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June 22, 2004

Legislature passes extension of plastic piping ban

The Business Council is asking Governor Pataki to veto a bill passed by both houses of the Legislature that would extend a ban on the use of plastic piping in commercial construction and development.

The bill, which is opposed by a coalition of building contractors and manufacturers, is a continuation of a bill passed three years ago under pressure from unions.

If the Governor does not veto the legislation, New York would have the most restrictive plumbing code in the entire nation. The law would not only extend the ban on plastic piping for another three years, it would restrict the use of plastic piping to only two-family and one-family homes.

“Restrictions like these, quite simply, destroy any credibility that the state might have with respect to being pro-business, pro-economy, and pro-taxpayer,” said Ken Pokalsky, director of The Council’s environmental and regulatory programs. This type of restriction does not exist in forty-nine other states, Pokalsky added.

“The continued prohibition of the use of plastic pipe in commercial construction has a negative impact on our business operations,” said David Culbertson, president and CEO of National Pipe and Plastics based in Vestal, NY. “This is just another example of why it is so difficult to do business in New York State. What is so wrong with giving developers a choice in using plastic or metal piping?”

The restriction on plastic piping is contrary to the standards published by the National Fire Protections Association which permit the use of plastic piping without arbitrary restrictions. Most types of plastic plumbing are also approved by international plumbing codes.

“Statistics and data show over and over that the use of plastic piping saves money, is effective and is as safe as metal piping in commercial construction,” said Phil LaRocque, executive vice president of the New York State Builders Association. “Why the New York State Legislature continues to ignore these facts speaks volumes as to how business is done in Albany.”