NSPE, Ohio Society Oppose Piping Bill for Treading on PE Expertise

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On May 20, NSPE submitted a letter to Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Al Landis in opposition to a bill (H.B. 214) on the selection of piping material for use on water, wastewater, and storm drainage projects. The bill prohibits a public authority from preferring one type of piping material over another on state-funded projects unless sound engineering practices suggest a certain piping material is more suitable to the project.

NSPE’s letter was included in the Ohio Society of Professional Engineer’s formal submission to the committee, which held a hearing on the legislation on May 24.

In the letter, NSPE President Tim Austin, P.E., F.NSPE, points out that the type of pipe used in a given situation depends on a number of factors such as the fluid being conveyed, the chemical and physical characteristics of the fluid, and the depth of bury on the pipe and the material in which the pipe is buried. The legislation, however, is ambiguous and treats pipe material and piping situations as if they are all the same.

NSPE argues that the professional engineer—using his or her own sound judgment based on experience, expertise, qualifications, and the applied knowledge of engineering principles—should determine the type of pipe that is used in any situation, not the state.

Read Austin’s full letter here.