The legislature opened Tuesday January 12, 2016 and it started with a bang. On Wednesday January 13, 2015 the American Chemical Council had House bill 4661 introduced, by Representative Mike Forrester (Spartanburg) and Representative Bill Sandifer (Oconee). The bill was assigned to the House Labor Commerce and Industry immediately given to the Public Utilities subcommittee and given a hearing on January 20, 2016.
H.4661 is the sister bill to Senate bill 408, which deals with the procurement of piping materials. This bill gives a preference to PVC pipe when bidding on piping materials. This bill has been introduced in several states. ACEC-SC and SCSPE joined forces with the South Carolina Water Quality Association (SCWQA) and other interested parties to defeat this bill.
Before the subcommittee hearing on this bill, Joe Jones and Adam B. Jones , both lobbyist for ACEC-SC and SCSPE, tried to meet with everyone on the House Labor Commerce & Industry Public Utilities Subcommittee to let them know that the engineering community opposes this bill. The engineering community believes that the final decision on any material that will be specified in a design should be made by the Professional Engineer of record.
On January 20, 2016 Edward “Eddie” Twilley, SCWQA lobbyist, and Joe Jones testified in opposition of the bill. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to adjourn debate on the bill. Though we won the battle, it is not sure if we won the war. The sub-committee can choose to take this bill up again and add amendments, so keep your eyes peeled for legislative alerts that will need to be answered to defeat this bill.