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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Pence could leave state with no energy standards for buildings"

On Dec. 22 the ILB called attention to an important IBJ story by Hayleigh Colombo on what may boil down to an inability of Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security and its Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission to deal with the normal administrative rulemaking process.

An IBJ story yesterday
by reporter Colombo [Update: Here is a copy of the IBJ story via Ind.Econ.Digest.], headed "Critics decry Pence team for letting state fair stage collapse rule expire," may be considered "chapter 2" of the indictment. Some quotes [ILB emphasis added]:

The Pence administration has let expire the emergency rule put in place after the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse that left seven people dead and dozens injured.

And the regulators in charge of the rule are months or even years away from replacing it.

The emergency rule, which established stricter design and construction requirements for outdoor event equipment such as stage rigging, expired nearly a year ago, on Jan. 1.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson said permanent rule-making to replace the emergency regulations has already started. But he acknowledged the process can take up to two years. * * *

Indianapolis developer Craig Von Deylen, a member of the State Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission, said he was disappointed the state “let the rule lapse” and said the commission could have noticed the impending expiration of the rule and acted had it been provided adequate staff to do its job. * * *

Von Deylen said the building safety commission is behind on its work because key legal and administrative staff positions once in place at the state level to review and update the codes have been eliminated.

He called for the governor to “provide [the commission] with adequate staff so we can do our job” and wondered if the governor could “sign an emergency order to make the rule come back into effect.”

Asked about the criticism, Erickson told IBJ that “the Indiana Department of Homeland Security staff provides resources based on the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission priorities.” * * *

The flap comes amid consternation about the possible lapse of other state codes that the commission promulgates.

IBJ reported last week that critics were also unhappy with the Pence team’s decision not to renew the state’s energy code for commercial structures by the end of the year, which could leave the state without one for up to two years. The residential code is set to expire in 2018.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 29, 2016 10:07 AM
Posted to Indiana Government