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ARCHIVES - DPS STORIES 2016 

An Introduction to the 2015 International Building Code

The Department of Public Safety will present a four hour training seminar on the 2015 International Existing Building Code (Ninth Edition MA Code) during the month of September.

The seminar is open to state and municipal building inspectors, engineers, architects, building contractors and others who have an interest in new code requirements.  Specifically, the seminar will examine:

• Prescriptive & Performance Compliance Methods;
• Building Investigation & Evaluation Requirements;
• Alteration Levels 1, 2 and 3;
• Changes in Use and Occupancy;
• Repairs & Additions;
• Historic & Relocated Buildings;
• Existing Building Code Requirements for Single- and Two-Family Home Renovation Projects; and
• Construction Safeguards.

Upon completion, attendees will better understand the intricacies of code compliance methods; how to appropriately apply new code standards to future design projects to avoid pitfalls; as well as the duties and responsibilities of Registered Design Professionals (RDPs), building contractors and code enforcement personnel in helping to achieve successful existing building projects.

 

To register for this training, please follow the Constant Contact link for the mailing instructions and to print out the registration form.

 

Copies of the presentation and training materials are available for download by clicking on the links below. The Department encourages that attendees download these materials and bring them to the training as they will not be made available for distribution.

 

DPS Seeks Public Input per Executive Order 562

In order to facilitate the thorough review of its regulations as outlined in Executive Order 562, the Department of Public Safety is seeking comments and feedback from the public on all DPS regulations.  This is an opportunity for public input that goes beyond the traditional public comment and hearing process, and all comments are welcome, whether general in nature or specific to individual code sections.   Please send all comments via email to DPSInfo@state.ma.us , and please put “EO562” in the subject line.  All emails with “EO562” in the subject line will be considered as the Department goes through the regulation review process.  The Department thanks you in advance for your assistance and thoughtful remarks!

Notice of Public Hearing: 520 CMR 6.00 - September 12, 2016 at 1PM

Under the provisions of G.L. c. 30A, the Department of Public Safety (“Department”) will hold a public hearing for the purposes of gathering comments, ideas, and information concerning the amendments of the following regulations:


520 CMR 6, Hoisting Machinery


The proposed changes include, but are not limited to, the following: First, reduction of continuing education requirements for licensees to eliminate duplication and, for several classes of license holders, reduction of hourly education metrics per renewal period by half. Second, adoption of a definitional change in the term hoisting equipment to include within the purview of the regulatory scheme a narrower class of machines, thereby reducing the number and types of equipment subject to the operational and licensing requirements. Third, acceptance of an intrastate medical waiver from the Massachusetts RMV, permitting individuals who can be licensed for intrastate shipping and transportation duties to qualify for a hoisting/excavation license. Fourth elimination of the need for special attachment-specific licenses. Fifth, amendments to two portions of the regulatory language to reflect a change in G.L. c. 146, § 53. 

Scheduled Hearing Date: September 12, 2016, at 1 PM 

Location: Ashburton Café, One Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108
 

Anyone who desires to be heard on the matter should appear at the designated time and place. A written public comment period will follow and such comments should be submitted to The Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, MA 02108, attention Stephen Carley. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM on September 26, 2016.

520 CMR 6.00: Hoisting Machinery (Proposed Red-line Regulation) pdf format of eng-520-cmr- 6-redline-draft-sep16 file size 1MB

Notice of Public Hearing 523 CMR on October 13, 2016 at 11am

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING


Under the provisions of G.L. c. 30A, the State Athletic Commission (“the Commission”) will hold a public hearing for the purposes of gathering comments, ideas, and information concerning the amendments of the following regulations:


523 CMR 5 through 23, State Athletic Commission
523 CMR 5.00: GENERAL PROVISIONS
523 CMR 6.00: LICENSING AND REGISTRATION
523 CMR 7.00: MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD
523 CMR 8.00: IDENTIFICATION CARDS
523 CMR 9.00: CONTRACTS AND FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
523 CMR 10.00: ARRANGING AND PROMOTING PROGRAMS OF UNARMED COMBAT
523 CMR 11.00: TICKETS AND ADMISSIONS
523 CMR 12.00: FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT, AND SUPPLIES
523 CMR 13.00: WEIGHT CLASSES, WEIGH-INS, PRE- AND POST-FIGHT
PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS, AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
523 CMR 14.00: GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL UNARMED COMBAT
CONTESTS AND EXHIBITIONS
523 CMR 15.00: BOXING CONTESTS AND EXHIBITIONS
523 CMR 16.00: MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CONTESTS AND EXHIBITIONS
523 CMR 17.00: UNARMED COMBAT CONTESTS AND EXHIBITIONS
OTHER THAN BOXING AND MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
523 CMR 18.00: SPECIAL RULES FOR FEMALE UNARMED COMBATANTS
523 CMR 19.00: AMATEUR CONTESTS AND EXHIBITIONS
523 CMR 20.00: PROHIBITED ACTS; DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
523 CMR 21.00: DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
523 CMR 22.00: STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
523 CMR 23.00: SOUTHEAST ASIAN KICKBOXING


Scheduled Hearing Date: October 13, 2016, at 11 AM
Location: 50 Maple Street, Milford, Massachusetts, 01757

 

Anyone who desires to be heard on the matter should appear at the designated time and place. A written public comment period will follow and such comments should be submitted to:


The Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, MA 02108, attention Stephen Carley. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM on October 27, 2016.

Notice of Public Hearing - MSAC.pdf  pdf format of Notice of Public Hearing - MSAC.pdf

523 CMR 6 redline 8 4 16 MAB recommendations.pdf  pdf format of 523 CMR 6 redline 8 4 16 MAB recommendations.pdf

523 CMR redline, combined (6-2-16).pdf  pdf format of 523 CMR redline, combined (6-2-16).pdf file size 1MB

Notice of Public Hearing: 524 CMR - August 22, 2016 at 11AM

Under the provisions of G.L. c. 30A, the Board of Elevator Regulations (“the Board”) will hold a public hearing for the purposes of gathering comments, ideas, and information concerning the amendments of the following regulations:
 

 

524 CMR 1 through 38, Board of Elevator Regulations


CHAPTER 1.00: SCOPE AND ADMINISTRATION
CHAPTER 2.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 3.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 4.00: ACCIDENT AND INJURY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
CHAPTER 5.00: ELEVATOR CONTRACTORS
CHAPTER 6.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 7.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 8.00: PRACTICAL TESTS AND INSPECTIONS
CHAPTER 9.00: OPERATION OF NON-AUTOMATIC ELEVATORS
CHAPTER 10.00: REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS OF EXISTING ELEVATORS UNDERGOING ALTERATIONS, REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENT
CHAPTER 11.00: ELEVATORS PLACED OUT OF SERVICE OR DECOMISSIONED
CHAPTER 12.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 13.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 14.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 15.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 16.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 17.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 18.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 19.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 20.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 21.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 22.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 23.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 24.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 25.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 26.00: CERTAIN ELEVATOR EQUIPMENT USED AS AUTOMOBILE PARKING DEVICES
CHAPTER 27.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 28.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 29.00: STAGE, ORCHESTRA, AND ORGAN CONSOLE ELEVATORS
CHAPTER 30.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 31.00: CASKET LIFTS INSTALLED IN LICENSED FUNERAL HOMES, MEMORIAL CHAPELS, OR PREPARATION ROOMS
CHAPTER 32.00: VERTICAL RECIPROCATING CONVEYORS
CHAPTER 33.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 34.00: RESERVED
CHAPTER 35.00: SAFETY CODE FOR ELEVATORS AND ESCALATORS A17.1-2013 AND THE MASSACHUSETTS MODFICATIONS TO THAT CODE
CHAPTER 36.00: PERSONNEL HOISTS AND EMPLOYEE ELEVATORS ON CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION SITES
CHAPTER 37.00: SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR MATERIAL HOISTS
CHAPTER 38.00: SAFETY STANDARDS FOR PLATFORM LIFTS AND STAIRWAY CHAIRLIFTS

 

 

The proposed changes to the regulations extensively update and improve the elevator code on many fronts. The most significant revisions and improvements are: the adoption of the most recently available national model codes, most significantly ASME A17.1-2013; the addition of chapters 36, 37, and 38 that incorporate national model standards and allow for installation of code-compliant construction hoists, vertical reciprocating conveyors, and wheelchair lifts; the fundamental reorganization of the code chapters to improve readability, user friendliness, and consistency and to bring the structure in line with widely accepted expectations for organization; and the removal of chapter 17 setting Massachusetts standards for existing regulated equipment and replacement of those substantive rules with uniform, modern design, installation, and alteration specifications.
 

 

Scheduled Hearing Date: August 22, 2016, at 11 AM
 

Location: Ashburton Café, One Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108
 

 

Anyone who desires to be heard on the matter should appear at the designated time and place. A written public comment period will follow and such comments should be submitted to The Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, MA 02108, attention Stephen Carley. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM on September 6, 2016.

