Suspension of Rule and Regulation Promulgation by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council
WHEREAS, on March 10, 2016, pursuant to La. R.S. 29:724(B)(1), 31 JBE 2016 was issued, declaring a state of emergency as a result of severe weather, and which was renewed most recently by 63 JBE 2017;
WHEREAS, pursuant to La. R.S. 29:724(B)(1), on August 12, 2016, 111 JBE 2016 was issued, declaring a state of emergency due to the heavy rain and flooding, and on August 22, 2016, pursuant to La. R.S. 29:766(B), 116 JBE 2016 was issued, declaring a state of public health emergency in the following parishes affected by the historic flooding: Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana, which was renewed most recently by 64 JBE 2017;
WHEREAS, as provided for by La. R.S. 40:1730.21, the public policy of Louisiana is to maintain reasonable standards of construction in buildings and other structures consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, with an aim to provide “reasonable safeguards for the health, safety, welfare, comfort, and security, balanced with affordability for the residents of this state who are occupants and users of buildings…”;
WHEREAS, Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1730.28 provides for the mandatory adoption of certain codes and standards by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Council, including and as qualified within this statute, the International Building Code; International Existing Building Code; International Residential Code; International Mechanical Code; International Plumbing Code; International Fuel Gas Code; and the National Electric Code;
WHEREAS, the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council has filed a notice of intent, pursuant to La. R.S. 40:1730.26 and La. R.S. 40:1730.28, to replace currently adopted construction codes with the 2015 editions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Plumbing Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fuel Gas Code and International Mechanical Code, and the 2014 edition of the National Electric Code;
WHEREAS, Louisiana Revised Statute 29:724 and La. R.S. 29:766 confer upon the Governor emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters in order to ensure that preparations of this State will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of the State of Louisiana, including the authority to suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for the conduct of state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;
WHEREAS, multiple residents experienced extensive damage to property as a result of the severe weather referenced in the above-cited proclamations, and currently, citizens across the State of Louisiana are in various stages of rebuilding and repairing their homes and businesses; and
WHEREAS, changes to the Uniform Construction Code would hinder or delay effective response and recovery to the emergency conditions, and there is a need to assist the citizens of Louisiana by providing for stability in certain construction standards and requirements as they rebuild and repair property.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The authority of the Louisiana Construction Code Council is hereby suspended from adopting and replacing the currently adopted construction code with the 2015 editions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Plumbing Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fuel Gas Code and International Mechanical Code, and the 2014 edition of the National Electric Code.
SECTION 2: This Order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until June 1, 2018.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 14th day of June, 2017.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State