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July 25, 2019 Member Meeting Summary

posted Aug 13, 2019, 1:32 PM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: July 25, 2019

Location: Sun Prairie City Hall, 300 E. Main Street, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

The meeting was convened at 9:05 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

Regarding recent communications with the Department of Safety and Professional Services, four topics were addressed as follows:

On plumbing plan review by appointment, DuPont reported DSPS recently told him the Department is taking appointments for plumbing plan review, however their computer program no longer provides daily appointment availability reports for posting on their website.

On repairs to UDC homes, DuPont reported that on May 10, 2019, DSPS provided a response to the letter that the ARC sent to the department on February 28, 2019, concerning application of the UDC to repairs and the need for holding a dwelling contractor credential to perform such repairs. However, the DSPS response simply referred back to the FAQ posted on the DSPS website in January, 2018. Subsequently, DuPont sent a follow-up letter to DSPS asking the Secretary’s Office to revisit the concerns expressed by the ARC in the February letter to DSPS Secretary Crim. DSPS has indicated they are revisiting the matter.

On coordination of commercial building inspections within delegated municipalities, DuPont reported that on May 10, 2019, DSPS provided a response the letter the ARC sent to the department on February 21, 2019, concerning coordination of the inspection-related provisions of 2017 Wisconsin Acts 243 and 330. However, the DSPs response indicated that the Department interprets the building inspection provisions of Act 243 as pertaining only to one-family and two-family homes. DuPont said it appears to him that the Department’s interpretation of the law relies on titles and headings contained in the law, not on actual provisions contained in the law. He said that statutory titles and headings are not enforceable on their own, and the actual statutory text in question, does not limit its application to one-family and two-family homes. As a result, DuPont is preparing a follow-up letter to DSPS, which will ask the Secretary’s Office to revisit the matter.

On inconsistency between the Wisconsin Plumbing Code and the Commercial Building Code relative to heated water circulation and energy conservation, DuPont reported that the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of Wisconsin requested his assistance in communications with DSPS leadership. A meeting with DSPS was held on June 7, 2019, where it was explained that the recently adopted 2015 International Energy Conservation Code requires more piping than the Wisconsin Plumbing Code. And, due to a lack of communication from the DSPS to the plumbing industry, plumbing designs and installations based on the plumbing code are being rejected by plan reviewers and inspectors. The result is costly in terms of time and money, since plan redesigns, and changes to installations are being required by regulatory officials. Furthermore, the coordination of the codes was never brought before the Plumbing Code Advisory Committee which just recently endorsed a package of code changes. DSPS is currently revisiting this matter.

Regarding the DSPS code change project on electrical inspection fees, DuPont said it is still unclear whether the DSPS fee change proposal will attempt to control fees charged by third-party inspectors administering commercial electrical inspections on behalf of the Department. He suggested that the ARC send a letter to DSPS expressing two points: that the agency lacks statutory authority to set fees charged by private service providers; and that by controlling such private service fees, the state bidding process for such services could be negatively affected because costs to provide services vary throughout the state. There was agreement that DuPont should prepare such a letter for consideration by all ARC members.

NOTE: On July 29th, (after this meeting) the DSPS code change proposal was announced, and it does not propose to limit fees charged by third-party inspectors. As a result, no ARC letter will be developed.

Regarding progress on ARC priorities during the past year, the group reviewed and accepted the July 2019 status report from DuPont. Richard Paur reported it appears the DSPS is working to appoint new members to the Commercial Building Code Council, and Scott Satula reported that Brian Satula is no longer working in Wisconsin Emergency Management.

Regarding ARC priorities for the next 12 months, the group reviewed and generally agreed with the proposed update developed by DuPont. Under the proposal, the number of priorities would be reduced from eight to seven, with additional, more specific, objectives included under several priorities. Discussion focused on the following areas:

On encouraging the DSPS to maintain a focus on customers with customer involvement in DSPS decisions regarding services of the Industry Services Division, Matt Mertens and Ed Ruckriegel suggested that updating building and fire safety codes relative to hemp extraction facilities should become a priority of the DSPS. Matt also said photo-voltaic solar collectors are becoming much more prevalent, and as a result the 2018 NFPA 1, Fire Safety Code, contains more guidance than previous editions. Matt and Ed encouraged the ARC to raise these matters in communications with DSPS relative to reconvening the Commercial Building Code Council and the Fire Prevention Code Committee.

Also, Ed Ruckriegel reported that the City of Madison Fire Department is working on a potential new city ordinance that would provide code trade-offs for fire sprinklers in new one-family and two-family dwellings. Such trade-offs would reflect egress provisions of the International Residential Code. Ed encouraged the ARC to consider raising this topic in communications with the DSPS relative to reconvening the Dwelling Code Council.

On encouraging code update activity, DuPont reminded that during discussion of the topic of repairs made to UDC homes, during the July 2018 ARC Member Meeting, it had been suggested that the ARC encourage promulgation of requirements in the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code for mandatory inspection of certain additions and alterations to home originally constructed under the Wisconsin UDC. He said that was the driver for him more specifically including that objective in the proposed ARC priorities for the next 12 months.

On encouraging adoption of the International Residential Code, DuPont said he proposed that specific objective now because Governor Evers and DSPS Secretary Crim are new to their positions and may be more receptive to this idea than previous officials. He indicated that adoption of the IRC could address the sprinkler trade-offs that Ruckriegel had earlier proposed for the Wisconsin UDC, as well as many other matters that the Dwelling Code Council and DSPS have struggled with in the past.

DuPont said he would send the proposed new priorities to all ARC Members for their review and approval, since not all members attended the meeting today. If no opposition is heard from any ARC Classic Member, the new priorities will be posted on the ARC website, and will drive ARC activities for the next 12 months.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was set for October 17, 2019, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Sun Prairie City Hall, 300 E. Main Street, Sun Prairie, WI.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.

Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Brian Flannery

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Corey Gall

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

James Smith

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Jeff Pollard

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Joe Hertel

Wisconsin Electrical Trades Council

Joel Meier

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Matt Mertens

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Richard Paur

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

This summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

It was issued on August 13, 2019.