524 CMR: Board of Elevator Regulations (Elevator Code) (Proposed Red-line Regulation) pdf format of elev-notice-of-public-hearing-elevator-code-aug16

Notice of Public Hearing: 780 CMR - June 14, 2016 at 1PM

Under the provisions of G.L. c. 30A, the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) will hold a public hearing for the purposes of gathering comments, ideas, and information concerning the amendments of the following regulations:

 

780 CMR, State Board of Building Regulations and Standards:

CHAPTER 13.00: Energy Efficiency

CHAPTER 51.00: Massachusetts Residential Code (Chapter 11 and Appendix U)

APPENDIX 115.AA: Stretch Energy Code

 

The proposed changes to the regulations at this time amend Chapters 13, 51, and 115.AA to the latest IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 energy standards to lower consumption requirements, modernize building envelope, ventilation, insulation systems and other measures, and promote cost savings for builders, owners, and residents through offsets and improved efficiency.

 

Scheduled Hearing Date: June 14, 2016, at 1 PM

Location: Ashburton Café, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA, 02108

 

Anyone who desires to be heard on the matter should appear at the designated time and place. A written public comment period will follow and such comments should be submitted to The Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, MA, 02108, attention Stephen Carley. Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM on June 28, 2016.

Links to the proposed changes are listed below.  Some files are large, so please be patient when attempting to access them:

Notice of Public Hearing: 780 CMR - June 14, 2016 (Word) docx format of bbrs-notice-of-public-hearing-06142016

CHAPTER 13.00: Energy Efficiency (Word) docx format of bbrs-chapter13-4-clean-06142016

CHAPTER 13.00: Energy Efficiency (PDF) pdf format of bbrs-chapter13-06142016

CHAPTER 51.00: Massachusetts Residential Code (Chapter 11 and Appendix U) (Word) docx format of bbrs-chapter51-11-residential-energy-efficiency4-clean-

CHAPTER 51.00: Massachusetts Residential Code (Chapter 11 and Appendix U) (PDF) pdf format of bbrs-chapter51-11-residential-energy-efficiency-0614201

APPENDIX 115.AA: Stretch Energy Code (Word) docx format of bbrs-appendix-aa-stretch-energy-code3-06142016

APPENDIX 115.AA: Stretch Energy Code (PDF) pdf format of bbrs-appendix-aa-stretch-energy-code3-06142016

Passionate about Education

Passionate about Education

by Robert Anderson, Director of Code Education

 

It has been a longstanding goal of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to offer quality, timely education. The Baker administration has afforded DPS an opportunity to expand its education programs in order to develop a Public Safety Academy where state and municipal inspectors, licensees, engineers, architects and other interested parties will be able to choose from an assortment of worthwhile courses aimed at educating them on our regulatory requirements.

 

I was appointed as Director of Code Education on February 29th, 2016, and, on that day, presented the first of four such educational seminars about the new, ninth edition of The One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code, expanding the 2015 version of the International Residential Code (IRC).  In these trainings, hundreds of state and municipal inspectors learned about the differences between the eighth and ninth editions, and the proposed revisions to IRC language used in the Commonwealth. 

 

In March and April, I presented similar seminars to other Commonwealth agencies and professional organizations about proposed, new building code requirements, and amusement regulations.

 

This year at the Annual Building Officials’ Educational Conference, Michael Mendoza, SEMBOA President, and event organizer, invited me to speak about the proposed changes to the existing building codes.  Also, among a host of other event speakers, Marc LaPointe, DPS Building Inspector; Jeffrey Putnam, DPS Inspector Supervisor; and Patricia Barry; DPS Program Coordinator, enlightened guests on fire sprinkler standards and the Building Code Appeals Board process. 

 

Hilary Hackbart, from the Division of Labor Standards; Dale Varney from OSHA; and Cesar I. Lastra, DPS Engineering Technical Code Coordinator joined me in early June, offering a series of trench-safety seminars, examining 520 CMR 14.00, involving trench-related injuries, and trench-worker safety.  During these seminars, we also reviewed duties and responsibilities of hoisting licensees and trench-permitting authorities.

 

Gordon Bailey, State Building Inspector, offered a series of trainings to newly appointed municipal inspectors, shedding light on exam requirements and exam-result strategies in order to become certified as a building code enforcement official in the Commonwealth.

 

Harold Leaming, DPS Building Inspector, will offer a seminar on residential HVAC requirements on June 20th and 27th.  Inspector Leaming will explore:

  • HVAC System Design
  • Duct Sizing and Calculations
  • Basic Components of Warm Air and Hydronic Furnaces
  • Summer-Heat Gain and Winter-Heat Loss
  • The Science of Thermodynamics, and
  • Acceptable and Poor Installation Methods

 

Over the next several months, DPS staff plans to partner with the International Code Council (ICC) personnel, home builders and remodelers and others to offer additional training seminars relating to the following:

  • International Building Code (IBC)
  • International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
  • International Residential Code (IRC)

Since we are Passionate about Education, the department will continue to offer training and new information to the thousands of people who benefit from our Public Safety efforts. 

Please help us by sharing your thoughts about how DPS can offer you the most-meaningful, most-effective educational programs.  Send us your ideas at:  DPSinfo@state.ma.us.

Proposed updates to 524 CMR, Massachusetts Elevator Code

On May 4, 2016, the Board of Elevator Regulations (“BER”) voted its approval of amendments to the Massachusetts elevator code, codified at 524 CMR. The May 4 vote was the culmination of years of effort to update and improve the elevator code for the public, the regulated community, and the Department of Public Safety (“Department”).

The proposed elevator code is presented at the bottom of this page in PDF format. The proposed amendments adopt the most recently available national model codes, most significantly ASME A17.1-2013; add 524 CMR chapters 36, 37, and 38 that incorporate national model standards and allow for installation of code-compliant construction hoists, vertical reciprocating conveyors, and wheelchair lifts; fundamentally reorganize the code chapters to improve readability, user friendliness, and consistency and to bring the structure in line with widely accepted expectations for code writing and organization; remove the prior chapter 17 setting Massachusetts standards for existing regulated equipment and replace those substantive rules with uniform, modern design, installation, and alteration specifications.

The proposed code amendments are currently under review by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance for compliance with Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562 (“EO 562”). Following the completion of this review, a public hearing will be scheduled to afford interested parties and the public at large an opportunity to provide comments on the proposed code. Depending on the written comments received and oral testimony at the public hearing, the BER may elect to make further adjustments to the text.

As indicated, approval of the proposed changes pursuant to EO 562 is pending and does not have a determined timeframe. Accordingly, the date of the public hearing is not yet known. In the meantime, however, the Department and Executive Office of Administration and Finance welcome public and stakeholder feedback on the proposed code changes throughout the review process. Any person or organization wishing to provide commentary may mail it to The Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108, attention Stephen Carley. Comments are also welcomed via electronic mail at stephen.carley@state.ma.us.

Proposed Elevator Code Amendments pdf format of proposed-524-cmr-05232016

   

 

ARCHIVES - DPS STORIES 2015 

Architectural Access Board Listening Session Scheduled for Monday, November 30, 2015

The Architectural Access Board (“AAB”) has been reviewing its regulations, 521 CMR, pursuant to Executive Order 562 (“EO562”) and overall efforts begun prior to the order.  While the AAB has already received and considered substantial input from the public prior to the issuance of EO562, it would now like to encourage additional input from the regulatory community and other interested persons.

As a result, the AAB will hold a listening session during which the public will have an opportunity to comment on and suggest changes to 521 CMR.  The listening session will be held at the following time and place:
 

DATE AND TIME:

Monday, November 30, 2015; beginning at 11:00 a.m.
 

 LOCATION:

One Ashburton Place
21st Floor, Conference Room 3
Boston, MA 02108

DPS Listening Session on Civil Fines Regulations Scheduled for Friday, November 13, 2015

The Department of Public Safety is currently reviewing its regulations pursuant to Executive Order 562 and it encourages input from the regulated community and other interested persons.

As a result, DPS will hold a listening session on the following regulations:

520 CMR 1:   Enforcement of Civil Fines
520 CMR 16: Enforcement of Civil Fines for Expired Elevator Certificates

The listening session will be held at the following time and location:

 

DATE AND TIME: 

Friday, November 13, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.  

LOCATION:

One Ashburton Place
Ashburton Café Conference Room
Boston, MA 02108

Board of Elevator Regulations Listening Session Scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Board of Elevator Regulations (“BER”) is currently reviewing the elevator code, 524 CMR, pursuant to Executive Order 562.  As part of that review, the BER encourages input from the regulatory community and other interested persons.

As a result, the BER will hold a listening session during which the public will have an opportunity to comment on and suggest changes to 524 CMR.  The listening session will be held at the following time and place:

DATE AND TIME:

November 3, 2015, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

LOCATION:

One Ashburton Place, Room 1301

Boston, MA 02108

 

**PLEASE NOTE**

The listening session will not address civil fines issued for operation of an elevator without a valid certificate under M.G.L. c.143, §65.  The BER does not have jurisdiction with respect to Department of Public Safety civil fines and does not enforce 520 CMR 16.

Civil Fines for Expired Elevator Certificates

On July 15, 2014, a new law was enacted which authorized the Department of Public Safety (“Department”) to waive all or a portion of the $100 per day fine assessed against an elevator owner for operating with an expired certificate of inspection.  This law was made retroactive to apply to all fines assessed or any appeal of a fine submitted on or after January 1, 2013.  As a result, the Department amended its regulations relative to the appeal for civil fines for expired elevator certificates.  These went into effect on August 14, 2015, and may be found at  520 CMR 16 links to PDF file.

