Uncertain Future for Plumber Licensing and Regulation in Texas

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State plumbing regulations in Texas are at risk after the recent defeat of some legislation that could mean the elimination of the state’s plumbing code and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

The move has plumbers in the state concerned.

“We’re going to put the safety of the homeowners and the public of Texas in jeopardy,” Roger Wakefield, master plumber and owner of Texas Green Plumbing, told the Texas Tribune. “Plumbers install medical gas, they install the potable drinking water that we have every day. If they’re not doing it right, people’s safety is at risk.”

Without the agency-required education and tests, anyone will be able to call themselves a plumber leading to more unqualified workers entering the workforce, according to Wakefield.

Texas’ state plumbing code is currently on track to cease to exist on Sept. 1, while the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners will have a “wind down” period that has it wrapping up operations by September 2020. The agency is responsible for licensing plumbers and enforcing the state plumbing code. It was up for the sunset review process, which is when lawmakers periodically assess how efficiently state entities are operating and whether their existence should continue. Lawmakers couldn't agree on Senate Bill 621 during the legislative session that recently concluded, which would have extended the agency’s life.

Plumbers are now calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to order lawmakers to reconvene for a special legislative session in order to remedy the situation.

Source: The Texas Tribune


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