Legislation (House Bill 1021) making major changes to Florida’s building code process got bundled with more than a dozen other changes in construction law this past session. There are concerns from the insurance industry and others that the legislation could lead to a patchwork of requirements and higher insurance costs.
Florida home builders pushed for the legislation, which they said would streamline future changes to the building code. “It doesn’t (weaken) the code in any shape, form or fashion,” said Rusty Payton, the CEO of the Florida Home Builders Association. “All it does is change the process by which we adopt future changes.”
House Bill 1021 is currently on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
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Update: Comments Closed as of June 19th
WMA’s Voluntary Standard, ANSI/WMA 100-2016, “Standard Method of Determining Structural Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged Exterior Door Systems and Procedures for Component Substitution” is undergoing a 5-year revision cycle pursuant to ANSI’s periodic standard maintenance requirements. The draft standard, incorporating several revisions proposed by WMA’s Industry Standards and Certification Committee (ISCC), is now available for public comment until June 19, 2017. The WMA 100 Consensus Body, which is a committee of interested stakeholders, has also been formed per WMA’s standards development procedures to formally review, comment, and vote on proposed revisions. Comments should be emailed to Jessica Ferris, WMA Director of Codes and Standards.
Amid the uncertainty about the renewal of U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement comes word from British Columbia’s softwood trade envoy that there is a chance a new deal could be reached quickly – by summer or fall – but if that doesn’t happen, the talks could stretch into next year, News 1130 reported.
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The Florida legislature will be considering legislation next week that could change the way the Florida Building Code is updated. The proposals (HB 901 and SB 860) removes the provision requiring the International Code be used as a baseline, and instead requires the “6th edition, and subsequent editions, of the Florida Building Code,” be used as the foundation for the development and updates to the state code.
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The effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) formaldehyde rule has been delayed until May 22, 2017. The original date of implementation was to be March 21st. The rule, along with four other “Obama-era” regulations, has been delayed pursuant to the January 20th regulatory freeze memorandum that was issued by the Trump administration to temporarily postpone the effective dates of these regulations. According to the Federal Register, “The further temporary delay in effective date until May 22, 2017, is necessary to give Agency officials the opportunity to decide whether they would like to conduct a substantive review of the five regulations….”
The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products. The EPA Formaldehyde rule was subsequently published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016 to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain composite wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. EPA worked with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help ensure the final national rule was consistent with California’s requirements for composite wood products, which incorporates enforcement provisions that include requirements for chain of custody documentation and emissions testing.
Sources: ChemicalWatch; Federal Register; EPA; CA Air Resources Board