Rendell Announces State’s Uniform Construction Code

Wed January 28, 2004 - Northeast Edition

HARRISBURG, PA (AP) Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Secretary Stephen M. Schmerin has announced that the final Uniform Construction Code’s (UCC) Administrative and Enforcement Regulation was printed in the Jan. 10 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Publication of the regulation starts a series of events that will lead to the statewide implementation of the UCC in 2004.

“We are very pleased with the cooperation and progress that has been made to get this regulation approved and published,” Schmerin said. “Now we can move forward in implementing a new standard of safety and quality for Pennsylvania’s buildings.”

The publication of the administrative and enforcement regulation means that the municipal election period for enforcement, also known as the opt in/opt out period, will begin on April 9 and end July 8.

During this period, all of Pennsylvania’s municipalities must decide how they will enforce the UCC — opt in for total enforcement or opt out of enforcement, in which case the Department of Labor and Industry would handle all commercial construction, while a certified third-party would handle residential construction in that municipality.

Municipalities must notify the department of their decision no later than the end of the election period up to Aug. 7. Any municipality’s notification that is not postmarked on that date will result in the municipality opting out by default.

“To make the opt in/opt out period go smoothly, the department will mail a special election form to each municipality before “April,” Schmerin said. “The election form will be accompanied by a copy of a model UCC adoption ordinance that municipalities can adapt for local usage. Both of these documents will be available on our Web site before April.”

Municipalities also should note that the grandfathering period for all persons holding Department of Labor and Industry residential and commercial registrations will begin April 9, and that all current code administrators must registered no later than May 9.

The grandfathering period allows all current code administrators to continue performing code-related work such as plan review and building inspections for a period of three years for residential projects and five years for commercial projects before they must meet the training and certification requirements of the UCC.

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