House OKs plumbing code deal

The Louisiana House approved Sunday evening, changing the decades-old plumbing standards to a new code.

Voting 69 to 22, representatives approved a settlement that would require plumbers to meet the International Plumbing Code instead of the Louisiana Plumbing Code.

House Bill 1048 returns again to the state Senate for consideration of the settlement, called a conference committee report. If senators also approve, then the measure would go to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

HB1048 came out of the state Senate with provisions that would have put residential plumbing under the IPC and leave commercial work under the Louisiana Plumbing Code. Under the settlement, both residential and commercial plumbing would have to adhere to the International Plumbing Code.

State Rep. Erich Ponti, a Baton Rouge Republican and general contractor, said all sides of the negotiation, including organized labor, and signed off on the measure that had attracted hundreds of plumbers to the State Capitol during the session.

“I can’t say every single plumber,” approves, Ponti said. “But everyone involved in negotiations signed off on it.”

The negotiated settlement of the issue postponed the implementation of the new code for a year and half, Ponti said. The deal creates a sub-committee that would come up with recommendations on how the new code goes into effect.

Ponti said 35 other states have adopted the International Plumbing Code.

“This is a big, significant change,” said state Rep. Tom Willmott, R-Kenner. “We are unique in our ways in dealing with plumbing issues.”