee and certification of insurance, and without examination and requirement of verification of experience and knowledge, the Board shall issue a certificate of registration as master electrician, electrician general, or electrician limited to any person who holds a current certificate of qualification or registration, for like classification, issued by the proper authorities of the State of Maryland, or of a commissioned or chartered subdivision of the State of Maryland, provided that the requirements of the aforesaid prior registration do not conflict with the provisions of the code and are of a standard not lower than that specified by the code, and further provided that the same rights of reciprocity are afforded, as applicable, to registrants of Talbot County, Maryland.
A. 
The Board may revoke or suspend the application or license of any applicant or registrant who the Board determines to be involved in any of the following types of conduct, or other acts not specifically identified herein, but contrary to the intent and purpose of the electrician's licensing program, or in violation of applicable local, state, or federal law:
(1) 
The act, or acts, of fraud, deceit, or perjury in applying for, obtaining, or renewing a certificate of registration to perform electrical work.
(2) 
The act, or acts, of any willful or gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in supplying electrical equipment, appliances, or material, or performing services as a licensed electrician, in violation of the provisions of the code.
(3) 
Permitting, approving, or causing the installation of defective electrical work, or failure to satisfactorily respond to a notice from the Board to correct such defective electrical work. Such notice shall require correction within 15 calendar days from certified receipt, or as otherwise directed at the discretion of the Board, in accordance with § 56-19B.
(4) 
Supervising work for which the owner of the work, or the contractor performing the work, is not the applicant or the registrant, the employer of the applicant or the registrant, or for whom the applicant or registrant is not a representative, in accordance with § 56-15C.
(5) 
Engaging in any activity constituting unlawful transfer and use of the authority of registration, issued according to the provisions herein.
B. 
Any person may prefer charges of fraud, deceit, gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct against any applicant or registrant for licensing. Such charges shall be filed in writing to the Secretary of the Board, and shall be duly dated, notarized or attested to, and suitably verified by the complainant. All such charges, unless dismissed by the Board as unfounded, unsupported, arbitrary, capricious, trivial, or illegal, shall be reviewed by the Board, through a hearing process, within 90 calendar days after the date on which they were filed. The date, time, and place for the hearing shall be determined by the Board and a copy of the charges, with a summons for hearing, shall be forwarded through certified delivery to the currently known address of the applicant or registrant, at least 30 calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. The hearing shall afford due process to the defendant, or the defendant's representative, for questioning the complainant or the complainant's witnesses appearing against the defendant, and to produce evidence, documentation, witness testimony, or other suitable materials or information presented in defense of the charges being heard. The Board shall act, after the process of such hearing, on the vote of three or more members of the Board, to revoke, suspend, or reinstate the status of the license or application. During the process of investigation and hearing of charges, and prior to the final vote of the Board, the status of the applicant or registrant shall be suspended at the discretion of the Board.
Any person, persons, firm, agency, corporation, or organization determined, by the Board, to be in violation of any of the provisions of the code shall be subject to the following provisions for process, enforcement, conviction, and penalty for criminal conviction or civil infraction:
A. 
Violation. Each item of noncompliance with provisions of the code or notice, by the Board, to correct deficiencies, and each calendar day of occurrence of such noncompliance shall constitute a violation, subject to citation as a separate offense, except when corrective action is in progress in accordance with specific orders of the Board.
B. 
Correction. The Board, upon determination of a violation, may order corrective action necessary for compliance with the provisions of the code. Such notice to correct shall be issued in writing, and suitably corrected, within 24 hours of certified receipt of the notice for an emergency violation and within 15 calendar days of certified receipt of the notice for a nonemergency violation. An emergency violation shall be determined as a condition requiring immediate corrective action in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare in the use and operation of the electrical installation. Costs of ordered corrections shall be borne by the registrant to whom the notice to correct is issued. Failure to respond, or failure to respond adequately, to a notice to correct shall result in the issuance, by the Board, of a citation for violation.
C. 
Enforcement. The Board shall be the enforcement authority of the code. As such, the Board may cause to be delivered to the perpetrator a citation which certifies and documents each violation, orders corrections determined to be necessary to abate or mitigate the conditions and circumstances of violation, assesses or seeks applicable fines and penalties as specified herein, and serves notice of the right of trial against the citation for violation.
D. 
Penalty:
(1) 
Criminal conviction. The Board shall be empowered to seek, through the District or Circuit Court having venue, criminal conviction of any registrant engaging in activities constituting unlawful violation of the code, resulting in, or related to, a public welfare or safety hazard, under penalty of fine not to exceed $1,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the Court, for each violation.
(2) 
Civil infraction. The Board shall be empowered to assess a fine, not to exceed $100, for each violation cited by the Board as an infraction of the code, which does not result in a public welfare or safety hazard as determined by the Board. Any party receiving such citation may seek due process through the District Court having venue, in accordance with the procedure for civil infractions as set forth in the Annotated Code of Maryland. Adjudication of a violation for civil infraction is not a criminal conviction.
(3) 
Prosecution. The County Council may authorize the Talbot County Attorney to prosecute any violation, for which there is no, or inadequate, response to a duly executed citation by the Board. Anyone convicted of a cited violation shall be liable for the costs of all associated proceedings.
Any person aggrieved by any action of the Board in processing, denying, revoking, suspending, or failing to reissue a certificate of registration, or by any action of the Board, or authorized representative or employee of the Board, in administering and enforcing any provision of the code, may appeal therefrom, within 30 calendar days, to the Talbot County Board of Appeals, in accordance with the procedure of the Board of Appeals,[1] as authorized by the Talbot County Charter. The decision of the Board in any matter of appeal shall be prima facie correct, and the burden of proof shall be on the appellant to show before the Board of Appeals that the Board acted contrary to law, fraudulently, arbitrarily, or capriciously, in carrying out the aggrieved action.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 21, Board of Appeals Rules of Procedure.