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Summary of February 3, 2016 Member Meeting

posted Feb 29, 2016, 7:09 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: February 3, 2016

Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting was convened at 9:05 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organizations they were representing.

Regarding possible carbon monoxide update legislation DuPont reported that he had received a preliminary bill draft from the office of Representative Samantha Kerkman on February 2, 2016. DuPont suggested he work with Chief Bloom and others on the Carbon Monoxide Detection Work Group to review the draft to see if it meets our intent, and to develop a recommended response for consideration by all ARC members.

Regarding the idea for owner’s choice of code application DuPont reported on his communications with nine other organizations about their interest in this matter. He said the American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin Society and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities indicated that they were not interested in pursuing this issue now. DuPont said that Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce indicated they would not support the issue, but that he did not ask them if they would oppose the idea if legislation were introduced. He said Brad Boycks, of the Wisconsin Builders Association, asked to meet after the current legislative session is over, in March or April. And the DHS Advisory Group REC-2 indicated that the concept could not likely be used for health care facilities due to federal regulations.

John Schulze said a representative of the WMC asked him about the idea after DuPont had contacted them. He said they wanted to know how the ABC felt about the idea. John said he told them the ABC had not yet formally endorsed the idea but probably will if the ARC moves forward with it. He said he feels the WMC would probably not oppose owner’s choice legislation if it were introduced.

DuPont indicated it might be easier to engage additional organizations in this effort after the current legislative session has ended; saying many organization lobbyists are busy with end of session activities.

DuPont asked again for example projects that could help illustrate the need for owner’s choice being included in state statutes. Richard Paur said the new Bucks arena in Milwaukee is going to be designed and constructed under the 2015 International Building Code; with the owner already getting the needed variance from the City of Milwaukee. Ed Ruckriegel recalled that several major projects in Madison were designed and built according to editions of ICC codes that were newer than what the state was then using. He listed the Kohl’s Center, the Overture Center and Monona Terrace as examples.

After discussion of additional strategies to pursue, DuPont asked whether there was support for him contacting the DSPS about the owner’s choice idea and about reviewing department records concerning petitions for variance to use newer model codes and standards. There was general agreement that DuPont should do so. DuPont said he would report progress on such contact during the next ARC Member Meeting.

Regarding the DSPS change in plumber licensing without rules or council consult Jeff Beiriger provided a recap of the recent action by the DSPS which changed the journeyman plumber license application form relative to applicants wishing to use experience or training gained outside of Wisconsin. The revised form contained an outline of standards for such experience and training. Those standards were developed outside of the administrative rule promulgation process and were developed by the DSPS without consult with the statutory Plumbers Council. He said the form was subsequently changed again following a meeting between the PHCC-Wisconsin, Plumbers Local 75 and the DSPS.

Jeff said the form change reflected a disturbing trend where the DSPS fails to utilize advisory councils or code committees. He said there is not much opportunity for the plumbing industry to provide input to the DSPS; and the plumbing industry is quite sensitive to changes made unilaterally by the DSPS.

Jeff provided an overview of the Plumbers Council and its role. He said the plumbing industry is not advocating council meetings with no purpose, but lack of meetings does not reflect a lack of need for such councils. Jeff said by consulting with the Plumbers Council regarding revisions to the license application process and standards the DSPS would have learned of issues before implementing a new form instead of afterwards. Equity between experience and training gained within Wisconsin as compared to that gained outside of Wisconsin is a major concern of the plumbing industry, but with no meeting of the Plumbers Council before the unilateral action by the DSPS such concerns were not able to be brought forward.

Jeff thanked the ARC for opposing 2015 Assembly Bill 726 and Senate Bill 568, which propose to delete the Plumbers Council, among other things. He asked that the ARC continue to meet and discuss DSPS operations and issues throughout 2016; saying that many in the plumbing industry feel disconnected from the DSPS and that ARC helps keep them informed and involved.

Regarding DSPS code development progress members discussed the following points.

  • Commercial Building Code – Richard Paur reported that the commercial building code council is targeting January 2018 as the effective date of the Commercial Code Update. He said the council has completed their review of the International Building Code and is almost done with their review of the International Existing Buildings Code. They are now reviewing the International Mechanical Code and are set to review the International Fuel Gas Code and International Energy Conservation Code by the middle of 2016. Richard reported that the Commercial Building Code Council will hold a meeting with listening session on February 15, 2016, concurrent with the UW Code Refresher in Madison.
  • Electrical Code – Joe Hertel reported that the Electrical Code Committee is expected to next meet in April for a presentation by Tim McClintock of the National Fire Protection Association, about the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code. The DSPS has announced that they plan on next adopting the 2017 NEC, instead of the 2014 edition.
  • Plumbing, Public Swimming Pools and Blasting Codes – DuPont reported that Jeff Weigand of the DSPS recently announced that these are the next three code update projects of the DSPS.
  • SPS 360, Soil Erosion for Commercial Building Construction Sites – DuPont reminded that this chapter still has not been revised to reflect the 2013 Budget Act which transferred regulation of large construction sites (one acre or more of land disturbance) to the DNR. He said perhaps the ARC would like to formally encourage DSPS to revise this code. DuPont said he will check with John Schulze about this issue since ABC was a proponent of the program transfer to DNR.

Regarding 2015 Senate Bill 698 (which was introduced the day before) DuPont said he would review the bill and provide comments to ARC members as soon as possible. He reminded attendees that earlier in the day he suggested via email that the ARC testify for information during the Senate Committee on Government Operations and Consumer Protection public hearing on the bill on February 4th. DuPont recommended that the Alliance request the committee to defer action on the bill to allow more time for DSPS customers to review, understand and react to the bill before committee action is taken.

No ARC members reported being consulted or informed by the DSPS concerning the changes contained in the bill. DuPont said many aspects of the bill seemed reasonable in light of the recent formation of the DSPS. However, he acknowledged that parts of the proposal seem to be substantive policy changes that have apparently been developed without the input of DSPS customers groups.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was scheduled for April 27, 2016, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the offices of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.

Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Corey Gall

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Jeff Beiriger (phone)

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Wisconsin Association

Joe Hertel

Wisconsin Electrical Trades Council

Joel Meier

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

John Schulze (phone)

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Martin King (phone)

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Richard P. Paur

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Scott Satula (phone)

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Scott Wegner

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Tim Schmitz

International Code Council

Tom Clark

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

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

It was issued on February 29, 2016.