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Summary of Member Meeting on January 8, 2014

posted Jan 29, 2014, 9:36 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: January 8, 2014

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 organization they were representing.

Sharing of recent developments

DuPont reported that the Department of Safety and Professional Services has scheduled a public hearing on their proposed changes to Chapter SPS 314, Fire Prevention Code. Primarily, the proposed change would update the adopted NFPA 1 from the 2009 edition to the 2012 edition. The public hearing is set for January 27, 2014. The changes were developed with input from the advisory SPS 314 Code Council.

DuPont reminded that the changes to the State Plumbing Code related to plan review by delegated municipal agents went into effect on January First. The change allows delegation of plan review to a municipality with only one plumbing inspector. Previously the code required two plumbing inspectors. As before, in order to conduct such plumbing plan review the inspector must be a plumber licensed by the DSPS.

DuPont reported that Representative Larson continues to work on remedial legislation regarding licensing of electricians and electrical construction inspection. Apparently, Senator Grothman remains interested in grandfathering of some electricians. John Mielke said that ABC supports the bill draft without grandfathering. He encouraged interested ARC members to communicate their support for the bill once it is introduced.

Mielke reported that the min/max commercial building code bill is in the drafting stage. He said he believes that general agreement has been reached; including a requirement for certification of inspectors of fire alarm, detection and sprinkler systems, which would have a three year delayed effective date. John said version three of the bill is expected soon.

Jeff Beiriger reported that AB 499, regarding exemption from code requirements on carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and plumbing systems, does not appear to have much support from legislative leaders. He said that several organizations, including the Wisconsin Builders Association, have registered in opposition to the bill. Steve Breitlow said that Plumbers Local 75 has voiced their opposition also.

DuPont reported that AB 433 and SB 345 regarding, among other things, municipal agents for the state elevator program and county administration of the state POWTS program, appear to be moving forward. He said the bills reflect an annual effort on the part of the DSPS to update statutes that govern programs administered by the department. DuPont said the DSPS is staying active in recommending statute updates related to programs of the Industry Services Division; a change from the scant efforts of the former Department of Commerce.

Regarding the Department of Administration’s study and recommendation on possibly merging the DATCP and the DSPS, DuPont noted that not only did DOA recommend against such a merger, but they also recommended improving staffing in the DSPS to better support councils attached to that department. He said that may bode well for having more code council activity in the future.

DuPont reported that Senate Bill 379 would allow work to commence on footings and foundations for public buildings and public swimming pools as long as plans for the projects had been submitted for review. He said an amendment to the bill contains specifics about the plan review process to be used by the DSPS and delegated municipal plan review agents. Jim Smith and Ed Ruckriegel both expressed concerns about how proposed changes to municipal plan review operations could negatively impact municipalities. DuPont said he would send a link with more information about the bill to all ARC members within the next day or two.

Reaction to the ISO Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) presentation

DuPont asked for comments regarding the presentation on the BCEGS program, provided by Ralph Dorio of the ISO, during the last ARC member meeting on October 18, 2013. Comments included:
  • The presentation was helpful but it seems that BCEGS scores are not as important in Wisconsin as they are in the southeast part of the country where hurricanes are prevalent.
  • The presentation was helpful in terms of providing information and a context for code development and staffing considerations at both the state and municipal levels.
  • It was helpful to hear that the reason some insurance agents are un-aware of the impact that BCEGS scores have on insurance rates is that such agents don’t deal with rate setting within the industry.
  • It would also help if cost savings data were available because that could help show the value of having a good code administration program.
DuPont advised that the BCEGS program be considered a national benchmark that can be used when considering how robust a municipal or state program should be. He advised that while BCEGS scores by themselves may not be a primary argument for keeping Wisconsin codes updated and staffing levels maintained the BCEGS program in general should be recognized as providing a positive backdrop for such actions. DuPont said that the DSPS has used its BCEGS score as a measure of its effectiveness relative to regulating building and fire safety in reports to the Department of Administration as part of the budget process.

Additional statutory code councils

DuPont referred to the recommended formulations for eight possible statutory code councils that he previously provided to ARC members. He noted that the draft min/max commercial building code bill contains a larger number of members for a commercial building code council than what he had recommended. He suggested that ARC members wait for the min/max bill to be decided before additional effort is put forth regarding the formation of more statutory code councils.

After some discussion there was agreement to shift from the idea for statutory council formation to the idea of having the DSPS start more code update projects with the corresponding department-appointed code councils.

ARC code development priorities for 2014

After discussion it was agreed that DuPont should request a meeting with leaders within the DSPS to start dialogue about code development activities during 2014. Direction to DuPont was to start by asking department officials what their plans were for the upcoming year.

ARC representatives interested in participating in such a meeting were identified as:
  • Jeff Beiriger, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Wisconsin;
  • Joe Jameson, International Association of Electrical Inspectors – Wisconsin Chapter;
  • Richard Paur / Scott Satula, Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance; and
  • Steve Breitlow, Plumbers Local 75.
DuPont said he would contact DSPS and would let all ARC members know of progress in setting such a meeting.

Matt Mertens suggested that DuPont request of the department an outline of the current code development process. He said that during a SPS 314 Fire Prevention Code Council meeting, Jeff Weigand referenced such an outline but did not distribute it to meeting attendees. DuPont said he would attempt to locate such an outline, starting first with the Legislative Reference Bureau.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was scheduled for April 23, 2014, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the offices of ABC, Wisconsin.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.


Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Corey Gall

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dan Gengler

Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

James B. Smith

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Jeff Bateman

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Wisconsin

Joe Jameson

International Association of Electrical Inspectors – Wisconsin Chapter

John Mielke

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Matthew Mertens

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Misha Lee

Wisconsin Insurance Alliance

Ramie Zelenkova

Plumbers Local 75

Richard Paur

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Scott Wegner

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Thomas Wendt

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

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

It was issued on January 29, 2014.