RAC Minutes 2-11-15
UCC Review and Advisory Council
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
PA CareerLink – Lehigh Valley
555 Union Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18109
Council Members Present:
|Thomas F. McCosby – Chair|
Joseph A. Lavalle – Vice-Chair
George W. Settle, Jr., former Chair
Karen L. Welsh, former Vice-Chair
Edward V. Fegley
R. Clem Malot
Christian H. McQuail
David Brooke Rush
|Jennifer Berrier Esquire, Exec. Asst. to Deputy Secretary J. Scott Robinette|
Dwight Decker, Esquire, Assistant Counsel, Dep't of Labor & Industry
Cindy Sheaffer, Esquire. Assistant Counsel, Dep't of Labor & Industry
|Jack Lyons, NEMA|
Shari Shapiro, Calliope Communications
Eric Lacey, RECA
John Brezan. IEAI
John Cangemi, Underwriter Laboratories
Doug Meshaw, Pennsylvania Builders Association
Bob Buddenbohn, PABCO
Michael Jouaneh, Lutron Electronics
The meeting was called to order by Chair George Settle, followed by Oath of Office for newly appointed and reappointed members, the Pledge of Allegiance and introduction of all Council Members and attendees.
- Approval of the minutes from the December 10, 2014 meeting: Mr. Lavalle made a motion to approve the December minutes. Mr. Schaffer seconded the motion. The Council approved the minutes by unanimous consent.
- Approval of Agenda. Chair Settle amended the agenda for the meeting to add a short break after the election of chairpersons for the Legislative Working Group (LWG) and Regulatory Working Group (RWG) and to include item for members to share comments and discussion before item # 11B. Mr. Fegley made a motion to approve the amended agenda. Mr. Kampmeyer seconded the motion. The Council approved the amended agenda by unanimous consent.
- Chair Settle and council briefly discussed House Bill 93, which was recently introduced by Representative Harper. This bill amends the Board of Appeals legislation.
- The Council elected new officers, as follows:
For Chair of the RAC: Mr. Fegley nominated Tom McCosby. Mr. Henon seconded the nomination. Mr. McCosby was elected chair by unanimous consent.
For Vice-Chair of the RAC: John Kampmeyer nominated himself and Mr. Fegley seconded the nomination. Mr. McQuail nominated Joe Lavalle and Mr. Rush seconded the nomination. A vote was held. Messrs. Black, Nice, Fegley, Glotfelty, Henon, Malot, McCosby, McQuail, Musick, Roberts, Rush, Schaffer, Settle, and Welsh voted for Joe Lavalle. Messrs. Henry, Kampmeyer, and Lavalle voted for John Kampmeyer. Joe Lavalle was elected vice-chair by a majority of votes.
For Legislative Working Group Chairperson – Mr. Fegley nominated Karen Welsh and the nomination was seconded. Ms. Welsh was elected chair of the LWG by unanimous consent.
Regulatory Working Group Chairperson – Ms. Welsh nominated Ed Fegley and Mr. Lavalle seconded the nomination. Mr. Fegley was elected chair of the RWG by unanimous consent.
- Eastern Pennsylvania Public Hearing regarding “2015 Code Change”:
Mr. Jack Lyons, National Electrical Manufacturing Association, spoke about the importance of safety to everyone in the electrical industry and of adopting the 2014 National Electrical Code, in its entirety, as referenced in the IBC and the IRC.
Ms. Shari Shapiro, who represents various organizations that have an interest in building codes, urged the Council to update the UCC in their entirety, pointing out the importance of having current codes to help mitigate damage from natural disasters and so that Pennsylvanians will benefit from the enhancements to health, safety, technology, and the economy. Mr. Lavalle commented that there were checks and balances in the system, noting that, as a township commissioner, they had to update the township’s storm water management ordinances to comply with changes in legislation based on FEMA studies. Mr. Settle advised that it was possible to build in Pennsylvania under FGI, a higher federal standard. Mr. Kampmeyer added that hospitals were being built subject to the higher federal standards.
Mr. Eric Lacey, Responsible Energy Codes Alliance, discussed the importance of the RAC being able to review the entire code, with the incorporated 2012 changes, and offered to submit proposals supporting adoption of the 2015 or 2012 IECC.
Mr. John Brezan, President, Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, discussed the importance of updating Pennsylvania’s codes, explaining how new products are not recognized in Pennsylvania’s codes and therefore, inspectors, engineers, architects and contractors cannot use the newer products without putting someone on the line for it. He argued the codes need to be updated to ensure that students are being properly trained.
Mr. John Cangemi, Underwriters Laboratories and President of the New York City Chapter of the International Association of the Electrical Inspectors, discussed the havoc for the people in the field when they have to use outdated codes and how it makes a difference which version of the code applies in a given situation. He recommended adopting the latest codes because consistency of requirements would allow people to do better jobs.
Mr. Doug Meshaw, Pennsylvania Builders Association, advised that its legal department agrees that the statute restricts the RAC’s review to the changes in the 2015 Codes and suggested that the RAC needed to be working with the Department or Governor to get the legislature to first fix the problem with the Pennsylvania’s code review process. Mr. Lavalle added that communications need to open with state representatives and noted he has discussed with Representative Harper.
Mr. Brezan and Mr. John Chernock of Beaver Township quizzed Mr. Meshaw about whether his organization would support a blanket adoption of the codes, if the process was fixed. Mr. Meshaw indicated that they would likely support some provisions and may not support others. Mr. Chernock felt that the “latest triennial changes” should mean the changes and amendments to prior codes.
