Exempt from NEC ?

I was doing some work today in a federally owned building, I brought a code
violation to the attention of the building property manager, while he was
showing me an area that needed work. he stated that the federal government
was exempt from everything but OSHA.
Was he right ?
Reply to
Sonco
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Yes,
as are railroads and power companies.
Having said that, on many federal projects, the AE firm will usually use the NEC as a standard for the installation. What the in-house maintenance people do after that may or may not be in compliance.
Reply to
<rieker5.nospam.ever
| I was doing some work today in a federally owned building, I brought a code | violation to the attention of the building property manager, while he was | showing me an area that needed work. he stated that the federal government | was exempt from everything but OSHA.
The NEC is not a law. It is a recommendation put together by people who do know a lot about what makes electrical installations safer. However, the NEC is by itself not applicable to anyone. Local jurisdictions are the ones who mandate following the NEC (often specific versions and with variations). The federal government is exempt from these local laws and they may be exempting a local non-government building owner as well for the period of federal government tenancy.
Still, you should press the safety issue, regardless of the manager's apparent desire to avoid the matter just because the law might not require him to do so. Maybe you can describe what and where. Got a whistle to blow?
There are areas where the NEC has not been mandated. Often these are areas outside of cities where county governments are just not doing much on these issues. Following the NEC in such locations would be a good idea even not doing so won't get you in trouble (until some tragedy happens).
Power companies have a different set of rules to follow: NESC and there may be ways and places where they don't have to.
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
This used to be a problem when I was a State of Alaska Electrical Inspector. I was told that State of Alaska licensing laws applied on federal bases and we have several of them, but that we could not inspect on federal installations or enforce the NEC on federal installations. This was not an NEC problem but a problem in Federal law verses State law. The NEC contains a number of exclusions in 90.2(B) copied below. However, "federally owned buildings" are not included in the list. State and local law are preempted by federal law and therefore when a state or local administrative body adopts the NEC, it usually will not apply to federally owned property unless a federal administrative body specifically adopts the NEC for a project. Most of the time, the NEC is adopted for most premise wiring systems. Enforcement is a problem, however, since many times federal inspectors are not qualified electrical inspectors. If I were you I would drop the issue and learn to live with installing whatever they accept. On a federal job on a military base I recently installed a panel beneath a roof drain pipe that was no more than 4 feet above. I brought the issue to the engineers attention and that is as far as it goes with me. I just bite the bullet and participate in the fun. On the same job I installed 700 degrees of bends in a run of half inch between outlets and sort of smiled because I knew no one will catch it. I pushed in a new fiberglass fish tape past 4 quarter bends then broke the pipe open to make it the rest of the way. I recalled a speech made by the NEC Code Guru hired by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company after the federal whistleblowers caused a congressional investigation and a subsequent $400 million Code upgrade project. He was the chairman of the NEC correlating committee and was brought in to be the final word on code interpretations. He was paid $1200 a day plus expenses and grossed out at about $340,000 for that project that lasted from about 1993 until the Republicans took over Congress. He stated in front of about 100 persons involved with he project, "You know, there is enough redundancy in the NEC to not require 100 per cent compliance. If you get 85 per cent compliance you will have a safe installation." I tell you, mouths dropped when he said that, but it did put the NEC in perspective. I have seen many electricians and electrical inspectors go so far as to sacrifice there jobs on code issues and then to hear the chief man say what he did. I take the Code with a grain of salt and suggest you do too.
2002 NEC 90.2 (B) Not Covered. This Code does not cover the following: (1) Installations in ships, watercraft other than floating buildings, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles FPN: Although the scope of this Code indicates that the Code does not cover installations in ships, portions of this Code are incorporated by reference into Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 110-113. (2) Installations under ground in mines and self-propelled mobile surface mining machinery and its attendant electrical trailing cable (3) Installations of railways for generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power used exclusively for operation of rolling stock or installations used exclusively for signaling and communications purposes (4) Installations of communications equipment under the exclusive control of communications utilities located outdoors or in building spaces used exclusively for such installations (5) Installations under the exclusive control of an electric utility where such installations a. Consist of service drops or service laterals, and associated metering, or b. Are located in legally established easements, rights-of-way, or by other agreements either designated by or recognized by public service commissions, utility commissions, or other regulatory agencies having jurisdiction for such installations, or c. Are on property owned or leased by the electric utility for the purpose of communications, metering, generation, control, transformation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy.
Reply to
Gerald Newton
in article snipped-for-privacy@uni-berlin.de, Sonco at snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote on 10/21/04 3:22 PM:
I am not a lawyer but the way I understand it, every jurisdiction can set up its own code. The NEC is just a convenient way, especially for small jurisdictions, to have a meaningful electrical code. The jurisdiction can add or subtract from the code.
Bill
Reply to
Repeating Rifle
Then why was the local AHJ called in when our company did the rewire of base housing?
I was doing some work today in a federally owned building, I brought a code violation to the attention of the building property manager, while he was showing me an area that needed work. he stated that the federal government was exempt from everything but OSHA.
Was he right ?
