Gov DeWine and Lt Gov Husted Announce Cutting Bureaucratic Language in Ohio Administrative Code through Updated Building Codes

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced that the Ohio Board of Building Standards recently adopted the 2024 Ohio Building (OBC), Mechanical (OMC), and Plumbing Codes (OPC) rules, an approach that cut redundant and pointless bureaucratic language from these codes and reduced the Ohio Administrative Code’s word count by nearly 610,000 words ultimately making it simpler for businesses to comply.

As previously reported by The Ohio Star, in January, DeWine and Husted unveiled a plan to eliminate one-third of the Ohio Administrative Code and the Ohio Common Sense Initiative (CSI) began identifying duplicative, unnecessary, and no longer used portions of the Ohio Administrative Code. The Ohio Board of Building Standards adopting these rules is part of this initiative.

According to DeWine, updating the rules now comes at a perfect time as businesses continue to grow in the state.

“As businesses continue to thrive and grow in Ohio, the updated building codes come at a perfect time. The Board of Building Standards is making it easier for businesses by not only removing unnecessary and duplicative language but also by including new technologies and materials used in construction today,” DeWine said.

Husted said that eliminating one-third of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) makes it easier for businesses to comply, making the state more attractive for new business growth.

“When we set out on our mission to eliminate one-third of the OAC, our goal was to make it easier for people and businesses to comply – saving people time and money. Streamlining Ohio’s building code was a big part of this effort. Additionally, through passage of the recent budget, we are now able to work with the Lottery Commission to delete up to 1.7 million unnecessary words related to individual lottery game procedures. We have also identified an additional 2.3 million words of duplicative and unnecessary regulatory text established by individual higher education institutions. This initiative is a great example of common-sense regulatory reform, which ultimately makes our state more attractive for new business growth,” Husted said.

According to the press release, in contrast to other states, Ohio’s Administrative Code copies national code standards verbatim rather than only referring to them. Ohio has far lengthy building, mechanical, and plumbing codes than any of its bordering states as a result. Instead of copying complex code books into Ohio’s regulatory code word for word, the new Board of Building Standards rules reduce these Ohio Administrative Code sections by about 90 percent, making it simpler for businesses to identify Ohio-specific requirements and flexibility. The new Ohio state codes highlight the differences between Ohio codes and their equivalent national standard. To provide Ohio businesses the chance to comment on these amendments to the Ohio Building Code, Ohio Mechanical Code, and Ohio Plumbing Code, they were implemented through the ordinary rule process.

The Board of Building Standards adopted the codes incorporating the 2021 International Codes published by the International Code Council (ICC) with Ohio amendments. Over 10,000 regulatory constraints have been removed from the new building code standards, which are 90 percent shorter than the requirements that were previously established. There are 85 percent fewer words in the new mechanical code requirements, and more than 2,500 regulatory constraints have been removed. The new plumbing code guidelines are 75 percent shorter in word count and eliminate more than 1,800 regulatory requirements.

According to Board of Building Standards Board Chair Timothy Galvin, these building codes are in place to protect the public’s safety and welfare in all aspects of building, design, and construction.

“The 2024 codes will continue to help protect the public, while the elimination of duplicate provisions, outdated sections, and unnecessary requirements will simplify the codes and make it easier for Ohioans to understand them and is consistent with how all other states adopt the model code,” Galvin said.

The newly adopted codes will go into effect on March 1, 2024.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star, The Star News Network, The Arizona Sun Times, and The Tennessee Star. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]



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