When it comes to legislation, the pool and spa industry is bustling.
Following is a roundup of some of the most recent regulatory and legislative developments.
Keeping PACE in Florida
Florida’s solar rebate program may be short on funding, but
newly signed legislation is expected to facilitate energy
efficiency on a local level.
The Property Assessed Clean Energy bill, or PACE, became law in late May.
It allows city and county governments to finance energy-efficient
upgrades on residential and commercial properties. Municipal funds
will pay for the work up-front. Then, the property owner pays the
money back over the next 20 years via an assessment that’s
added to their tax bill. If the property is sold, the tax liability
is passed on to the new owner.
The program is expected to provide a boon to the state’s
hard-hit solar and construction industries.
The Power of New York
The governor of New York is backing proposed legislation that will
establish energy-efficiency standards for various appliances,
including spas and pool pumps.
The bill had received heavy interest toward the end of the 2010
legislative session. If it passes, regulators then would hold
public hearings to help determine what the energy standards should be.
“We think it’s a good thing because it gives us the
opportunity to meet with the regulatory authorities and present our
information on what the industry believes is the best way to make
pool pumps and portable spas energy-efficient,” said Lawrence Caniglia, executive director of the
Northeast Spa & Pool Association in Hamilton, N.J. “Plus, when New York gave it to regulators as opposed to the legislature, it made their system a little more streamlined.
Stinging California’s Underground
The California legislature is currently considering three bills
that would help thwart illegal activity among the construction
trades. At press time, the SPEC-supported bills had all passed their
houses of origin and were waiting in committee in the second
Assembly Bill 2770 would require the state’s labor
commissioner to work with certain agencies to investigate
contractors suspected of evading taxes or workers’
compensation, or breaking other laws pertaining to employee pay and
treatment. Senate Bill 1254 would authorize the California
Contractors State License Board to issue stop-work orders to those
who don’t provide workers’ compensation coverage for
employees, regardless of whether they have a license. Assembly Bill
2332 allows CSLB to suspend a license if a contractor fails to
resolve all outstanding financial liabilities, such as taxes,
penalties and fees imposed by certain agencies.
SPEC has created a fact sheet for the trade and a handout for
consumers to provide more information on this topic.
Oregon, Maine, N.C. Embrace VGB
Though no states applied for federal grant money available through
the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act,
a few have taken on comparable statewide legislation.
Oregon added the ANSI/APSP-7 provision for suction entrapment
avoidance to its Residential Specialty Code last fall, while
officials in Maine and North Carolina have proposed or adopted
On June 1, North Carolina put in place new regulations clarifying
its rules for public pool design and construction. The updated
standards correspond to VGB’s provisions for main drain
outlets, drain covers and suction entrapment avoidance.
In the meantime, officials in Maine have proposed public pool
statutes governing drain covers as well as backup devices, but with
two distinct variations: First, the only type of equipment
referenced for public pools and spas with a single main drain
— or dual drains that can be isolated by valves — is a
safety vacuum release system (SVRS). VGB, by comparison, allows
other systems as well. Second, the rule only requires VGB-compliant
drain covers for pools with single main drains, or dual drains that
can be isolated with a valve, while the federal law established a
blanket requirement for the new covers on all
Rebecca Robledo contributed to this story.