Implementation of the 2011 PPRBC

June 23, 2011

Effective August 1st the 2011 Pikes Peak Regional Building Code (PPRBC) will be implemented within the jurisdictions of the City of Colorado Springs and unincorporated El Paso County.

  • All plans submitted on or after August 1st must be submitted to the 2011 PPRBC in full (commercial and residential).
  • Any permits NOT requiring plans (reroof, water heaters, etc.) will be permitted to the 2011 PPRBC effective August 1st.
  • Plans that have been submitted under the 2005 PPRBC prior to August 1st will have until February 1st 2012 (6 months) to be permitted under the 2005 PPRBC, Section RBC 106.6.

These criteria are applicable only to the City of Colorado Springs and unincorporated El Paso County, not Fountain, Green Mountain Falls, Manitou, Palmer Lake and Monument.

This can be viewed at:  http://www.pprbd.org/codes/PPRBC_Notice.pdf


Citing Flawed Analysis, Feds Send EPA Storm Water Rules Back to the Drawing Board

August 19, 2010

August 13, 2010 – In a major victory for affordable housing, sound science and more sensible regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been forced to withdraw a key portion of new storm water management regulations for builders and developers and devise new ones based on better research.

The move is the result of a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and petitions filed by both NAHB and the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy asking the agency to revise its new Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development industry.

“After a big rainstorm, it’s typical to see some storm water drain from a construction site. In these new regulations, EPA set a numeric limit on the amount of sediment that can cloud the water that both NAHB and SBA claimed was arbitrary and based on flawed analyses,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“In addition, NAHB was able to show that trying to achieve these limits would have cost not $953 million – which the agency had estimated – but up to $10 billion annually, hurting small businesses and housing affordability, with little additional environmental benefit: EPA itself admits the ELG would control less than one quarter of one percent of all total sediment runoff,” Jones said. “By forcing EPA to take a hard look at the facts and admit its error, NAHB scored a major victory for home builders and home buyers nationwide.”

After reading NAHB’s brief, the Justice Department asked EPA to defend the numeric limit. EPA was forced to admit several flaws in the final rule and that it had improperly interpreted the data. As a result, the Justice Department filed a motion with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to vacate the numeric limit and place a hold on the litigation until February 2012—while EPA goes back and develops a numeric limit that builders can actually comply with.

Published in December 2009, the ELG imposed a nationally applicable—and potentially impossible-to-meet—limit of 280 “turbidity units” on storm water discharges from construction sites disturbing 10 or more acres of land at one time.

While today’s ruling removes the numeric limit, the other requirements of the ELG remain in place. EPA is expected to issue interim storm water management guidance for construction site operators as the agency works to refine the rule.

“NAHB supports responsible development and the goals of the Clean Water Act. The association will continue to work with state and federal regulators to keep our waterways clean,” Jones said.

http://www.nahb.org


GOOD NEWS! EPA Must Revise Storm Water Rules

August 13, 2010

In a major victory for affordable housing, sound science and more sensible regulations for builders and developers, EPA has been forced to withdraw a key portion of new storm water management regulations for the construction industry and devise new ones based on better research.

This positive news comes as the result of a lawsuit filed by NAHB and petitions filed by both NAHB and the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy asking the agency to revise its new Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development industry. We contended that the numeric limit set by EPA for sediment-laden storm water running off of a construction site was arbitrary and based on flawed analysis. In addition, NAHB asserted that trying to achieve that numeric limit would cost not just the $953 million that the EPA had estimated, but up to $10 billion annually, hurting small businesses and housing affordability with little additional environmental benefit.

After reading NAHB’s brief, the U.S. Justice Department asked EPA how it could defend the numeric limit. In turn, the EPA admitted that there were flaws in the final rule and that the agency had improperly interpreted some data. As a result, the Justice Department this week filed a motion with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to vacate the numeric limit and place a hold on the litigation until 2012 — while EPA goes back and develops a numeric limit with which builders can actually comply. Importantly, while the latest action removes the numeric limit, other requirements of the construction and development ELG remain in place. EPA is expected to issue interim storm water management guidance for construction site operators as the agency works to refine the rule. For details, see our press release. Contact: Jeff Augello, 800-368-5242, x8490.


DOE Showerhead Rule Limits Choices for Elderly and Disabled, Says NAHB

July 9, 2010

National Association of Home BuildersJune 24, 2010 – The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has asked the federal Department of Energy (DOE) to rethink a new “interpretive rule” that changes the regulatory definition of a showerhead  and that could prohibit from sale many hand-held devices that improve the shower’s accessibility for the elderly or disabled.

Under DOE’s new interpretation, the Environmental Protection Agency’s allowable gallons-per-minute flow rate would apply to the entire showerhead plumbing device — everything past the mixing valves or user controls.  Such an interpretation would be a significant shift for most showerhead manufacturers, which now apply those rates to each individual showerhead.

“DOE said the change is intended to improve water efficiency, which is a goal we support. Unfortunately, the solution goes too far,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“This is going to make it much more difficult for older Americans to live independently. Under the new definition, replacing a traditional, single showerhead with one that includes a flexible hose to take a shower while seated will result in half the water pressure for each – which would be too weak for either one,” Jones said.

The rule also potentially bans the installation of spa-style showers and similar features popular with many new home buyers – limiting consumer choice, but not necessarily saving water. “The government would have to come up with a ruling regarding the number of showers people are allowed to take and how many minutes they can last – and I don’t think any agency is prepared to go that far, for good reason,” Jones added.

“Had the agency gone through the typical notice-and-comment process, in which manufacturers, suppliers, builders and consumers have an opportunity to review and offer suggestions for improvement, DOE might have addressed these concerns in a more equitable and informed manner,” Jones said.

DOE may review comments submitted by NAHB, plumbing and fixture firms, and other advocacy groups but is not required to consider them in its final decision.