Owners who received a fine prior to August 14, 2015

The deadline for appealing all fines assessed prior to August 14, 2015 was October 13, 2015.  If you received and paid the fine prior to August 14, 2015, but did not exercise your right to retroactively appeal the fine within that time frame, your right to appeal has been waived.  If you received a fine prior to August 14, 2015, but did not pay or appeal the fine within that time frame, your right to appeal has been waived and your Elevator is subject to being shut down pursuant to 520 CMR 16.03(6)

Owners who received a fine on or after August 14, 2015

For owners who received a fine on or after August 15, 2015, you must have either  paid the fine or filed an appeal by October 13, 2015, OR 30 within days of receipt of the notice of violation, whichever is later, in order to preserve your right to appeal.

Updated Expired Certificates

On July 15, 2014, a new law was enacted which authorized the Department of Public Safety (“Department”) to waive all or a portion of the $100 per day fine assessed against an elevator owner for operating with an expired certificate of inspection.  This law was made retroactive to apply to all fines assessed or any appeal of a fine submitted on or after January 1, 2013.  As a result, the Department suspended its civil fine appeal program in July 2014.

The Department’s newly amended regulations relative to civil fines for expired elevator certificates, 520 CMR 16 links to PDF file, will go into effect on August 14, 2015.

Please note that any owner who received a notice of a fine or was assessed a fine at any time after the program became effective on July 1, 2013, will be able to file a new appeal beginning on August 14th.

Owners who filed an appeal under previous regulations:

It is important to remember that even if you filed an appeal under the previous regulations, you are required file a new appeal under the new regulations on the updated Appeal Form pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form , which must be filled out in its entirety and received by the Department on or before October 13, 2015.  You must submit an appeal form for each unit for which you are appealing a fine.  For those owners who filed an appeal under the previous regulations, the filing fee will be waived for any unit previously appealed. In the event that you paid a fine based on the earlier appeal and that fine is either waived or reduced in accordance with the new regulations, you will receive a refund.

Owners who paid a fine under the previous regulation and did not appeal:

If you received a notice of violation under the previous regulations and paid your fine in full without appealing, you now have the opportunity to file an appeal under the new regulations.  In order to file an appeal, you must submit to the Department the updated Appeal Form pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form , which must be filled out in its entirety and received by the Department on or before October 13, 2015.  You must submit an appeal form along with a $100 filing fee for each unit for which you are appealing a fine.  In the event that your previously paid fine is either waived or reduced in accordance with the new regulations, you will receive a refund.

Owners who did not either pay the fine or file an appeal

If you received a notice of violation under the previous regulations and your fine was referred to the Office of the State Comptroller for collection proceedings because you failed to pay or appeal within the requisite 120 days, the Department is allowing those individuals to file an appeal under the new regulations.  You must submit the appeal on the Department’s new Appeal Form pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form , which must be filled out in its entirety and received by the Department on or before October 13, 2015.  You must submit an appeal form along with a $100 filing fee for each unit for which you are appealing a fine. 

Owners who received a notice of a fine since the suspension of the program on or about July 25, 2014

Owners who received a notice of a fine during the suspension of the appeal process and now wish to appeal now have the opportunity to file an appeal under the new regulations, but only if they did not pay the fine.  You must submit the appeal on the Department’s new Appeal Form pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form , which must be filled out in its entirety and received by the Department on or before October 13, 2015.  You must submit an appeal form along with a $100 filing fee for each unit for which you are appealing a fine. 

Please note that while the Department is providing a 60 day window to pay or appeal all fines and notices assessed prior to August 14, 2015, any fine incurred on or after August 14, 2015, must either be paid or appealed by October 13, 2015, OR 30 within days of receipt of the notice of violation, whichever is later.   

More information on the new regulations can be found in the DPS Civil Fines webpage.

Updates to the Model Policy CORI Procedure for Amusement Devices, Challenge Courses, and Climbing Walls

The Department of Public Safety (“Department”) has recently updated its Model CORI Policy.  Copies of the updated Policies are listed below for your convenience.  If you do not use the Model Policy provided by the Department, you may disregard this message and the Department will continue to approve those policies on a case by case basis.  If you do use the Department's Model Policy, however, you MUST use this updated Model effective immediately.  If you have already submitted your license package using the older Policy, please submit the updated Policy.  Failure to include an updated Policy will result in the denial of your license.  If you have any questions, please contact Sharlia Bennett at sharlia.bennett@state.ma.us or 617 727-3200 ext.25204.

 

ADVISORY: National CORI submitted in application for S-licensure and Certificates of Clearance under M.G.L. c.147, §§59 and 60

The Department of Public Safety has issued a new Advisory with respect to the type of criminal offender record information (CORI) required for S-licenses and Certificates of Clearance issued under M.G.L. c.147, sections 59 and 60.  Effective immediately, the Department will accept national CORI for applications for Certificates of Clearance, albeit on a case-by-case basis, subject to the requirements contained in the Advisory.   The Department will also accept national CORI in application for S-licensure.

Please click on the Advisory pdf format of s-license-advisory-apr15 for details and further information.

Building Safety Month 2015

Building Safety Month

 

May, 2015

 

Building Safety: Resilient Communities Start with Building Codes

 

When you enter a house or other building, most likely you’re not thinking about whether it is properly constructed and safe.  Fortunately, your local safety experts think about building safety and fire prevention every day.  To help raise awareness of building safety, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Public Safety is celebrating Building Safety Month during May, 2015.  Across the nation, communities will promote the use and understanding of building safety and fire prevention codes to protect lives and property.

 

“The important work we do is often overlooked until a disaster occurs. When building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, we help to ensure that the places where we live, learn, work and play are safe” reminds Thomas G. Gatzunis, Department of Public Safety Commissioner.  

 

Building safety and fire prevention codes address all aspects of construction, such as structural soundness of buildings, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability.  To ensure buildings are safe requires the active participation of building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, builders, engineers, and others in the construction industry, as well as property owners.

 

“Public safety is our number one concern,” said Commissioner Gatzunis. “During Building Safety Month and all year long, building safety and fire prevention officials are here to help protect you and your community throughout the commonwealth”.

 

Building Safety Week was first observed in 1980.  Now it is a month-long celebration sponsored by the International Code Council (ICC), a membership organization dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, of which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an active member.  This year's theme is Resilient Communities Start with Building Codes. Each week of Building Safety Month spotlights a specific area of building safety.

Weekly Themes

  • Week One May 4-10 - Don’t Get Burned – Build to Code
  • Week Two May 11-17 - Bounce Back Faster from Disaster – Build to Code
  • Week Three May 18-24 - Water Safe, Water Smart – Build to Code
  • Week Four May 25-31 - Save Energy – Build to Code

 

Please join us in helping to promote this year’s important building safety message.

Fire Protection Permit and the Comprehensive Fire Safety Code

The revised Comprehensive Fire Safety Code, 527 CMR 1.00, is in effect as of January 1, 2015 and as a result, many questions have been raised regarding the permitting of the installation of fire protection systems. Read more... pdf format of bbrs-revised-fireprotectionjointmemowithdps-feb 06 2015

NEW SUNDAY LICENSE FORM (Effective Immediately)

The Department of Public Safety has revised the “License for Public Entertainment on Sunday” and “Application for License for Public Entertainment on Sunday” forms in response to complaints about antiquated language.  The new licensing form has also consolidated the application and license into a single form.  A copy of the new form can be found by clicking on License for Public Entertainment on Sunday pdf format of app_sunday_license_feb15.

Changes to Civil Fine Appeal Process for the Operation of Elevators with an Expired Certificate

Recently, legislation was enacted which significantly impacts the Civil Fine program with regard to the appeal of fines associated with the operation of elevators beyond their expiration dates.  Specifically, the legislation allows the Department to establish factors which may be taken into consideration upon appeal of a fine issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 143 section 65.  Further, the legislation provides that these factors may be applied retroactively to January 1, 2013. 

As a result of the new law, the Department will be changing its appeal process, and is temporarily suspending all appeals of these fines as described in more detail below until new regulations, including these factors, are approved.  The regulation process typically takes 2-3 months.   Please note, however, that the $100/day fine remains in effect during this period and the Department will continue to issue violation notices during this period.  The appeal period will be suspended until the new regulations are in effect.  During the period of suspension, individuals who wish to appeal their fines will retain their right to do so, but the time for filing an appeal will not begin until the new regulations are in effect.

 With regard to appeals, the Department is taking the following steps:

  1. For all appeals in which a decision has been rendered: once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.
  2. For all appeals in which a hearing has been held, but the decision has not been rendered: once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.
  3.   For all appeal hearings which have been scheduled but not yet heard:  The Department has cancelled its upcoming hearings, and cancellation notices are being sent to all parties.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department will likely review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  4. For all appeals which have been received by the Department but not yet scheduled:  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  5. For all individuals who have received an invoice/notice to pay a fine and wish to appeal:  The Department is not accepting appeals until the new appeal process is established in the regulations.  The appeal period will not begin to run until the regulations are in effect.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  6. For all individuals who receive a notice to pay a fine in this interim period and wish to appeal:  The Department is not accepting appeals until the new appeal process is established in the regulations.  The appeal period will not begin to run until the regulations are in effect.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  7. For all individuals who have received an invoice/notice to pay a fine and/or who receive such notice in this interim period and wish to pay: If you do not wish to appeal, the Department will  accept payments.  Please note, however, that payment of the fine waives any right to appeal.

