Bill to Exempt Ag Structures from the UCC May Pass
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG – A bill, HB 1440, that would exempt agricultural structures from the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) seems to have new life after PLNA teamed up with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to convince lawmakers that the bill was needed.
Although the Governor signed two high tunnel bills in December, 2013, a third bill, HB 1440, stalled on the Senate floor with no vote scheduled. HB 1440 passed the House unanimously and was reported out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously without amendment June, 2013. It needs only a vote of the full Senate to be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Some local governments have recently begun to subject high tunnels to the Uniform Construction Code, requiring fire suppression sprinklers, foundations, handicapped accessibility and other requirements of the UCC.
Senate leadership is deciding the best way for the bill to move forward. It could be passed as it stands as HB 1440 or it could be amended into another bill, SB 1023, that deals with the committee that writes the UCC regulations.
Regardless of how it passes, both Senate and House leadership now have committed to move the bill forward in the waning days of the 2014 legislative session.