Two important reversals by State Building Code Council — At a special meeting of the State Building Code Council (SBCC) on May 24, the SBCC decided to delay implementation of newly passed building, fire and energy codes from July 1 to November 1. In addition, the SBCC decided to start fresh rulemaking to modify the commercial and residential energy codes recently passed to comply with an important recent Ninth Circuit opinion.
Last year, the SBCC decided to ban the use of natural gas in new commercial and residential construction. This was a decision that was opposed by AGC of Washington and our coalition partners in the business and labor communities. These two reversals were prompted by a very recent Ninth Circuit opinion that came out which held that a local regulation that prohibits the installation of natural-gas piping within newly constructed buildings is preempted by federal law. Inland AGC and other coalition partners looked closely at this opinion and filed a similar lawsuit in Eastern Washington Federal Court.
The delay to November 1 allows for local building officials to be fully trained on the new building, fire and energy codes –a delay that building officials requested and the construction community supported.
AGC of Washington, our coalition partners and legal representatives have been working on these two important reversals for several months. Our work will continue both at the SBCC and in the courts.