Changes to Civil Fine Appeal Process - FAQs

Licensing of Military Personnel

On May 31, 2012, a bill was enacted that will provide certain exceptions to the Department’s licensing requirements for individuals in the military and armed forces.  The bill has three main components relative to the Department.  These exceptions apply to all licenses and certificates issued by the Department and its boards and commissions. 

 

1.  90-Day Extension for Renewals

A license or certificate issued by the Department and held by an individual who is engaged in active service in the armed forces of the United States, as defined in M.G.L. c. 4 § 7, clause 43, will remain valid until the licensee or certificate holder is released from active duty and for a period of not less than 90 days following that release.  This procedure shall only apply to license or certificate holders who are released from active duty under an Honorable discharge, a General discharge, or an Under Other than Honorable Conditions (UOTHC) discharge as noted on the individual’s DD Form 214, Discharge Papers and Separation Documents.  This procedure shall not apply to licensees or certificate holders who are released from active duty under a Bad Conduct discharge or a Dishonorable discharge as noted on the individual’s DD Form 214.

To Apply:  The applicant shall submit a renewal application and proof of their active duty status including release date within 90 days following their release from active duty.   

 

2.  Accepting Military Training towards Licensing Qualifications

Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence by the applicant, the Department may accept education, training, or service completed by an individual as a member of the armed forces, as defined in M.G.L. c. 4 § 7, clause 43, or the United States military reserves toward the qualifications required to receive the license or certificate in question. 

To Apply:  The applicant shall submit a license or certificate application along with a DD form 2586 verifying their military experience and training and other documentation which may assist in this determination.   

 

3.  Reciprocity

Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence by the applicant, the Department shall expedite the issuance of a license or certificate for a person who meets all of the following criteria:

(1)  is certified or licensed in a state other than the Commonwealth; and

(2)  has a spouse who is a member of the armed forces in the United States and is the subject of a military transfer to the Commonwealth; and

(3)  left employment to accompany a spouse to the Commonwealth.

The Department shall expedite the license or certificate issuance by either:

(1) issuing the person a license or certificate if, in the opinion of the Department, the requirements for licensure or certification of the other state are substantially equivalent to the requirements for licensure or certification in the Commonwealth; or

(2)  issuing the person a temporary license or certificate to allow the person to perform services while completing any specific requirements that may be required in the Commonwealth but were not required in the state in which the person was licensed or certified.

To Apply:  The applicant shall submit the following documents to be considered for this provision:

(1) A copy of their license issued from a jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth

(2) A copy of their marriage certificate

(3) A copy of their spouse’s DD Form 214 demonstrating that they are an active member of the armed forces

(4) A copy of their spouse's transfer orders to the Commonwealth

(5) An affidavit attesting that the applicant moved to the Commonwealth as a result of that transfer.  A Model Affidavit may be found here pdf format of affidavit_of_applicant .

 

ARCHIVES - DPS STORIES 2014

Building Code Changes for February 2014 Public Hearing

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards will hold a public hearing on February 11, 2014 at 1 PM in the Ashburton Cafe meeting room, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA followed by its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Below are the amendments to the building code (780CMR) proposed at this time.

 Below are public comments received in regard to the proposed amendments above:

Construction Control Documents

Introduction:  Section 107 of the building code establishes construction control requirements for registered design professionals, contractors and the project representative to the building official. These requirements apply to the construction of buildings and structures greater than or equal to 35,000 cubic feet in volume and specialized structures such as telecommunication towers, wind turbine towers and similar structures.  Registered design professional services are typically required for these types of structures per MA general laws.  See MGL c 112.

The follow structures are exempt from the requirements of this section:

  1. Any building containing less than 35,000 cubic feet of enclosed space, measured to the exterior surfaces of walls and roofs and to the top of a ground supported floor, or in the case of a crawl space, to the bottom surface of the crawl space. In the case of basement floors or levels, the calculation of enclosed space shall include such spaces. For additions to existing buildings, the volume of enclosed space shall include the entire existing building and all proposed additions.
  2. Any one- or two-family dwelling or any accessory building thereto.
  3. Any building used exclusively for agricultural purposes. See Appendix C for occupancy and other limitations.
  4. Retaining walls less than ten feet in height at all points along the wall as measured from the base of the footing to the top of the wall.

 

Construction Control - Documents

To encourage uniform state wide enforcement of the construction control requirements the BBRS has approved four documents below for use by all building officials. These documents can be completed and submitted electronically (with MS Word 2007) or can be printed and completed manually. 

It is left to the building official's discretion to determine if one or more of these forms are needed for a project depending on the project size and complexity.

 

Electronic set:

 Print set:

 

Construction Control - Formal Code Interpretations by BBRS

Civil Fine Enforcement Regulations

This is to notify you that the Department of Public Safety’s new Civil Fine Enforcement regulations, 520 CMR 1.00, will go into effect on July 1, 2013.  As you are aware, these regulations establish reasonable standards for the Department’s assessment of fines of up to $5,000 for violations of certain statutes and regulations enforced by the Department and impose a $100 per day fine for the owner an elevator for every day that an elevator is operated beyond its expiration date. 

Please be aware that the Department will begin assessing fines under these regulations on July 1, 2013.

The regulations, as well as FAQs, can be found here .

CSL - Continuing Education Requirements

Don’t be caught by surprise!  

Any person with a license expiration date of July1, 2013 or after will need to comply with continuing education requirements. A licensed construction supervisor must acquire a certain number of continuing education hours each 2 year renewal period based upon license category.

  • Unrestricted Construction Supervisors (identified as Construction Supervisor License on the license Card) must attain at least 12 hours of continuing education credit;
  • Restricted Construction Supervisors (identified as 1 and 2 Family License on the license card) must acquire at least 10 hours; and
  • Specialty Construction Supervisors must acquire at least 6 hours of credit.

Specialty categories include the following license types:

  • Masonry;
  • Roofing;
  • Windows / Siding;
  • Demolition;
  • Solid Fuel Burning; and
  • Insulation.

The maximum number of hours required for any given licensee is 12 hours, regardless of how many categories appear on the license card. A person who is licensed in a specialty category, whether one, two or all six, needs only to achieve the requisite 6 hours of continuing education credit. However, please remember that each license category requires certain content to be covered during trainings, such as workplace safety and lead safe practices.  

Please refer to the regulations pdf format of 5.4_continue_edu.pdf for detailed requirements and the DPS website for approved course coordinators and courses of instruction .

St George SJC decision - SJC says Springfield's ordinance is preempted by state building code

NOTICE: The slip opinions and orders posted on this Web site are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. This preliminary material will be removed from the Web site once the advance sheets of the Official Reports are published. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us

ST. GEORGE GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS, INC. vs. FIRE

DEPARTMENT OF SPRINGFIELD & another. [FN1]

 

SJC-10973.

 

January 6, 2012. - May 4, 2012.


Present: Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.

Fire Prevention. State Building Code. Municipal Corporations, By-laws and ordinances, Enforcement of building code. Constitutional Law, Home Rule Amendment. Declaratory Relief. Practice, Civil, Declaratory proceeding. Administrative Law, Exhaustion of remedies.

CIVIL ACTION commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 13, 2009.

The case was heard by Cornelius J. Moriarty, II, J., on a motion for summary judgment.

The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.

Thomas D. Moore, Associate City Solicitor (Edward M. Pikula, City Solicitor, with him) for the defendants.

John H. Fitz-Gibbon (John J. Green, Jr., with him) for the plaintiff.

The following submitted briefs for amici curiae:

John J. Clifford for Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts.

Martha Coakley, Attorney General, & Peter Sacks, Assistant Attorney General, for State Board of Building Regulations and Standards.

John Pagliaro & Martin J. Newhouse for New England Legal Foundation & another.

LENK, J.

The State Building Code, 780 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 101.00 (2010) (code), permits the installation of any one of four types of approved "fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems" in buildings throughout the Commonwealth. See 780 Code Mass. Regs. § 907.14.3 (2008). In 2006, the city of Springfield (city) enacted an ordinance that, in essence, proscribes the installation of all but one of the systems allowed by the code. See § 7.13.035 (ordinance) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Springfield (city ordinances). The question before us is whether the code preempts the ordinance. We hold that it does. [FN2]

1. Background. In 1972, the Legislature empowered the State board of building regulations and standards (board) to "adopt and administer a state building code." G.L. c. 143, § 93. See St.1972, c. 802; St.1974, c. 541. Pursuant to this authority, the board set forth four alternatives for required "fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems," 780 Code Mass. Regs. § 907.14.3 (2008), [FN3] which alert local fire departments when an alarm has been sounded.

