How to Stay Compliant with Local Law 152

What You Need to Know About Local Law 152

natural gas meter being installed

2016 saw the introduction of Local Law 152 by the Department of Buildings, or DOB, to local New York City legislature. This law, part of a larger overhaul to maximize the safety of gas lines, has made it so that all gas piping systems in all buildings need to undergo periodic inspections. While this law took a few years to come to fruition, the rules are now finalized and are in full effect as of January 1, 2020. For those who want to know how this new law affects them, read on to find out about the frequency of all required inspections, what qualifications the inspectors need to have receive, what the inspections will entail, and everything else you’ll need to know in order to stay compliant with these new rules and regulations.

What Does Local Law 152 Mean for NYC Citizens?

As stated, the effect of Local Law 152 is that all gas piping systems will need to undergo periodic inspections in order to determine that they are working up to the highest safety standards set by the government. As part of a larger overhaul to increase the general safety of gas lines, this new law is one of many that will affect how NYC gas piping systems are handled in the future.

Does Every NYC Building Need to Comply with These New Rules?

Although Local Law 152 was meant to apply to most buildings in the NYC area, there is one minor exception that eschews some buildings. There are different occupancy group classifications in the DOB’s building code, and one such occupancy group classification won’t be subject to the new rules and regulations of Local Law 152. This class of building, deemed occupancy group R-3, is a label for buildings that have only two individual dwelling units or less, and less than 20 occupants overall. This classification is commonly applied to both group homes and single/dual-family housing units. In order to figure out if this exemption applies to you specifically, you’ll need to track down your building’s Certificate of Occupancy and determine it’s occupancy group classification.

When Are These New Periodic Inspections Due?

The date of the initial inspection has been determined by dividing all Community Districts into 4 groups, with each group receiving their initial inspection in either 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023, respectively. Whatever date sees your initial inspection, your second inspection will be due in 4 years, and so on. Inspections may be conducted early within an allotted window, but will not qualify if they are conducted over 60 days before the official due date signifies.

Will Gas Piping Systems In New Buildings Require Inspections?

Buildings that have been approved for occupancy anytime after December 31, 2019, will be required to have their own gas piping system inspections completed 10 years after the building’s Certificate of Occupancy is initially issued by the DOB. So, if the building’s Certificate of Occupancy is issued in 2023, it will need to undergo it’s first periodic gas piping system inspection in 2033, then another one in 2037, and 2041, and so on.

How Are Buildings Without Gas Piping Systems Affected?

While buildings that do not contain gas piping systems whatsoever will not need to undergo this new periodic inspection, they will be required to prove that they do not contain a gas piping system in order to attain this exemption. This can be achieved by having a registered design professional file a certification verifying that no such gas piping system exists in the given building. This certification will then need to be reinstated every 4 years, the same as the periodic inspections themselves.

How Do I Plan My Gas Piping System Inspection?

Compliance with Local Law 152 dictates that all gas piping systems in all buildings (that aren’t exempt due to being in occupancy group R-3) will need to undergo a periodic inspection by a qualified gas piping system inspector every 4 years. The qualifications this inspector will need to meet include either being a licensed master plumber, or being someone who is working under the direct supervision of a licensed master plumber and has met some serious additional training requirements otherwise.

How Do I Submit My Inspection Certificate When I’m Done?

Once your gas piping system inspection has been performed by a properly qualified inspector, that inspector will send the Inspection Certificate back to you within 30 days. It is then your responsibility to make sure that this Inspection Certificate gets to where it needs to go. You are given a window of 60 days after the inspection to get the Inspection Certificate to the DOB, which usually means you have 30 days after you receive it yourself. Should you fail to get this done within the allotted time, another inspection will need to be done in order to get a new valid Inspection Certificate.

What Happens If There Are Errors In the Inspection?

If any errors were made in the inspection, a new inspection will need to be scheduled, and the Inspection Certificate will be expected within 120 days of the date of the initial inspection. However, those in extenuating circumstances may be able to apply for an extended window allowing an extra 60 days. Once you’ve received your Inspection Certificate, keep a copy in your files for at least 10 years after it’s initial date, as the DOB may come calling for documentation.

What Happens If I Don’t Comply with Local Law 152?

According to the law itself, the failure to comply with Local Law 152 could result in a civil penalty entailing a sum of up to $10,000. If you feel you may have possibly been penalized wrongly, you may challenge the
penalty so long as you have substantial proof that the penalty does not apply to you. Those who receive such a violation will have 30 days to try and fight it.

What Happens If Gas Line Conditions Are Found to Be Hazardous?

When gas piping system inspections come back negative, the inspector will be forced to notify all parties involved. This includes the building owner, the utility company that is providing the service to the gas piping system, and the DOB. It is then the responsibility of the building’s owner to take the proper steps necessary in order to bring said gas piping system up to code. Although these new setbacks may frustrate some building owners, they are there to keep your occupants and property safe.

We'll Make It So You Never Miss Your Inspection Date!

Given that this new law is just one more responsibility added to the already busy lives of many New Yorkers, it’s important to remember not to forget it! If you think you’ll need some help remembering your inspection date, we can help your keep easy track of Local Law 152 so you’ll never miss an inspection! Although this new law won’t be too big of a burden so long as you stay on top of it, forgetting about it could mean serious trouble.

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