Edition: Vol. 02, No. 06
Edition date: March 25, 2009

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Important information from the Oregon Building Codes Division to local building departments.

BCD Events

The Commercial Green Building & the Building Code Class (see more information)

March 31: Medford, register here

Board meetings

March 26: Electrical and Elevator Board meeting

April 1: Residential Structures Board meeting

April 17: Oregon State Plumbing Board meeting

Contact a Code Chief

Dennis Clements
Chief Electrical Inspector

Ron Crabtree
Chief Elevator & Amusement Ride Inspector

Albert Endres
Chief Manufactured Structures

Mike Graham
Chief Boiler Inspector

Richard Rogers
Chief Structural Program

Terry Swisher
Chief Plumbing Inspector

News Updates - March 25, 2009

Working with electronic permitting

The division has received a number of questions about how the Quick Permits system works with the traditional permit requirements. Jurisdictions have inquired about inspecting when online permits only have the contractor's name, rather than their signature. Statute (ORS 455.097) allows the division to waive conflicting requirements for electronic permitting. Usually, a permit is required to be signed by the applicant, and in the case of electrical permits, they must be signed by the signing supervisor prior to inspection. Because the Quick Permits system was designed to allow contractors to start work right away, the system gives a contractor an "authorization" to begin work.

Quick Permits automatically verifies contractor and electrical signing supervisor information before it issues the authorization. The jurisdiction relies on that signature verification when issuing the permit. On ePermits the printed names on the permit are considered the signatures. These printed names of the contractor and signing supervisor, if needed, must be on the permit just like a written signature on a standard permit.

Rule review by the Electrical and Elevator Board

The Electrical and Elevator Board will review two rules at its March 26 meeting: the interim amendments to the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC) relating to critical operating power systems, specifically Article 708, and the general supervising electrician rule. The February 11, 2009 newsletter briefly summarized the division's proposed amendment to the OESC Article 708 (COPS). The division conducted a rulemaking hearing and will bring the revised proposed amendment back to the board for their review. The proposed amendment clarifies the authority to designate an area as requiring a critical operations power system and removes provisions of the Article that fall outside the scope of the OESC. This amendment will go into effect April 1, 2009.

The board will also review proposed amendments to the general supervising electrician rule, 918-282-0140. The division was asked to clarify the responsibilities of a general supervising electrician. The rule does not change the responsibilities of a general supervising electrician. It clarifies that a general supervising electrician who fails to live up to their responsibilities under the rule may be subject to penalties, up to and including revocation of their license. We anticipate a public hearing in May, if the board approves the rule to go forward to hearing.

Mid-cycle amendment proposals

The Building Codes Division will soon begin accepting mid-cycle code amendment proposals affecting the Oregon Residential, Electrical, and Plumbing Specialty Codes. Solicitation for code proposals will begin in the next few weeks. Mid-cycle amendment proposals are limited to those addressing emerging issues, potential fire or life safety risks, or correcting code provisions that are unclear or conflicting. The public will have 30 days to submit proposals to the division. The division will review the proposals and forward them to the appropriate boards for their review. The anticipated effective date for amendments is October 1, 2009, halfway through these three code cycles.

All proposals must be submitted to the division in writing. The division has provided a form that includes the code amendment proposal criteria.

If you have questions please contact:
Richard Rogers, Structural Program Chief at 503-378-4472 or at richard.rogers@state.or.us
Dennis Clements, Electrical Program Chief at 503-378-4459 or at dennis.l.clements@state.or.us
Terry Swisher, Plumbing Program Chief at 503-373-7488 or at terry.l.swisher@state.or.us

New pages on BCD Web site

There have been several changes on the BCD Web site. We have added a page for the Green Building Services section of the division. The page is filled with helpful information, such as handy links to the Oregon Smart Guides on water conservation, the Statewide Alternate Methods (SAMs) that deal with green building issues, classes available on green building sponsored by BCD, and current projects the section is working on.

Take a look at the commercial code program and state inspection services pages. You will see new formatting that makes it easier to find what you need. We are planning to use this new format to update all of our program pages. Keep an eye out for other changes to the BCD Web site and let us know what you think about the new look. You can contact Sherri West at 503-373-7509 or sherri.d.west@state.or.us with any questions about our Web pages.

Electrical program delegated to Clatskanie

The division has approved Clatskanie's request for delegation of the electrical program.


ePermitting contractors receive introductory information
On March 25, 2009 almost 600 contractors currently using Quick Permits received information providing an overview of the new ePermitting basic services system that is scheduled to go live on April 29. The information talks about the added services provided to contractors with the new system, such as the secure login, access to the complete history of any permit or application entered into ePermitting, and the ability to save an application to continue later. The new ePermitting basic services will continue to offer the same types of permits currently offered through Quick Permits. The information sheet, with its question and answer format, may help with some of your questions.

Currently, 33 cities and counties are participating in the Quick Permits system. All current participants will automatically migrate to the new system in April.

Not a member of the current Quick Permits system, but interested in participating in the basic services being offered in April? Contact Lori Graham at 503-373-7755 or lori.l.graham@state.or.us for more information.

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Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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