In November, 2006, Title 7 of the Springfield city ordinances, entitled "Health and Safety," was amended with the enactment of the ordinance. [FN4] The ordinance requires that all buildings in the city utilize the fourth option contemplated by the code, which it described as a "[c]ity approved Radio Box." Under the terms of the penalty provision of the ordinance, failure to comply "shall be punished by a fine of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per calendar day" and "each calendar day on which the violation exists shall be deemed to be a separate offense." § 7.13.050 of the city ordinances.

Contrary to the ordinance, but in compliance with the code, the plaintiff, St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Western Massachusetts, Inc. (church), installed a system of the sort set out as the first alternative in the relevant code provision during its April, 2009, renovations to the St. George Greek Cultural Center. After an inspection by the city's fire department in June, 2009, the city sent an "invoice" detailing a $3,000 "[v]iolation fine" owed by the church. The church appealed to the board, which ruled that the church had complied with the code. The board held that it was "without jurisdiction to grant [the church] the specific relief it ultimately seeks" (i.e., invalidation of the ordinance) because the board is "without authority to strike down an ordinance." [FN5]

The church then filed an action in the Superior Court seeking a judgment declaring the ordinance and its penalty provision invalid. Arguing that the ordinance is unenforceable as contrary to the code and the Home Rule Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, [FN6] the church moved for summary judgment; a Superior Court judge allowed the church's motion, thereby invalidating the challenged provisions. After the city appealed, we transferred the case to this court on our own motion.

2. Discussion. a. Standard of review. We review a decision to grant summary judgment de novo. See Ritter v. Massachusetts Cas. Ins. Co., 439 Mass. 214, 215 (2003). "The standard of review of a grant of summary judgment is whether, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, all material facts have been established and the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Augat, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 410 Mass. 117, 120 (1991).

b. Declaratory judgment. At the outset, the city objects to the appropriateness of the church's declaratory judgment action. Pursuant to G.L. c. 231A, § 1, the Superior Court "may on appropriate proceedings make binding declarations of right, duty, status and other legal relations sought thereby ... in any case in which an actual controversy has arisen and is specifically set forth in the pleadings" (emphasis supplied). The city first argues that no "actual controversy" exists because "the record does not show that the [c]hurch has been cited for any violation of a Springfield [c]ity [o]rdinance." The city characterizes the invoice purportedly assessing a $3,000 fine as "defective on its face" for failure to "include any information about appeals ..., the citing officer or the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation."

An "actual controversy" plainly exists between the city and the church. An "actual controversy," a requirement that is to be "liberally construed," G.L. c. 231A, § 9, is presented where there exists "a 'real dispute' caused by the assertion by one party of a duty, right, or other legal relation in which he has a 'definite interest,' in circumstances indicating that failure to resolve the conflict will almost inevitably lead to litigation." Entergy Nuclear Generation Co. v. Department of Envtl. Protection, 459 Mass. 319, 325 (2011), quoting District Attorney for the Suffolk Dist. v. Watson, 381 Mass. 648, 659 (1980). Regardless whether the "invoice" describing a "[v]iolation fine" was actually effective, [FN7] the dispute over the validity of the ordinance remains an "actual controversy." A declaratory judgment action "may be used to secure determinations of right, duty, status or other legal relations under ... a ... municipal ordinance or by-law ... including determination of any question of construction or validity thereof which may be involved in such determination." G.L. c. 231A, § 2. By maintaining its existing system, the church continues to violate the ordinance; in theory, the city could issue an enforceable violation notice at any time, with the fine increasing each day the church remains in violation of the ordinance. [FN8] Relief will therefore alleviate any "uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, duties, status and other legal relations." G.L. c. 231A, § 9.

The city next argues that the church failed to exhaust its administrative remedies. See G.L. c. 231A, § 3. This claim is unavailing. The church has already appealed to the board, which correctly held that it did not have the power to invalidate the ordinance. The city does not suggest any other administrative remedy the church could have pursued. As no other avenue of administrative appeal has been authorized by which to strike down the ordinance, the church had no such remedy to exhaust. See Ciszewski v. Industrial Acc. Bd., 367 Mass. 135, 141 (1975). Regardless, we have previously not required exhaustion in cases challenging a regulation's constitutionality, see Doe, Sex Offender Registry Bd. No. 10800 v. Sex Offender Registry Bd., 459 Mass. 603, 629-630 (2011), and cases cited, and we see no reason not to extend this exception to constitutional challenges to local ordinances, particularly where, as here, the parties have stipulated to all relevant facts, and therefore no additional agency fact finding is necessary for us to answer the purely legal question presented. See Kelleher v. Personnel Adm'r of the Dep't of Personnel Admin., 421 Mass. 382, 385 (1995). [FN9]

c. Preemption. Under the Home Rule Amendment, "[a]ny city or town may, by the adoption, amendment, or repeal of local ordinances or by-laws, exercise any power or function which the general court has power to confer upon it, which is not inconsistent with the constitution or laws enacted by the general court...." See G.L. c. 43B, § 13 (Home Rule Procedures Act). Insofar as the ordinance conflicts with G.L. c. 143, § 93, and the code, the church contends that it is "inconsistent" with a law enacted by the General Court and thus impermissible under the Home Rule Amendment. The city, however, maintains that the ordinance is not inconsistent with the code because it allows buildings in the city to utilize one of the four "fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems" contemplated by the code. According to the city, such a narrowing of options does not render the ordinance more restrictive than, or inconsistent with, the code.

In assessing the inconsistency of local enactments with the General Laws, "[t]he legislative intent to preclude local action must be clear." Bloom v. Worcester, 363 Mass. 136, 155 (1973) (Bloom). This intent can be either express or inferred. In other words, local action is precluded either where the "Legislature has made an explicit indication of its intention in this respect," or "the purpose of State legislation would be frustrated [by a local enactment] so as to warrant an inference that the Legislature intended to preempt the field." Wendell v. Attorney Gen., 394 Mass. 518, 524 (1985) (Wendell ).

In authorizing the development of the code, the Legislature has expressly stated its intention: to ensure "[u]niform standards and requirements for construction and construction materials...." G.L. c. 143, § 95 (a ). The Legislature has also defined explicitly the board's responsibility to "recommend or require tests and approvals and specify criteria and conditions, of materials, devices, and methods of construction," and stated that "[t]he board shall issue certification of such acceptability, which certification shall be binding on all cities and towns " (emphasis supplied). G.L. c. 143, § 94 (d ). Further, the statute establishing the board [FN10] states that the code "shall be binding and have the full force and effect of law on January [1, 1975], in all cities and towns notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary." St.1972, c. 802, § 67. That statute further provides that, "[a]ll by-laws and ordinances of cities and towns or regulations promulgated by any state boards, commissions, agencies or departments or any special acts ... in conflict with the state building code shall cease to be effective on January [1, 1975]." St.1972, c. 802, § 75, as appearing in St.1975, c. 144, § 1. "The above quoted sections, together with the whole of [St.1972,] c. 802[,] and its subsequent amendments, evince a clear legislative intent ... to create uniform standards throughout the Commonwealth for the construction of buildings and materials used therein...." Shriners' Hosp. for Crippled Children v. Boston Redevelopment Auth., 4 Mass.App.Ct. 551, 560 (1976). [FN11] See Fire Chief of Cambridge v. State Bldg.Code Appeals Bd., 34 Mass.App.Ct. 381, 384 (1993). [FN12]

The intent to preempt local ordinances is reflected also in other sections of the chapter. "A conclusion that the Legislature intended to preempt a subject may also be inferred if the Legislature has explicitly limited the manner in which cities and towns may act on that subject." Bloom, supra at 155. Here, the Legislature has done just that, establishing a mechanism through which a municipality may request that the board allow it to utilize more restrictive standards than those required by the code. See G.L. c. 143, § 98. The city, however, did not seek board approval of its ordinance. Such a mechanism would serve no purpose had the Legislature not intended the code to preempt local building regulations. Any other view of G.L. c. 143, § 98, would impermissibly render it superfluous. See Banushi v. Dorfman, 438 Mass. 242, 245 (2002).

Our decision in Wendell, supra, is instructive. The town of Wendell had adopted a bylaw regulating the use of pesticides. It required anyone who intended to apply pesticides in the town to give notice to the local board of health, which could then hold a public hearing at which any interested person could argue for or against the proposed use. Id. at 520-522. This bylaw, however, was adopted without regard to the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act (MPCA), which comprehensively addressed the distribution and registration of pesticides. The MPCA also established a "pesticide board" within the Department of Food and Agriculture, and empowered a subcommittee of the board to register pesticides for general or restricted use. Id. at 526. We held that the Wendell bylaw was preempted by the MPCA. The effect of the bylaw, we concluded, would be to impose "conditions on the use of a pesticide beyond those established on a Statewide basis under the [MPCA]." Id. at 528. To allow a locality to impose additional requirements and "second-guess the determination of the State board would frustrate the purpose of the [MPCA]." Id. at 529.
 
The same reasoning applies here. The Legislature intended to occupy a field by promulgating comprehensive [FN13] legislation and delegating further regulation to a State board. The board's regulations, in turn, set a Statewide standard as to what products and practices were permissible in a particular field, a process involving a discretionary weighing of relevant factors such as cost and safety. In response, the local government created an additional layer of regulation imposing requirements beyond those contemplated by the board. There is no meaningful distinction between these cases, [FN14] and we reach the same conclusion here: the code preempts inconsistent local regulations.

