The agreement to allow limited use of CPVC plastic pipe in residential applications throughout California was approved Nov. 14 by a vote of the California Building Standards Commission.
The vote made official an agreement reached this summer. The agreement amends the plumbing code to allow local building code officials to approve CPVC pipe if they can prove metallic pipe is failing or could fail as a result of local water conditions. The Building Standards Commission approved the agreement as submitted in September.
"There was some discussion from the audience but no opposition," said Stan Nishimura, the commission's executive director." Because the code change was adopted on an emergency basis, it takes effect immediately upon our submitting it to the secretary of state, which we did Nov. 15. Now all that's left is for the department of housing to finalize the agreement, which it has 120 days to do. Then it becomes a permanent code change."
The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in the last week of 1998 to stop approval of the statewide use of CPVC. The lawsuit was based on environmental concerns.
Local use of CPVC would be subject to a number of restrictions and mitigation measures detailed in the agreement. Those measures include requiring installing contractors to provide written certification that they are aware of health and safety hazards associated with CPVC installations; include such hazards in illness and injury prevention plans; and provide training on such hazards.
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