Industry Groups File Appeal of IECC Final Actions

February 18th, 2011 by DWM Magazine

Pilkington North America and AGC Flat Glass North America, along with seven others, have filed an appeal before the International Code Council (ICC) alleging ICC failed to follow its own governing consensus process during ICC Final Action Hearings in Charlotte, N.C., in late October. The other appellants include the Building Owners and Manager’s Association, the National Multi Housing Council/National Apartment Association, the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) and the International Window Film Association.

Claims in the appellants’ consolidated statement of issues for determination on appeal note that “adequate safeguards (policies and procedures) were either not employed or were not uniformly applied during the 2010 IECC Final Action Hearings to ensure that voting was limited to designated Governmental Member Voting Representatives meeting the requirements established in the ‘Bylaws for the International Code Council Inc.’” and that ineligible Governmental Member Voting Representatives were allowed to cast votes at the 2010 Final Action Hearings in Charlotte, NC.” The statement also claims “the governmental consensus process was subverted by vote stacking at the 2011 IECC Final Action Hearings in favor of outcomes sought by the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (“EECC”) and its members.”

The joint statement adds, “ICC’s commitment to an unbiased, fair and open code development process was undermined by the proprietary or pecuniary interests of some designated Governmental Member Voting Representatives at the 2010 Final Action Hearings in Charlotte, NC, in violation of the principles outlined in CP #37-09 (Ethics) and now included in the ICC Statement of Ethical Conduct which replaced CP #37-09 by ICC Board of Directors action in September 2010 …”

Thom Zaremba, who represented Pilkington and AGC during the hearings last fall told dwmmag.com™, “Historically, one of the greatest strengths of the ICC’s development process has been the independence of the voting done at the Final Action Hearings, thus maintaining the integrity of the code development process and resulting determination of code change recommendations. In this last cycle, there was reasonable cause for concern that certain interests may have influenced the voting and the voting process that took place at the Final Action Hearing on the IECC. These appeals are meant to present this question for fair consideration and resolution by an appeals panel assembled in accordance with the ICC’s code development rules.”

Tom Culp, who represented AEC, adds, “A large number of people who have been involved with the code development process for years were very concerned about voting irregularities that occurred at the IECC final action hearings last fall. Therefore, seven different groups filed appeals with the ICC, not because they may like or dislike some of the results, but to force ICC to examine this issue. It’s really about preserving the credibility of the ICC’s consensus process and strengthening the codes.”

According to the joint statement, among the remedial actions requested, Pilkington and AGC seek to:

• Rescind actions taken at the IECC Final Action Hearings or reverse actions taken at the hearings on certain proposals including EC13-PC10, EC34, EC35, EC41, EC42, EC97, EC141, EC165-PC5, and EC174;

• Prohibit voters who are members of organizations having proprietary interests in the outcome of Final Action hearings from voting;

• Institute adequate safeguards to ensure that vote stacking is not permitted; that the CDP used at Final Action Hearings is open, fair, objective, and not influenced by propriety interests; and

• Ensure that only governmental officials who, in their positions of public trust, actually enforce the code and are charged with the public’s safety, vote at Final Action Hearings.

Likewise, remedial actions requested by AEC include, among others,:

• Institute adequate safeguards to prohibit vote stacking and hearing room packing; that the consensus process used at Final Action Hearings is fair, objective, not influenced or subverted by propriety or pecuniary interests; and that voting on the final IECC text is confined to officials employed as code administrators and enforcers by enforcement and regulatory agencies protecting public health, welfare, and safety and to honorary members; and

• Rescind all actions taken at the IECC Final Action Hearing on proposals and public comments submitted by EECC and its members, or

• Eliminate or reverse final actions taken at the IECC Final Action Hearings that are determined or may have been adversely influenced by ineligible voting or inappropriate vote “stacking” or room “packing.” This includes actions on proposals such as EC13-PC10, EC34, EC35, EC41, EC42, EC97, EC141, EC165-PC5, and EC174.

An appeal hearing is scheduled to take place March 31, 2011 at the Four Points Sheraton Chicago O’Hare in Schiller Park, Ill.

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