Where the Legislature demonstrates its express intention to preempt local action, inconsistent local regulations are invalid under the Home Rule Amendment. [FN15] See, e.g., Connors v. Boston, 430 Mass. 31, 39-40 (1999). Once the board has determined that a certain system is consistent with its responsibility to "reduce the cost of construction and maintenance over the life of the building without affecting the health, safety and security of the occupants or users of buildings," G.L. c. 143, § 95 (b ), any subsequent local action amounts to "in effect second-guessing" the board's decision. [FN16] Wendell, supra. In addition, the ordinance would frustrate the achievement of the stated statutory purpose of having centralized, Statewide standards in this area. See id. Whether construing the Legislature's stated intention of ensuring uniformity in building regulations either as an explicit statement of its desire to foreclose local action, or as a statutory purpose that would be frustrated thereby, the ordinance cannot stand. [FN17]

If all municipalities in the Commonwealth were allowed to enact similarly restrictive ordinances and bylaws, a patchwork of building regulations would ensue. Other sections of the code also provide alternative means of compliance. [FN18] Allowing the city's ordinance to stand would permit a similar narrowing of options in such sections, sanctioning the development of different applicable building codes in each of the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns, precisely the result that promulgation of the code was meant to foreclose.

Judgment affirmed.

 FN1. The city of Springfield. We refer to a single defendant (city).
 FN2. We acknowledge the amicus brief of the New England Legal Foundation and NAIOP Massachusetts in support of the plaintiff; and the amicus briefs of the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (board) and the Fire Chiefs
 Association of Massachusetts.
 FN3. "All fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems required by 780 [Code Mass. Regs.] shall be supervised by one of the following methods below:
 "1. A UL listed or FM approved Central Station Service in accordance with NFPA 72 as listed [in] 780 [Code Mass. Regs. §§ ] 35.00.
 "2.... Approved propriety supervising station system, in accordance with NFPA 72 as listed in 780 [Code Mass. Regs. §§ ] 35.00.
 "[3.] Approved remote station fire alarm system supervising station in accordance with NFPA 72 as listed in 780 [Code Mass. Regs. §§ ] 35.00.
 "[4.] Alarm signals to an approved Auxiliary Fire Alarm System in accordance with NFPA 72, with supervisory signals supervised by one or two above or at a constantly attended location approved by the local fire department, having personnel on duty trained to recognize the type of signal received and to take prescribed action. This shall be permitted to be a location different from that at which alarm signals are received."
 780 Code Mass. Regs. § 907.14.3 (2008).
 FN4. Section 7.13.035 (ordinance) of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Springfield (city ordinances) provides:
 "A. No Master Box shall be installed in the City of Springfield after the adoption of this ordinance.
 "B. Any construction underway before or after the adoption of this ordinance calling for the installation of a Master Box shall instead have a City approved Radio Box installed.
 "C. All Master Boxes located in the City of Springfield must be replaced with a City approved Radio Box by December 21, 2008. The owner(s) of the property where
 the Master Box is located shall be responsible for any and all costs of compliance with this ordinance."
 FN5. The board issued an advisory ruling, however, noting that the ordinance is in "direct conflict" with the State Building Code, 780 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 101.00 (2010) (code), and thus "appears to impermissibly directly regulate in an area which has been reserved for the [c]ode." As amicus on behalf of the church, the board takes the position that the code preempts the ordinance.
 FN6. The Home Rule Amendment, art. 89, § 6, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, provides, in relevant part: "Any city or town may, by the adoption, amendment, or repeal of local ordinances or by-laws, exercise any power or function which the general court has power to confer upon it,
 which is not inconsistent with the constitution or laws enacted by the general court " (emphasis supplied).
 FN7. The city's argument that its own invoice, describing a "[v]iolation fine," is unenforceable is in any event without merit. The invoice purportedly assessing the "violation fine" provides the reason for the fine, cites the ordinance and its penalty provision as authority for the fine, and states the amount of the fine. In addition to the absence of any supporting authority for its position, the city maintains, in seemingly contradictory fashion, that the church's failure to exhaust its administrative remedies involved "failure to file an appeal" of the very fine the city otherwise describes as defective.
 FN8. Indeed, the city has been vigilant about ensuring compliance with the ordinance, ordering the systems changed on 250 parcels of real property that were not in compliance. According to the city, only six remain in noncompliance.
 FN9. Although we conclude that both challenged requirements are amply met, to the extent there is a "measure of discretion in deciding whether a case is appropriate for declaratory relief," Boston v. Keene Corp., 406 Mass. 301, 305 (1989), "because the issue is important, and might recur, we exercise our
 discretion to express our views on the issue." Andrade v. City Council of Gloucester, 406 Mass. 337, 338 (1989).
 FN10. It is of no moment that the code is promulgated by the board rather than directly by the Legislature. See Boston Gas Co. v. Somerville, 420 Mass. 702, 704 (1995); Wendell v. Attorney Gen., 394 Mass. 518, 527 (1985). "[A] properly promulgated regulation has the force of law ... and must be accorded all the deference due to a statute" (citations omitted). Borden, Inc. v. Commissioner of Pub. Health, 388 Mass. 707, 723, cert. denied sub nom. Formaldehyde Inst., Inc. v. Frechette, 464 U.S. 936 (1983).
 FN11. A report accompanying the legislation establishing the code described it as a response to the "growing complexity of the building enterprise" and the recognition that "very few municipalities have the expertise or funds to keep abreast of all the changes necessary to keep their codes current and to enforce them through proper administration." Report of the Department of Community Affairs Relative to the Development, Administration and Enforcement of Building Codes, 1972 House Doc. No. 5008, at 5. The report also described the proposed legislation as useful to "establish[ing] statewide uniformity," id. at 6, and "eliminat[ing] current local restrictions of new materials and technology and permit[ting] uniformity of application." Id. at 10.
 FN12. The city's contention that its ordinance furthers this goal because it ensures "uniformity throughout the [c]ity" is unavailing. The uniformity contemplated by the statute is clearly Statewide uniformity, not uniformity within each individual municipality.
 FN13. The sheer comprehensiveness of the code itself demonstrates the Legislature's intention to foreclose inconsistent local enactments. "Where legislation deals with a subject comprehensively, it 'may reasonably be inferred as intended to preclude the exercise of any local power or function on the same subject because otherwise the legislative purpose of that statute would be frustrated.' " Dartmouth v. Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High Sch. Dist., 461 Mass. 366, 375 (2012), quoting Boston Teachers Union, Local 66 v. Boston, 382 Mass. 553, 564 (1981). The Legislature empowered the board "[t]o formulate, propose, adopt and amend rules and regulations," i.e., the code, which would govern "the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, demolition, removal, inspection, issuance and revocation of permits or licenses, installation of equipment, classification and definition of any building or structure and use or occupancy of all buildings and structures and parts thereof or classes of buildings and structures and parts thereof" and "the standards or requirements for materials
 to be used in connection therewith, including but not limited to provisions for safety, ingress and egress, energy conservation, and sanitary conditions." G.L. c. 143, § 94 (a ). Indeed, while specialized codes governing fire prevention and safety predated enactment of the code, these were incorporated into the code by G.L. c. 143, § 96, thus forming a comprehensive system of regulation at the State level.
 FN14. Contrary to the city's claim, Lovequist v. Conservation Comm'n of Dennis, 379 Mass. 7 (1979), is not applicable here. In Lovequist, we held that a local bylaw was not preempted by the State Wetlands Protection Act because it "sets forth minimum standards only, 'leaving local communities free to adopt more stringent controls.' " Id. at 15, quoting Golden v. Selectmen of Falmouth, 358 Mass. 519, 526 (1970). Unlike the Wetlands Protection Act at issue in Lovequist, G.L. c. 143 and the code are intended to occupy the field of building regulation.
 FN15. The complaint suggests that only one vendor of the permitted "[c]ity approved Radio Box" actually exists, located in Wilbraham, a town located near Springfield. If so, the ordinance may also depart from the statutory purpose of avoiding "unwarranted preferential treatment of ... products." G.L. c. 143, § 95 (c ).
 FN16. According to the city's submissions, by mandating this "[c]ity approved Radio Box," the city is attempting to circumvent third-party relay of fire alarms and thereby increase response times. We are not indifferent to the city's concerns. The Legislature, however, has placed in the board the responsibility for determining, on a Statewide basis, what "fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems" are permitted in Massachusetts. The board has provided building owners throughout the Commonwealth with a choice from among four specified systems, a reflection of its judgment that all four options sufficiently protect public safety. Pursuant to the statute, the board has an obligation to "make a continuing study of the operation of the [code] ... to ascertain [its] effect upon the cost of building construction and the effectiveness of [its] provisions for health, safety, energy conservation and security." G.L. c. 143, § 94 (c ). The board, which by statute must include the State fire marshal and the head of a municipal fire department, see G.L. c. 143, § 93, is best able to balance these objectives. Because of this expertise, the Legislature has delegated such decisions to the board, and we will neither second guess its determinations ourselves nor allow municipalities to do so.
 But the city is not without recourse. First, it could avail itself of the statutory mechanism described above, G.L. c. 143, § 98, and request that the
 board allow it to utilize a more restrictive standard. Second, the city "may propose amendments to the state building code," which "shall" be considered at public hearings held twice annually. G.L. c. 143, § 97. Third, the city could pursue direct action in the Legislature to change the code.
 FN17. There is no merit to the city's contention that the ordinance is no more restrictive than the code because it merely narrows the permissible options among State-approved alternatives. See Connors v. Boston, 430 Mass. 31, 38 (1999) (rejecting argument that State law requires only "floor" as opposed to "ceiling" health coverage). By establishing the board, the Legislature intended to ensure Statewide uniformity in building practices. The board, in turn, has approved four "fire protective signaling systems and automatic fire detection systems" for use in buildings in the Commonwealth. The city's argument elides the fact that, by permitting only one of the State-approved options, it has also foreclosed three other such options. The facts of this case demonstrate the inconsistency of the city ordinance with the code: the code permits the church's system and the ordinance does not.
 FN18. For example, the code allows roofs of one-family and two-family residences to be made of at least eight different materials, 780 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 5905.1-5905.11 (2010), and allows a choice of among six materials for
 their exterior siding. 780 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 5703.00 (2010).

