State Rep. Erich Ponti, R-Baton Rouge, is “at it again” — for the Louisiana taxpayers and consumers. HB1048 only adopts the International Plumbing Code, repeals our antiquated state plumbing code and moves the plumbing code oversight to our state code council which oversees all other building codes, mechanical, electrical and building.

Every other construction code that Louisiana has adopted is based on codes written by the International Code Congress, which balance safety and affordability. Due to the antiquated Louisiana Plumbing Code, we are losing businesses and jobs daily to neighboring states that use the International Plumbing Code. The Louisiana Plumbing Code increases costs without benefits to consumers.

HB1048 does not remove any authority from DHH regarding our sanitary code. DHH will still be responsible for water and sewer safety. DHH will continue to inspect and have authority over restaurants, hospitals, schools and every other aspect of public safety. HB1048 only relates to the plumbing piping systems (water and sewer) within a structure only — PERIOD.

HB1048 will protect the safety of all of our citizens, allow plumbing companies to hire already trained plumbers that move into Louisiana, adopt the latest safe plumbing technologies every 3 years and streamline the plumbing process, saving our citizens and businesses money without compromising safety.

No part of this legislation affects the Plumbing Board or the licensing of any plumbers.

Every Gulf Coast state uses the International Plumbing Code, and 35 states across the United States plumb their structures to the IPC as well. Cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla., use the IPC. If the International Plumbing Code works and is safe in all of these places it will be safe in Louisiana.

It is time Louisiana aligns all of our codes to international code standards and become proactive and innovative. Thirteen Louisiana statewide business organizations support and endorse HB1048 as the right step to move Louisiana forward. I hope this legislation passes for the good of businesses, taxpayers and consumers.

Jerry D. Passman

president, Louisiana Home Builders Association

Baton Rouge