RULES AND REGULATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
[ 34 PA. CODE CHS. 401 AND 403 ]
Uniform Construction Code
[42 Pa.B. 7646]
[Saturday, December 22, 2012]
In accordance with section 304 of the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (act) (35 P. S. § 7210.304), the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) amends Chapters 401 and 403 (relating to Uniform Construction Code training and certification of code administrators; and administration).
This final-form rulemaking is issued under the authority in section 304(a)(3) of the act, which provides that the Department shall promulgate regulations updating accessibility standards by adopting Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the International Building Code of 2012, or its successor, by December 31 of the year of issuance of the new code.
The act mandates a process for the adoption of updated building codes issued by the International Code Council. Although most building code provisions are reviewed by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council, under section 107 of the act (35 P. S. § 7210.107), the General Assembly excluded accessibility provisions of the International Building Code from review. The act of April 25, 2011 (P. L. 1, No. 1) (Act 1) amended the act to require that the Department regularly adopt updated accessibility standards for the construction, repair or alteration of buildings in this Commonwealth by December 31 of the year of issuance, beginning with Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the International Building Code of 2012. Therefore, the Department is required to adopt these provisions by December 31, 2012. Adoption of the current accessibility standards will ensure that commercial buildings meet current standards for accessible and usable facilities.
The Department published notice of proposed rulemaking at 42 Pa.B. 1861 (April 7, 2012). The Department received written comments from Robert Heil, on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Building Code Officials (PABCO), and Elam Herr, on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS). On June 6, 2012, the Department received a letter from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) indicating that it did not have objections, comments or recommendations to offer regarding the proposed rulemaking.
The purpose of this final-form rulemaking is to adopt recognized International standards for accessible and usable buildings and structures as directed by Act 1. The final-form rulemaking brings the Commonwealth's standards for accessible and usable buildings to the current state of the art and conforms to standards issued by the United States Department of Justice under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101—12213). Adopting Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the 2012 International Building Code will allow the Department to comply with the directive of the act.
Response to Comments
PABCO commented that the Department is adopting the ICC A117.1-2009 standard without authority to do so. This final-form rulemaking does not explicitly adopt ICC A117.1-2009. However, ICC A117.1-2009 is adopted by Chapter 11 of the 2012 International Building Code. The Department is required under section 304(a)(3) of the act to adopt Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the 2012 International Building Code. Those are the only standards that are expressly adopted by this final-form rulemaking.
PABCO and PSATS commented that there are accessibility provisions in sections of the 2012 International Building Code other than Chapter 11 and Appendix E and expressed concern regarding those provisions. PABCO urged the Department to adopt other accessibility provisions. Section 304(a)(3) of the act clearly directs the Department to adopt Chapter 11 and Appendix E. The Department does not have authority to expressly adopt other provisions.
PABCO commented that the Department should provide, by regulation, a list of the chapters, sections and subsections in the International Building Code and the International Existing Building Code that pertain to accessibility. Again, section 304(a)(3) of the act gives the Department authority to adopt Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the International Building Code of 2012. The Department is constrained to adopt only those sections. The Department may provide guidance to code officials regarding its interpretation of this adoption at a later date.
This final-form rulemaking affects owners of new commercial buildings or commercial buildings undergoing addition, renovation or repair. It also ensures that persons with physical disabilities will be able to access and use commercial buildings in this Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth will incur minimal additional costs under this final-form rulemaking. Costs are related to the purchase of updated code books for Commonwealth personnel. The cost to enforce the final-form rulemaking will be the same as the current regulations. This final-form rulemaking will not increase administrative, enforcement or legal activity.
Reporting, Recordkeeping and Paperwork Requirements
This final-form rulemaking will not require the creation of new forms or reporting requirements. Current forms may be updated.
A sunset date is not appropriate for this final-form rulemaking. The act directs the Department to update these regulations with each new International Code Council, or successor code, edition.
This final-form rulemaking takes effect December 31, 2012.
The contact person is Edward Leister, Director, Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety, Department of Labor and Industry, 16th Floor, Labor and Industry Building, 651 Boas Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on March 23, 2012, the Department submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 42 Pa.B. 1861, to IRRC and the Chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Labor and Industry and the House Labor and Industry Committee for review and comment.
Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the House and Senate Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.
Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on November 14, 2012, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by IRRC effective November 14, 2012.
The Department finds that:
(a) Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(b) A public comment period was provided as required by law and the comments were considered.
(c) The final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the act.
The Department, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Department, 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401 and 403, are amended by amending §§ 401.1 and 403.21 to read as set forth at 42 Pa.B. 1861.
(b) The Secretary of the Department shall submit this order and 42 Pa.B. 1861 to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.
(c) The Secretary of the Department shall submit this order and 42 Pa.B. 1861 to IRRC, the Senate Labor and Industry Committee and the House Labor Relations Committee as required by law.
(d) The Secretary of the Department shall certify this order and 42 Pa.B. 1861 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(e) This order takes effect December 31, 2012.
JULIA K. HEARTHWAY,
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 42 Pa.B. 7364 (December 1, 2012).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 12-94 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-2466. Filed for public inspection December 21, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]
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