 

St George's SJC decision- Commissioner's Memo

St George's SJC decision- Commissioner Memo pdf format of St George Gatzunis Memo - preemption of municipal actio

2013 Best Accessible Design Awards

 

2013 Accessible Design Awards

With the cold days of winter upon us, how fitting it is for us to look back to a beautiful warm summer day on August 23rd, when the 2013 Accessible Design Awards were held in the Massachusetts State House, Hall of Flags.  The Accessible Design Awards are sponsored by the Architectural Access Board (AAB), and its partner in the event, The Boston Society of Architects. 

The awards ceremony was well attended by public officials, award winners, architects, and friends and family; all present for this very special event.  Following light refreshments, I, as the Executive Director of the Architectural Access Board, was honored to give the opening welcome presentation, thanking the Boston Society of Architects for their continued work and support the staff of the AAB, and the judges who reviewed and voted in favor of eight projects eligible to receive this year’s design awards. 

Prior to this writing, I took some time to look back at the program to see just how many projects have received an Accessible Design Award in the past. Since 1997, the program has recognized 57 projects, 14 for the “William D. Smith Memorial Award”, 38 for “Public Architecture” and 5 for “Private Residential” design. Those numbers are a statement of the continued effort across Massachusetts, to make our state a place that is accessible to all persons with disabilities. The changes to the built environment take time and as shown in this year’s wining projects, the end result is beautiful design for all to utilize and enjoy.

And now, for the Architectural Access Board 2013 Design Award winners .  Please enjoy the descriptions and follow the links to view pictures and other information on the winners.

Building Safety Month May 2014

Building Safety Month

 

May, 2014

 

Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks.

 

When you enter a home or other building, most likely you’re not thinking about whether it is properly constructed and safe.  Fortunately, your local safety experts think about building safety and fire prevention every day.  To help raise awareness of building safety, the Department of Public Safety is celebrating Building Safety Month and Governor Patrick has joined others across the nation in declaring May, 2014 as Building Safety Month.    Proclamation pdf format of Building Safety Month 2014    During the month, the commonwealth will promote the use and understanding of building safety and fire prevention codes that protect lives and property.  

“The important work we do is often overlooked until a disaster occurs.”  “When building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, we help ensure that the places where we live, learn, work and play are safe” reminds Thomas G. Gatzunis, Department of Public Safety Commissioner.  

Building safety and fire prevention codes address all aspects of construction, such as structural soundness of buildings, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability.  To ensure buildings are safe requires the active participation of building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, builders, engineers, and others in the construction industry, as well as property owners.

“Public safety is our number one concern,” said Commissioner Gatzunis. “During Building Safety Month and all year long, building safety and fire prevention officials help protect you and your community throughout the commonwealth.

 Building Safety Week (now Building Safety Month) was first observed in 1980 and is sponsored by the International Code Council (ICC).  The overall premise this year is Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks.  The weekly themes are: 

  1. Week 1: Fire Safety - Code Officials: Keep Fire in Its Place;
  2. Week 2: Disaster Safety - Code Officials: Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm;
  3. Week 3: Outdoor Safety: Decks, Pools - Code Officials: Surround Your House with Safety;
  4. Week 4: Energy - Code Officials: Building a Brighter More Efficient Tomorrow.

 Please join us in helping to promote this year’s important building safety message.

 Sincerely;

 Thomas G. Gatzunis, Commissioner

Department of Public Safety

Building Code Changes for July 2014 Public Hearing

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards will hold a public hearing on July 8, 2014 at 1 PM in the Ashburton Cafe meeting room, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA followed by its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Below are the amendments to the building code (780CMR) proposed at this time.

 

 

Notice of Public Hearing - 529 CMR: Boxers' Fund Board

Under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A, and pursuant to M.G.L. c.6, §99, the Boxers’ Fund Board will hold a public hearing for the purposes of gathering comments, ideas, and information concerning overall revisions to 529 CMR.   The revisions incorporate the change in M.G.L. c.147, §40A requiring that financial need be based on an injury sustained during an event, and update outdated provisions, including those limiting eligibility for funds to boxers only, rather than all fighters regulated by the State Athletic Commission.   

The public hearing is scheduled for April 25, 2014, in the Department of Public Safety conference room on the 13th  Floor of the McCormack Building at One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.  

Copies of the proposed regulation can be found or from the Department of Public Safety, One Ashburton Place, Room 1301, Boston, MA 02108.  Anyone who desires to be heard on the matter should appear at the designated time and place.   A two-week public comment period will follow.

 

Public Safety Advisory on Potential Roof Collapses

Public Safety Advisory

On Potential Roof Collapses

Dangers Associated With Heavy Snow Loads on Roofs

The recent prolonged cold weather and repeated snowstorms have contributed to severe roof load conditions.  Compounding the situation is the short-term weather forecast of potentially two more snowstorms over the next few days.  

Homeowners, tenants, and businesses need to be cognizant of the danger posed by heavy snow loads on roofs, and the warning signs of potential structural weaknesses.  In some instances, the risks posed by accumulated snow on roofs can be mitigated by safely removing snow from roofs of both commercial buildings and homes.  Because temperatures are expected to remain cold for at least the next few days, and more snow may fall as early as this Thursday, efforts should be undertaken now to safely remove snow from roofs. 

Removing snow from rooftops will minimize the likelihood of structural collapse.  Flat and low pitched roofs, most often found on industrial buildings, but are also used in certain home designs, are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations. 

Lower roofs, where snow accumulates from higher roofs are also vulnerable.  Some potential signs of imminent roof collapse.

Tips for Homeowners in removing snow and ice from roofs and other areas
  • DO’s
  • Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your roof.
  • Start from the edge and work your way into the roof.
  • Try to shave the snow down to a 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering.

Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line.

Also, metal tools will do more damage to your roof.

Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side away from the building.   

Most plastic shovels are better, except for the ones with curved blades—those too will do some damage to your roof.

  • Remove large icicles carefully if they're hanging over doorways and walkways.  Consider knocking down icicles through windows using a broom stick.
  • Wear protective headgear and goggles when performing any of these tasks.
  • Consider hiring professionals to do the job. The combination of heights plus ice makes this one of the more dangerous house chores.
  • If you don't hire professionals, at least have someone outside with you in case anything does go wrong
  • Keep gutters and drains clean, free of ice and snow and keep downspouts clean at ground level.

Tips for Homeowners in removing snow and ice from roofs and other areas

  • DON’T’s
  • Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add your weight or the weight of equipment to the roof.
  • Don’t use a ladder since ice tends to build up on both the rungs of the ladder and the soles of your boots.
  • Don’t use electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow and ice.
  • Don’t use open-flame devices to remove snow and ice.

According to Meteorologist Tony Petrarca, a cubic foot of dry snow weighs about seven pounds, while a cubic foot of wet snow weighs anywhere from 12 to 18 pounds. So, if it's possible, hire someone to help with all of the snow clearing.

How to Recognize Problems with Roofs
  • Sagging roofs
  • Severe roof leaks
  • Cracked or split wood members
  • Bends or ripples in supports
  • Cracks in walls or masonry
  • Sheared off screws from steel frames
  • Sprinkler heads that have dropped down below ceiling tiles
  • Doors that pop open
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open
  • Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds
Other Safety Tips for Homeowners
  • Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
  • Check outside fuel and dryer exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device.  Never use your oven for heat.
  • Clear snow away from furnace and dryer exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ice dams can cause major damage to a home or building.  Ice dams occur after a heavy snowfall, followed by several days or even weeks of very cold weather.  An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When it forms, the water backs up behind the ice dams and creates a pool. This pool of water can leak into your home and cause damage to your walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.  Please refer to the following link where WT Phalen Insurance provides additional information and guidance about how to cope with ice dams. 

