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Business And Industry Groups Protest Legislation Banning Use Of Plastic Pipe

Business and industry groups as well as local government representatives from throughout New York State are vigorously protesting legislation that would ban the use of plastic pipe in commercial development. Similar legislation approved by the State Legislature last year was vetoed by Governor Pataki after an aggressive effort by business and local government representatives.

"New York convened a technical review of the state's building codes over five years ago. As a result, the state adopted a modern plumbing code which allowed the use of plastic pipe in all building applications," said Ken Pokalsky, Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for the Business Council of New York State.

"Unfortunately, a narrow special interest group was able to stall the implementation of this modern plumbing code. Thanks to the Governor's veto, builders have had the choice of using plastic pipe since January 2005. It would be unfortunate for the state to turn back the clock now and unnecessarily drive up the cost of construction."

"This is just another example of how special interests damage the economic development climate in New York State," said Philip LaRocque, Vice President, New York State Builders Association.

"This is a bill being pushed by one group that will spend whatever money they need to line up legislators to support a bill that would make New York one of only two states in the entire nation to ban the use of plastic pipe in commercial development."

In urging the Legislature to reject A.7566 / S.5046, essentially the same bill the Governor vetoed last year, the coalition cited the hundreds of letters generated by local elected leaders, builders, manufacturers, code officials and others to the Governor's attention about the negative economic impact the legislation would have, particularly in Upstate areas that are desperately seeking new development. Developers continue to cite the high cost of doing business, including costly mandates such as the ban on plastic pipe.

What's worse, the legislation does not address what would happen to current development projects that are following the modern code now in effect and using plastic pipe.

"To encourage economic development, municipalities throughout New York State, particularly in urban areas in Upstate, desperately need modern building codes that allow for the use of high performance, low cost building materials like plastic pipe. The plumbers' attempt to return to antiquated building restrictions should be resoundingly rejected by the Legislature," said Edward C. Farrell, Executive Director, New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials.

"Metal pipe simply has no advantages over plastic pipe," said Richard Church, Executive Director, Plastic Pipe and Fitting Association -- a national trade group based in Glen Ellyn, IL. "Plastic pipe is used for indoor drain, waste and vent piping as well as to deliver hot and cold drinking water and for fire sprinkler systems. Advantages of plastic pipe include corrosion resistance, ease of installation, low cost and durability. These attributes make plastic pipe the product of choice versus metal piping, and it's a choice New York builders should continue to enjoy."

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