Busy Times Ahead for West Coast Code Adoptions

Busy Times Ahead for West Coast Code Adoptions

This piece was originally published in the September 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Mike Stone, West Coast Field Representative, NEMA

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The 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code® (NEC) will soon be published, and next year promises to be a busy time for code adoption in the West Coast region. States in this region that will consider adoption of the 2017 NEC include Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.

After several stakeholder meetings, the Idaho Electrical Board voted to adopt the 2017 NEC on July 21. The board also carried over several existing amendments that had to do with residential requirements. Its adoption recommendation will now go to the Idaho legislature for consideration during the 2016–2017 legislative session. If the legislature votes to adopt, the 2017 NEC will become effective in July 2017.

In New Mexico, the Electrical Technical Advisory Council and Electrical Bureau are working toward the goal of adopting the 2017 NEC by year’s end, with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Montana will likewise begin consideration of 2017 NEC adoption with an effective date in the latter part of 2017.

Oregon has drafted a tentative schedule for 2017 NEC adoption, beginning with a code change proposal period and solicitation of code review committee members in September 2016. The code review committee will hold meetings from October to December 2016 and will make recommendations to the Electrical and Elevator, Residential, and Manufactured Structures Boards. A public rulemaking hearing will take place in May 2017 and, if approved, the 2017 NEC will become effective in Oregon on October 1, 2017.

The Washington Labor and Industries Department will soon publish a proposed timeline for the rule revision process for the 2017 NEC, which will include timelines for submitting proposals and the application process for serving on the Electrical Technical Advisory Committee. The projected effective date for the 2017 NEC is July 1, 2017.

In other West Coast code activity:

  • The California Building Standards Code (Title 24) has been published and will be effective January 1, 2017. Its codes are based on the 2015 International Code Council codes (I-Codes), the 2014 NEC, and its own Energy and CALGreen codes.
  • The 2015 I-Codes with state amendments became effective in Washington on July 1, 2016.
  • Hawaii has approved the adoption of the 2014 NEC and the 2012 I-Codes, but their effective date has been delayed due to lack of an administrative budget to implement them.
  • The 2015 I-Codes and the 2014 NEC became effective in Utah on July 1, 2016. The residential portions of the codes were put on a six-year code cycle by the state legislature.
  • Alaska is in the process of adopting the 2012 I-Codes. The public comment period closed on July 29, and the Division of Fire and Life Safety of the Department of Public Safety is considering the next steps. The 2014 NEC became effective in Alaska on March 6, 2016.

NEMA has been and will continue to be active in all of these activities, advocating on behalf of NEMA members for adoption of the most current codes without amendment.

Read the September 2016 issue of electroindustry

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