Reply to
Brian
The fact is the government IS the AHJ, whether it is state of federal. If they choose to turn over that authority to a lower level of government is entirely up to them. In your case I am guessing the federal government agency chose to defer to a professional inspector from the local government. The State of Florida trumped the local AHJs on their projects for many years. Jeb Bush just started buying local permits and allowing local inspectors about a year ago. Part of the reasoning is we finally have a uniform state building code here with no local amendments so they don't need to have hundreds of separate plans for projects in the various municipalities because they have different local rules.
Reply to
Greg
On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:22:23 -0400, Sonco put forth the notion that...
I used to do a lot of electrical work for one of the local colleges (California), and they were exempt from having to pull building permits or get inspections from the city.
Reply to
Checkmate
yes, but----
OSHA has an electrical regulation of its own that is very close to the NFPA NECode, found in 29CFR1910 (I think it is in 1910)
a violation in NEC is usually parallelled in OSHA regulation
Reply to
Hobdbcgv
This is sort of true. State and local laws are what makes the NEC a requirement and federal law supersedes this. However, in many cases the installation will require NEc compliance anyway, although there is no way a state or local inspector or agency could enforce compliance.
Reply to
Bob Peterson
This used to be a problem when I was a State of Alaska Electrical Inspector. I was told that State of Alaska licensing laws applied on federal bases and we have several of them, but that we could not inspect on federal installations or enforce the NEC on federal installations. This was not an NEC problem but a problem in Federal law verses State law. The NEC contains a number of exclusions in 90.2(B) copied below. However, "federally owned buildings" are not included in the list. State and local law are preempted by federal law and therefore when a state or local administrative body adopts the NEC, it usually will not apply to federally owned property unless a federal administrative body specifically adopts the NEC for a project. Most of the time, the NEC is adopted for most premise wiring systems. Enforcement is a problem, however, since many times federal inspectors are not qualified electrical inspectors. If I were you I would drop the issue and learn to live with installing whatever they accept. On a federal job on a military base I recently installed a panel beneath a roof drain pipe that was no more than 4 feet above. I brought the issue to the engineers attention and that is as far as it goes with me. I just bite the bullet and participate in the fun. On the same job I installed 700 degrees of bends in a run of half inch between outlets and sort of smiled because I knew no one will catch it. I pushed in a new fiberglass fish tape past 4 quarter bends then broke the pipe open to make it the rest of the way. I recalled a speech made by the NEC Code Guru hired by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company after the federal whistleblowers caused a congressional investigation and a subsequent $400 million Code upgrade project. He was the chairman of the NEC correlating committee and was brought in to be the final word on code interpretations. He was paid $1200 a day plus expenses and grossed out at about $340,000 for that project that lasted from about 1993 until the Republicans took over Congress. He stated in front of about 100 persons involved with he project, "You know, there is enough redundancy in the NEC to not require 100 per cent compliance. If you get 85 per cent compliance you will have a safe installation." I tell you, mouths dropped when he said that, but it did put the NEC in perspective. I have seen many electricians and electrical inspectors go so far as to sacrifice there jobs on code issues and then to hear the chief man say what he did. I take the Code with a grain of salt and suggest you do too.
2002 NEC 90.2 (B) Not Covered. This Code does not cover the following: (1) Installations in ships, watercraft other than floating buildings, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles FPN: Although the scope of this Code indicates that the Code does not cover installations in ships, portions of this Code are incorporated by reference into Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 110-113. (2) Installations under ground in mines and self-propelled mobile surface mining machinery and its attendant electrical trailing cable (3) Installations of railways for generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power used exclusively for operation of rolling stock or installations used exclusively for signaling and communications purposes (4) Installations of communications equipment under the exclusive control of communications utilities located outdoors or in building spaces used exclusively for such installations (5) Installations under the exclusive control of an electric utility where such installations a. Consist of service drops or service laterals, and associated metering, or b. Are located in legally established easements, rights-of-way, or by other agreements either designated by or recognized by public service commissions, utility commissions, or other regulatory agencies having jurisdiction for such installations, or c. Are on property owned or leased by the electric utility for the purpose of communications, metering, generation, control, transformation, transmission, or distribution of electric energy.
Reply to
Gerald Newton
I thought they took over congress in 1993 - Newt Gingrich, et. al.
Reply to
Hobdbcgv
I just reviewed a Book about the project titled, Alaska Agonistes by Joe LaRocca. It was in 1993 when Biddy first blew the whistle. Representative John Dingel (D) was chairman of the oversight committee. I was the first electrical person assigned to the project by the State of Alaska Department of Labor. And this was a death blow to my career as an inspector that later resulted in a $100 million State of Alaska Tax case where I was accused by the oil industry of collusion with the Federal whistleblower that reported the electrical hazards that had not been abated. I later won my suit, but that never covered what I lost. My attorney who said the State of Alaska case was just a predecessor to the suit against Alyeska was hired by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company just before the State of Alaska settled with me out of court. I could write a book on this. My suit file weighed 30 pounds!
Reply to
Gerald Newton

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