Plastic Pipe Restrictions
June 21, 2004
The Business Council strongly opposes this legislation which would extend and make permanent a state prohibition on the use of plastic pipe and conduit in many construction applications.
We urge you to oppose this legislation for a number of reasons:
- It flies in the face of the state's newly adopted uniform building
code. After years of debate, New York finally adopted the
International Building Code and International Plumbing Code, with
widespread support. Use of these uniform codes gave the construction
community greater consistency in requirements when doing projects
in New York. If this prohibition is extended, New York will be one
of only two states to impose such a restriction.
- It will add to the cost of commercial, industrial and multi-family
construction projects - yet another contribution
to the already high cost of doing business in New York, and the high
cost of developing "affordable housing" in many parts of the state,
especially downstate, where the lack of affordable housing is reaching
a crisis level. This legislation is being pushed by the plumbers
union in the belief that it will be beneficial to their members -
ignoring the impact that higher building costs imposed by expensive
state mandates will have on the overall volume of development projects.
- It will result in possible criminal penalties, and expensive retrofit
requirements, being imposed on builders who install plastic piping
according to their building code permit, only to learn that they
violated this plastic pipe restriction established in the State Labor
Law. We have already seen a number of such enforcement actions based
on this discrepancy in state law.
- Lastly, and perhaps most important, there is no sound reason to ban this material in construction applications. Some have argued that plastic pipe pose an additional risk when it burns. There is substantial documentation to disprove that assertion.
New York is still recovering from the recent economic recession. The last thing we need is another anti-competitive cost measure imposed on development efforts. For these reasons, we urge you to reject this legislation, and allow the plastic pipe restrictions to sunset this year.