Begin Main Content Area

UCC Review and Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Labor and Industry Building, Room E-100
651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121

Council Members Present:

Thomas F. McCosby – Chair
Joseph A. Lavalle – Vice-Chair
George W. Settle, Jr.
Karen L. Welsh
Stephen Black
Craig Glotfelty
John Kampmeyer
R. Clem Malot
Christian H. McQuail
Merle Musick
Rich Roberts
David Brooke Rush
Nathan Schaffer
Kathleen McCormick

Also Present:

Cindy Sheaffer, Esquire, Assistant Counsel, Dep't of Labor & Industry
Dwight Decker, Esquire, Assistant Counsel, Dep't of Labor & Industry
Karen Galli, Esquire, Acting Chief Counsel and Acting Director of the Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety, Dep't of Labor & Industry

Public Speakers:

Dr. Katie Blansett, PHRC
Shari Shapiro, Calliope Communications
Sarah Miller, Pennsylvania Builders Association
Dottie Harris, ICC
John Caulfield, NFPA


Jared Walker
The meeting was called to order by Chair Thomas McCosby, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and introduction of all Council Members and attendees.
  1. Approval of Agenda. Mr. Black requested to amend the agenda to change IECC commercial to IECC residential under the subcommittees. A motion was made to approve the agenda, Mr. Settle seconded the motion and the Council approved the amended agenda by unanimous consent.
  2. Attorney Karen Galli did a presentation on the IRRC process.
  3. Attorney Cindy Sheaffer discussed a Right-To-Know Request that was received seeking certain RAC documents and requested RAC members, who hadn't yet responded, to send her documents they may have that might be related to the information requested. She also suggested that RAC members set up separate email accounts just for RAC communications and that the member should think about any communications they send because the communications could become public documents.
  4. Attorney Sheaffer discussed the Governor's Executive Order banning Gifts and advised that it covers even de minimis gifts, including coffee, bottled water, or lunch.
  5. Legislative Working Group (LWG): Ms. Karen Welsh, Chair of LWG, advised that a letter describing the history of the review process, the current problem with the review process, the RAC's recommendations for a fix of the problem and the RAC's timeline was drafted, reviewed by the LWG and, on February 25th, was sent to the legislators and staff.
    Ms. Welsh discussed H.B. 568, concerning certificates of occupancy for uncertified building. This bill is identical to H.B. 2079 of last year and, therefore, no further discussion was needed.
    Ms. Welsh discussed the LWG's review of H.B. 635 of 2015, which addresses fixes to the RAC review process, and that the LWG recommends that the RAC support H.B. 635 with added language concerning retention of monies in the RAC Administration account.
  6. Report of the Regulation Working Group: No action taken.
  7. Old Business:
    1. Subcommittee Reports:
      1. ADM: Mr. Lavalle indicated that it was in good shape.
      2. Fire and Safety: Mr. Lavalle reported that, after further review with the committee, it was determined that they still have 20 amendments of 105 to review. Of the 85 amendments review, there has generally been a positive response.
      3. IBC-General: No action reported.
      4. IBC – MoE: Ms. Welsh advised that the review was completed and was to be presented today.
      5. IBC-Struct: Mr. Roberts reported that his group has completed the review, voted and submitted its responses.
      6. IBCC/ICCPC: Already closed.
      7. IEBC: Completed.
      8. IECC Residential: Review is complete and posted, but some corrections were made to some of the votes previously posted on the website.
      9. IFC: Mr. Kampmeyer reported that he reviewed 114 of the changes and sent out to subcommittee members, but has received no responses. He will continue to review the remaining changes. Some discussion indicated that members are responding but that it might be an email issue.
      10. IFGC: No action reported.
      11. IMC – Mr. Settle advised that the subcommittee reviewed amendments 142 to 215 of the IMC and recommends adoption of all changes.
      12. IPC: Mr. Kampmeyer reported that they have reviewed 82 of the 117 changes and submitted to the subcommittee for vote. He had 3 votes responses and just needs one more for a quorum.
      13. IRC - Building: Mr. Lavalle reported that about 200 of the 272 amendments have been reviewed.
      14. IRC – Mechanical: Mr. Musick has reviewed all the changes and sent out to the committee for a vote. He has received one response and needs one more.
      15. IRC – Plumbing: Chair McCosby reported that he received the final votes and the information will be posted on the website.
      16. IRC-Electrical: Chair McCosby advised that the vote is completed and posted.
  8. New business:
    The RAC continued to discuss H.B. 635 and discussed its collective position on the recommended changes to the review process, which were covered in LWG's letter.
    Ms. Welsh commented that monies allocated to the PHRC and PCCA should not be reduced as those monies are needed for training and moved that the RAC recommend to the legislators that the proposed fees designated for the RAC Administration Account be removed from H.B. 635. Mr. Black seconded the motion. The motion was then withdrawn so the RAC could discuss the ten points in the letter sent by the LWG.