 

http://www.wtphelan.com/index.cfm/pid/10799/cdid/10903

  • Space heaters need space, so use them in a 3-foot circle of safety; free of anything that may catch fire. Space heaters are not designed to replace your central heating system; they are only designed to provide a little extra heat on a temporary basis. So be sure to turn them off when you leave room or go to bed at night.
  • Clear snow away from downspouts so water has a place to go.
  • Do not be tempted to use a heat gun or open flame torch to melt the ice; the risk of starting a fire is huge.
  • Also, please remember to shovel-out fire hydrants in\around your area in case of emergency.  See the Massachusetts Emergency Management web link below for additional information about winter and fire safety tips.

http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/

  • If you feel you are in immediate danger, get outside and call 9-1-1.
Tips for businesses in removing snow and ice from roofs and other areas
  • DO’s
  • The same tips apply.  However, if you are going to use a snow blower, make sure that it has been approved by a structural engineer to be used on a roof, and that the blower is set to a high level above the roof so as not to damage roof membrane.
  • Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your roof.
  • Start from the edge and work your way into the roof.
  • Try to shave the snow down to a 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering.

Keep in mind that any metal tool could conduct electricity if it touches a power line.

Also, metal tools will do more damage to your roof.

Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side away from the building.

Most plastic shovels are better, except for the ones with curved blades—those too will do some damage to your roof.

  • Remove large icicles carefully if they're hanging over doorways and walkways.
  • Wear protective headgear and goggles when performing any of these tasks.
  • Keep gutters, downspouts and drains clean.

How to Recognize Problems with Roofs in Commercial Buildings

  • Many of the same apply - added
  • Sagging roof steel – visually deformed
  • Severe roof leaks
  • Cracked or split wood members
  • Bends or ripples in metal supports
  • Cracks in walls or masonry
  • Cracks in welds of steel construction
  • Sheared off screws from steel frames
  • Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles
  • Water puddles where it never has before
  • Doors that pop open
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open
  • Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds
What to do if you have problems
  • Call your local building or fire official.
  • If there is imminent danger, evacuate the building and call 911.
What other assistance is available?
  • Many fire departments have regional technical rescue teams available to local departments in case of collapse.
  • Massachusetts Task Force 1 is an Urban Search and Rescue Team in Beverly.  The team is comprised of Police, Fire, EMS and Civilians who respond to major disasters under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently there are 150 people on the MATF-1 team.

 

Notice of Public Hearing on Civil Fine Regulations 520 CMR 1 and 520 CMR 16

The Department of Public Safety (“Department”) will hold a public hearing on November 21, 2014, at 10:00 AM at One Ashburton Place, Ashburton Café Conference Room, Boston, MA, regarding proposed changes to 520 CMR 1.00 relative to civil fines and the adoption of 520 CMR 16.00 relative to fines for expired elevator inspection certificates.

The FY15 budget included amendments to M.G.L. c. 22 § 22 relative to the Department’s ability to assess monetary fines of up to $5,000 for violations of certain statutes and regulations.  The language authorizes the Department to assess fines for violations of M.G.L. c. 146 § 46 and M.G.L. c. 22 § 20.  The proposed changes to 520 CMR 1.00 incorporate these two statutes into the regulation, which will allow the Department to assess fines for the operation of a boiler without a license as well as for any violation of the Department’s horse and carriage regulations, 520 CMR 13.00.

Additionally, the budget included language authorizing the Department to waive all of a portion of the $100 per day fine for operation of elevators with an expired certificate and promulgate regulations to establish the criteria for determining whether a fine may be reduced or waived.  520 CMR 1.00 currently regulates the issuance of these fines, however the Department is proposing to move the regulations to 520 CMR 16.00 to avoid confusion.  The proposed 520 CMR 16.00 incorporates those criteria.

The proposed regulations can be found below:

520 CMR 1.00: Enforcement of Civil Fines pdf format of 520_cmr_1_enforcement_of_civil_fines_oct14

520 CMR 16.00: Enforcement of Civil Fines for Expired Elevator Certificates pdf format of 520_cmr_16_enforcement_of_civil_fines_for_expired_eleva

Commissioner Gatzunis receives 2014 Award for Excellence in Performance Management

Commissioner Gatzunis receives 2014 Award for Excellence in Performance Management  

 

On June 26th, Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary Andrea Cabral presented Commissioner Thomas G. Gatzunis with an Award for Excellence in Performance Management for 2014.    The Award for Excellence in Performance Management is given to individuals who have effectively applied data driven practices to make their agency more results oriented and publicly accountable. The event was held at the U-Mass Boston campus where Governor Patrick and his cabinet met to discuss their experiences using these techniques to deliver better results for the public. 

 

When Commissioner Gatzunis was appointed in April of 2004 in the wake of two fatal amusement ride incidents,  he encountered many department deficiencies. Each Division within the Department had a significant backlog of inspections and other work.  Commissioner Gatzunis recognized that there were no meaningful performance metrics for his management team to analyze in order to establish appropriate corrections.  In response, the Department developed a monthly Benchmark Report to identify systemic inefficiencies and analyze trends. 

The report has been instrumental to the Department’s successful efforts to secure appropriate funding by identifying critical needs and associated benefits to the Commonwealth and the varied industries it regulates.  Over the last 10 years, Commissioner Gatzunis has utilized performance management practices such as this Report to make sweeping reforms in the Department and has been able to significantly increase the Department’s inspectional force and revenue while introducing enhanced technology to Department personnel.  The Report has evolved over the years to meet growing Departmental demands and, as expressed by Commissioner Gatzunis, “it has proven to be invaluable management tool in assisting the Department to achieve its essential mission of public safety”.

Please visit http://www.mass.gov/informedma/massresults/ to learn more about Performance Management and MassResults initiatives.

Governor Deval Patrick, Commissioner Thomas G. Gatzunis and Secretary Andrea Cabral

Cost and Effectiveness of Building Code Requirements

The BBRS has issued two preliminary papers on the cost and effectiveness of building code requirements.  This first paper examines fire protection systems in 3 to 6 unit residential buildings: White Paper Cost and Effectiveness Fire Protection Systems 05 13 2014 MS Word docx format of White Paper_Cost_&_Effectiveness_Fire_Protection_System which has active links or White Paper Cost and Effectiveness Fire Protection Systems 05 13 2014 PDF pdf format of White Paper_Cost_&_Effectiveness_Fire_Protection_System file size 1MB which does not.  This study was the outcome of recent actions taken by the BBRS.  In November 2013, the BBRS directed its Department of Public Safety (DPS) Staff to determine if fire protection, specifically sprinkler requirements, were being installed in existing multi-unit residential building renovations at the same ‘rate’ since 2010 compared to 2009 and earlier.  The results of the study, which were reviewed in December 2013, showed that sprinkler installations were installed at a high rate since 2010, which was the inception of the current edition of the building code.  However, the study revealed additional issues including inconsistent code requirements and enforcement, variation in cost of construction, and a wide disparity in construction activity across the seven municipalities that contributed to the study. Consequently, in January 2014, the BBRS directed DPS to address these issues in a White Paper.

In addition, the BBRS has received feedback on energy conservation requirements and directed DPS Staff to also study this topic for 3 to 6 unit residential buildings:   White Paper Cost and Effectiveness Energy Conservation Systems 05 13 2014 MS Word docx format of White Paper_Cost_&_Effectiveness_Energy_Conservation_Sy with active links and White Paper Cost and Effectiveness Energy Conservation Systems 05 13 2014 PDF pdf format of White Paper_Cost_&_Effectiveness_Energy_Conservation_Sy without.

Both papers provide conclusions and recommendations for the BBRS to consider.  The BBRS seeks public comment which can be forwarded to mike.guigli@state.ma.us  617-826-5215.  Revisions to these papers are expected as public comment is received.

Public Comment:

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_BFPR_Robinson pdf format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_BFPR_Robinson.pdf

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_FPFP doc format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_FPFP.doc

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_DFS_Coan_1 docx format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_DFS_Coan_1.docx

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_DFS_Coan_2 docx format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_DFS_Coan_2.docx

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_FPAM_Pizzi pdf format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_FPAM_Pizzi.pdf

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_Haagensen doc format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_Haagensen.doc

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_NFPA_Shannon pdf format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_NFPA_Shannon.pdf

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_NFSA_Dewar pdf format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Con_NFSA_Dewar.pdf

White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Neutral_ICC_Johnson pdf format of White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Neutral_ICC_Johnson.pdf

/ White_Paper_Fire_Protection_Neutral_Fleming doc format of White Paper Fire Protection Con Fleming 06_28_14.doc

White Paper Fire Protection Con DFS Rodrique: http://www.nfpa.org/newsandpublications/nfpa-journal/2014/march-april-2014/features/sikorsky

White Paper Energy Conservation Neutral Hagen doc format of White_Paper_Energy_Conservation_Neutral_Hagen.doc

Notice of New Regulation – 529 CMR 2: Boxers’ Fund Board Regulations Effective December 19, 2014

The Boxers’ Fund Board has revised 529 CMR 2 to  incorporate the change in M.G.L. c.147, §40A requiring that financial need be based on an injury sustained during an event.   The Board has also updated several provisions including those limiting eligibility for funds to boxers only, rather than all fighters regulated by the State Athletic Commission.  Please click on for a pdf copy of the regulations.

Elevator Variance Amended Procedures, November 2013

Elevator Variance Amended Procedures, November 2013  pdf format of Elevator Variance Amended Procedures 11.2013