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Important Notice: IRRC Unanimously Approves Final Disinfection Requirements Rule

IRRC Unanimously Approves Final Disinfection Requirements Rule

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) unanimously approved the Final Disinfection Requirements Rule today.  The rule becomes effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (possibly in March or April).  A summary of today’s IRRC meeting follows.

We will keep an eye on the Bulletin and let you know when the final rule is published.  As a reminder, the final rule defers implementation dates by 6 months for monitoring plans, and by 1 year for distribution system disinfectant residual requirements.

Independent Regulatory Review Commission

2/22/18, 10:00 a.m., 333 Market Street, 14th Floor Conference Room
By Mike Howells, Pennsylvania Legislative Services

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) met to consider several regulations.

Chairman George Bedwick, Commissioner Dennis Watson, and Commissioner Murray Ufberg were in attendance. Commissioner Russ Faber and Commissioner John Mizner participated via telephone.

3133 State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure #16A-6710: Code of Ethics was deemed to be approved by law since the commission’s last meeting.

3195 Environmental Quality Board (EQB) #7-538: Administration of the Land Recycling Program (Final-Omit) was unanimously approved.

Scott Schalles, regulatory analyst, said the final rulemaking corrects transcription and input errors for the toxicity values for Aldrin, beryllium and cadmium. He reported there were no public comments and both standing committees in the legislature have deemed it approved. The regulation was unanimously approved.

Appearing on behalf of the Environmental Quality Board were George Hartenstein, deputy secretary for waste, air, radiation and radiation at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Kristen Furlan, regulatory counsel; and Mike Madigan, cleanup standards section chief.

Commissioner Ufberg said he noticed the existing land recycling regulations required three-year evaluation of scientific developments by EQB, and remarked there have been discussion in Harrisburg about the removal of unnecessary regulations, as is happening in this case. He suggested that might be a matter for the legislature or each agency to consider going forward, and said the legislature can mandate regulations that are made effective come under regular review for relevancy, and following that the departments may consider it. He said it is an appropriate thing to do at this time.

3162 Environmental Quality Board #7-529: Gasoline Volatility Requirements was unanimously approved.

Schalles explained the regulation repeals certain gasoline volatility requirements. He reported no comments were received and both standing committees have deemed the regulation approved. The regulation was unanimously approved.

Samantha Harmon, air quality program specialist at the EQB, joined Hartenstein and Furlan to field questions.

Commissioner Watson commented that no one has made a “flat-out prediction” that it will mean lower gas prices; merely that it may happen as gas stations will have the opportunity to lower their prices.

3136 Environmental Quality Board #7-520: Disinfection Requirements Rule was unanimously approved.

Corinne Brandt, regulatory analyst, said the regulation increases minimum disinfectant residual in the distribution system. She said the language was originally part of a revised overall Coliform regulation but was split into two regulations. The other, IRRC number 3119, was approved by the commission in 2016. She said there have been no public comments and the regulation was deemed approved by the standing committees. The regulation was unanimously approved.

Appearing on behalf of the EQB were regulatory counsel Bill Cummings; Dawn Hissner, from the Operations, Monitoring and Compliance Division of the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water; and Tim Schaefer, acting deputy secretary for water programs at DEP.

Commissioner Faber cited language referring to an incident in Alamosa, Colorado, and noted the link to more detail did not work. He questioned what the cause of that issue was. Hissner said it was a salmonella outbreak caused by contamination from a poorly-contained distribution tank.

Regarding cost estimates, Commissioner Faber said the board’s initial figure was $830,000 and is now up to $4.9 million. He questioned what accounts for the dramatic change and how the board reconciles its current figure with the fact that Philadelphia estimates their capital costs to be around $25 million. Hissner remarked they estimated the number of water systems that may have to make capital improvements, and said during the comments phase they determined they may have underestimated that total, or gotten insufficient information on operating expenses. Upon review, she went on, the board revised its estimate upward. Hissner added they have to base their estimates across all potentially affected systems, not just large ones who may feel a bigger crunch. She said they still expect a large proportion are already meeting the new numbers or will be able to without great cost. She did acknowledge Philadelphia is indeed one system that may have significant costs, and reported the board is working through options on that front, including provisions allowing an extended compliance schedule.

Following the vote, Chairman Bedwick remarked reading through EQB materials can sometimes be “a bit of a slog,” but credited the work done on the three regulations today as being particularly accessible and “easy reading.”

3191 Department of General Services #8-21: Committee on Construction Contract Documents (Final-Omit) was unanimously approved.

Michelle Elliott, regulatory analyst, explained the regulation repeals Chapter 62, which deals with the Committee on Construction Contract Documents. She reported no comments were received and both standing committees deemed the regulation approved.

Appearing on behalf of the Department of General Services (DGS) were assistant counsel Mary Fox, and counsels Edmond Olivieri and Erin Verano.

Commissioner Watson said it helps trying to match the statute up with the regulations.

Chairman Bedwick noted the regulation was superseded by the new Procurement Code when it was passed. He questioned whether there are any regulations under the Procurement Code that may relate to it or if DGS will just work under the statute. Fox confirmed the latter.

3192 Department of General Services #8-22: Selections Committee (Final-Omit) was unanimously approved.

Brandt explained the regulation repeals obsolete Chapter 64, which deals with the Selections Committee which reviews certain applications for contracts with the department. She said there were no public comments submitted and the regulation was deemed approved by the standing committees.

Commissioner Ufberg questioned if there are other regulations which have been deleted by virtue of the enactment of the Procurement Code. Fox explained the department has recently taken on a review of all outstanding regulations and identified four appropriate for final-omit, and there are still a few on the books they are looking at going through the full regulatory process to remove due to obsolescence. She confirmed there are no further final-omits.

Commissioner Watson asked whether, in addition to getting rid of obsolete regulations, there any statutes for regulations that haven’t been promulgated that are long overdue. Fox said there are not from DGS.

3194 Department of General Services #8-25: Methods of Awarding Contracts (Final-Omit) was unanimously approved.

James Smith, regulatory analyst, said the regulation repeals Chapter 69, which deals with procedures concerning the awarding of contracts for the purchase of goods and supplies. He said there have been no public comments submitted and the regulation was deemed approved by the standing committees.

The commission unanimously approved vouchers.

The next meeting of the commission will take place on March 22, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at 333 Market Street, Harrisburg.

For more information on IRRC and the regulations, please visit IRRC’s website.


Special thanks to:

Erik A. Ross

Senior Associate

Milliron & Goodman Government Relations, LLC.

200 North 3rd Street

Suite 1500

Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone:  717-232-5322

Cell:  717-574-3963


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