    Dr. Katie Blansett, Associate Director of the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC), described the negative impact on the PHRC that would occur from the proposed reduction in its funding.
    Ms. Shari Shapiro, Calliope Communications, suggested that the statute should be amended to refer to code editions, not revisions, and to include a definition for "triennial code revisions." Ms. Shapiro suggested that the 6-year cycle was a controversial issue and the Council should avoid controversial issues when there is only a limited number of Senate voting days. Ms. Sarah Miller, Pennsylvania Builders Association, believes that now is the time to push for the 6-year cycle as well as for a Pennsylvania-specific code book. Ms. Dottie Harris, International Code Council, advised that it was ICC's policy that it is up to the jurisdiction to decide what cycle they want.
    Mr. Settle made a motion to review the ten policy points and confirm the RAC's position. Mr. Kampmeyer seconded the motion and the motion passed.
    • Item #1 – Mr. Black moved to recommend to keep the requirement that the code provisions are adopted by 2/3 majority vote. Mr. McQuail seconded and the motion was carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #2 – Change language from latest triennial revisions to provisions revised in published ICC updates subsequent to the latest PA UCC adoption. Discussion ensued concerning what the RAC would like to accomplish with this provision. Mr. McQuail made a motion that the RAC support Item # 2 with the proviso that its legal counsel will have an opportunity to review the final recommended language. Mr. Roberts seconded the motion. Discussion ensued and Mr. McQuail amended his motion to change intent from latest triennial revisions to provisions revised in published ICC updates subsequent to the latest PA UCC adoption. Mr. Black seconded the motion and the motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #3 – Retain the six-year year review cycle with 3-year minor review. Discussion ensued. John Caulfield, National Fire Protection Association, asked what is the threshold to trigger a minor review and noted that the 3-year code cycle is the standard. Motion made to support the six-year review/three-year limited review cycle. The motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #4 – Mr. Rush made a motion to recommend to Legislature that the RAC's intent is that it "may consider concerning the health, safety and welfare, financial impact and technical feasibility review criteria" in its review, rather than it "shall review" these factors. Mr. Musick seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #5 – Mr. Kampmeyer made a motion to permit the RAC to modify provisions, if the modification meets or exceeds the provision currently in effect or currently being reviewed, whichever is less stringent. Mr. McQuail seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item # 6 – Mr. Roberts made a motion to support recommending the Department specify the accessibility provisions to be adopted into the UCC. Mr. Kampmeyer seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #7 – Mr. Black moved to support increasing the review period to 24- months. Mr. Rush seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item #8 – Mr. McQuail made a motion to recommend altering regulatory adoption dates so that the adoption of the RAC recommended provisions and the L&I specified accessibility provisions into the UCC will coincide. Mr. Kampmeyer seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item # 9 – Mr. Kampeyer moved to recommend three-year terms for councilmembers. Mr. Black seconded the motion. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining.
    • Item # 10 – Mr. McQuail moved to recommend that a funding mechanism be provided to provide the RAC with administrative, technical support and travel expenses. The motion was seconded. The Motion carried with Mr. Malot abstaining. Ms. Welsh made a motion to recommend that the proposed funding allocation for the RAC Administration Fund in H.B. 635, be reduced from 10% to 1%. Mr. Black seconded the motion. The Motion carried.
  9. Public Comment:
    Sarah Miller, regulatory code specialist with Pennsylvania Builders Association, indicated that they have submitted, or will be submitting, 30 code recommendations to the RAC for certain code provisions they would like to be adopted and 5 code recommendations recommending non-adoption. However, she advised that the PBA's stance was that the RAC should not adopt any additional provisions until the problems are fixed by the Legislature. She indicated that the PBA supports H.B. 635 and suggested that the RAC push back its voting days in May to allow H.B. 635 time to move forward.
    Shari Shapiro, Calliope Communications, agreed that they should give the General Assembly as much time as they could and that the RAC should communicate its recommended priorities.
    Mr. Black made a motion to reschedule the voting days to May 19th and 20th with the 21st as an alternate day. Mr. McQuail seconded the motion. The Motion carried.
  10. Future Meetings: The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on April 22, 2015 at Department of Labor and Industry, 651 Boas Street, Room E-100, Harrisburg, PA.
  11. Mr. McQuail moved that the Council adjourn the meeting. Ms. Welsh seconded the motion. The Council approved by unanimous consent. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:00 p.m.