Mr. Settle indicated that the RAC can adopt amendment ADM 62, which Mr. Lavalle explained meant the referenced standards, including the 2014 National Electrical Code, can be adopted for inclusion in the UCC
Mr. Buddenbohn, PABCO, agreed that the statute limits the RAC’s scope of review to the ‘revisions’ in the 2015 codes, but suggested the entire published set of ICC Codes in 2015 is the revision of the 2009 codes. Accordingly, the RAC already has the tools to complete the necessary review. He added that his organization supports adding the ability to modify provisions to the statute and extending the review period from 1 to 2 years. Mr. Kampmeyer thought the root of the problem was the wording of Act 1. Mr. Fegley indicated that it was important to consider the changes that would impact Pennsylvania; that they needed to finish the review by April 30th, and they needed to work with the legislators.
Mr. Lavalle indicated that, with the nearly 2,000 provisions the RAC is reviewing and the amount of time left to do it, that it was important to find common ground with the current process, but agrees that a legislative fix is required.
Mr. Michael Jouaneh, Manager of Sustainability and Energy Standards for Lutron Electronics, discussed the importance of lighting controls on electricity usage and recommended adopting the latest version of the energy codes.
- Report of the Legislation Working Group: No action taken.
- Report of the Regulation Working Group: No action taken.
- Old Business:
- Subcommittee Reports:
- ADM: Mr. Fegley indicated that review was 100% complete and submitted for posting.
- Fire and Safety: Mr. Lavalle reported that review was completed. The group will vote on recommendation within the next days.
- IBC-General: Mr. Fegley reported that 70% of the new changes have comments submitted.
- IBC – MoE: Mr. Henry reported that no action has been taken because the subcommittee will not meet.
- IBC-Struct: Mr. Roberts reported that his group has completed 80% of the initial review, but no vote yet.
- IBCC/ICCPC: Already closed.
- IECC: Mr. McQuail reported that review was completed and posted. He advised that his group gave favorable recommendations to 211 of 215 changes.
- IECC Residential: Review is complete and posted.
- IFC: Mr. Kampmeyer reported that he reviewed 100 of 222 changes were reviewed and sent out to subcommittee members. The remaining changes were sent out to various committee members for review. He is currently awaiting responses.
- IFGC: Mr. Henon reported that the spreadsheet was being populated and distributed to the committee.
- IMC – Chair Settle advised that the reviewing subcommittee recommends to the RAC adoption of amendments M88 -M142.
- IPC: Mr. Kampmeyer reported that 50 of the 111 changes were reviewed and submitted to the subcommittee. He distributed the remaining changes out to the committee members for review. He is currently awaiting responses from the subcommittee members.
- IRC - Building: Mr. Lavalle reported that about 75% of the 272 amendments have been reviewed. He expects they will be finished in the next few weeks.
- IRC – Mechanical: There is some confirmation action.
- IRC – Plumbing: Mr. McCosby reported that it is completely populated and members will be getting back to him with their votes.
- Karen Welsh comment: Ms. Welsh believes that the Code must be reviewed as a whole, but that the current review process is consistent with the statute. She stated that there needs to be a legislative “fix” or else the Council will only be able to approve a handful of changes.
- Public comments:
Ms. Shapiro commented about working on legislation.
Mr. Brezan pointed out that information from some of the RAC’s subcommittees is available on the website.
- The RAC discussed proposed legislation by Representative Evankovich and whether a letter should be sent to a Representative Evankovich outlining the RAC’s collective recommendations for amended statutory language to fix the problems with the review process.
Mr. Kampmeyer made a motion that the RAC write a letter to Representative Evankovich advising that the RAC did not offer a position on the proposed 6-year cycle. Mr. Fegley seconded the motion for discussion purposes. Following discussion, a vote was held and the motion failed.
Mr. McQuail made a motion to prepare a letter based on prior letters that would outline the RAC’s collective position on every single change or fix and to attach a document providing recommended text. Mr. Lavalle seconded the motion and discussion ensued. Mr. McQuail amended his motion to direct the LWG to prepare the consolidated RAC letter and Mr. Lavalle seconded the motion. Extensive discussion ensued.
Mr. Kampmeyer made a motion to amend the outstanding motion that, before they write a letter, the RAC vote on six points – 6-year cycle, 2-year review period, compensation, authority to modify provisions, and amending the statute to clarify that the RAC can review the code - to determine the RAC’s position and then the LWG can draft a letter outlining the RAC’s collective recommendations. Ms. McCormick seconded the motion. Discussion ensued, including public comment from Ms. Shapiro, Mr. Buddenbohn and Mr. Meshaw. A call to vote on the amendment was held. Following a vote, the amendment fails.
Mr. McQuail restated his outstanding motion that the LWG would prepare a draft letter, explaining the intent of the RAC Committee and include an attachment of recommended changes and the draft letter would be presented to the entire RAC for discussion at the next meeting. A vote was held. The motion passed with 2 people opposing it.
Ms. Welsh made a motion that the LWG will use the information in letters previously sent to draft a new letter and the new letter will be sent to the Legislature under the LWG’s signature. Mr. Kampmeyer seconded the motion. A vote was held and the motion carried.
- Chair McCosby requested 9 volunteers for the LWG. Messrs. Fegley, Settle, Malot, McQuail, Kampmeyer, Black, Henon, and Roberts and Ms. Welsh volunteered.
- Chair McCosby requested 9 volunteers for the Regulatory Working Group. Those that didn’t volunteer for LWG, joined the RWG.
- New business: no new business.
- Future Meetings: The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on March 11, 2015 at Department of Labor and Industry, 651 Boas Street, Room E-100, Harrisburg, PA.
- Mr. Settle moved that the Council adjourn the meeting. Mr. Roberts seconded the motion. The Council approved by unanimous consent. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:39 p.m.