FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION AMENDING THE PLUMBING CODE TO REQUIRE APPROVAL OF PIPING SYSTEMS TO VENT RADON OR METHANE GAS
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me today is Introductory Number 874-A, sponsored by Council Members Dickens, Comrie, Eugene, Gerson, Gonzalez, Liu, Arroyo, Gioia, Katz, Mark-Viverito, Baez, de Blasio, Recchia, Gentile, Lappin, Mitchell Sears, Reyna, Crowley, Sanders, Vallone, Ferreras, Jackson, Dilan, Fidler, Vacca, Oddo, and Ulrich, White, Brewer, Gennaro and Weprin. Introductory Number 874-A amends the City's plumbing code to require Building's Department approval of piping systems to vent radon or methane gas.
"Radon and methane are hazardous gasses that are naturally occurring in the soil and released in to the air. Recent studies have shown that sometimes these gasses are trapped between the soil and building foundations and can make their way inside the building through cracks in the walls, requiring a vent piping system for their safe removal. Introductory Number 874-A allows the Building Commissioner to set minimum standards for gas vent piping systems. While not widespread throughout the City, these piping systems are nonetheless important in the structures where they are needed. By requiring DOB approval of these systems and the licensed professionals allowed to install them, we can monitor the vents to assure that methane or radon gas passes from an underground area in to the atmosphere in a safe way. It also allows for the safe recovery of these gases for commercial purposes.
"In addition, Introductory Number 874-A requires the Buildings Department to develop minimum standards for mechanically fastened joints in water supply or waste piping. The weakest link in any piping system is the joint and in the case of water and waste piping, a strong joint can ensure that the material intended to be removed from a building doesn't leak in to the building or cause the pipe to burst. This legislation will allow the Department to ensure that the products used in these systems are safe and sufficiently reliable for use.
"I would like to thank Buildings Commissioner Bob LiMandri and his staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958