BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that will replace the state’s plumbing code effective Jan. 1, 2016, with the International Plumbing Code. The IPC, published by the International Code Council, will replace the Louisiana State Plumbing Code. The legislation also adds IPC, IBC, and IRC plumbing sections to the state’s construction code.

“We thank the Governor, the Legislature and all who supported this public safety legislation in the state of Louisiana,” said ICC CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “Louisiana’s adoption validates the public health benefits of the International Plumbing Code, which is already adopted in 35 states and the District of Columbia at the state or local level. The code is plumber and industry smart, providing guidelines for plumbing facilities and the acceptance of new and innovative products, materials and systems.”

Changing the decades-old Louisiana Plumbing Code to a new code, the legislature voted to require that both residential and commercial plumbing would adhere to the IPC. State Rep. Erich Ponti, a Baton Rouge Republican and general contractor, told The (Louisiana) Advocate all sides of the negotiation, including labor organizations, signed off on the measure that had attracted hundreds of stakeholders to the State Capitol during the session.

The code change was not without controversy.

John Barker, executive director of the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana, opposed the legislation.

“We have builders telling plumbers how to do their jobs,” Barker told The New Orleans Advocate newspaper. “The politics that were involved in this bill is unbelievable.”

The move to the IPC will transfer jurisdiction over the code from the Department of Health and Hospitals and gives the authority to the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council. When the Department of Health and Hospitals developed the codes in 1924 to protect the people of Louisiana, the Louisiana Plumbing Law was enacted and the State Plumbing Board was created.

A Plumbing Transition Commission will develop recommendations on how the new code will go into effect.

Other highlights of the law include:

  • Changes the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council from 19 to 20 members; creating a position for the state health officer or his designee;
  • Adds house and senate committees on health and welfare to have oversight for the initial plumbing adoption;
  • Includes the International Building Code Chapter 29-Plumbing Systems, the International Residential Code, Part VII-Plumbing and the IPC to the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code;
  • Creates a Plumbing Transition Commission that may provide plumbing amendments to the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code for the initial adoption.

ICC’s codes are not new to Louisiana. For many years, the state has used the International Building, Residential, Energy Conservation, Existing Building, Fuel Gas and Mechanical codes.