Local Law 152 was first introduced in 2016, requiring periodic inspections of gas piping systems for buildings across New York City.
Since then, we’ve written several updates on the proposed rules, final rules, and everything in between. As the due date for the first group of buildings draws near, we wanted to give you a comprehensive update on everything we know so far.
Here’s a review of everything you’ll need to know to ensure your buildings are Local Law 152 compliant, as of July 2020. We’ll keep this post updated if and when there are any changes:
What is Local Law 152?
Local Law 152 of 2016 was part of a larger package of regulations concerning gas line safety. Read more about this group of local laws here.
Specifically, 152 requires periodic inspections for gas piping systems. Read the text of the full law here.
The DOB’s proposed rules clarify timing, filing requirements, and civil penalties for noncompliance. We’ll break them down section by section, but you can check out both parts of the rule, linked here: Part One and Part Two.
Which buildings does the law apply to?
Building gas piping systems except for gas piping systems classified in occupancy group R-3 must be periodically inspected – there’s no change here from the proposed rules.
Per the code, occupancy group R-3 includes “buildings or portions thereof containing no more than 2 dwelling units,” like convents and monasteries with fewer than 20 occupants, group homes, and 1 & 2 family dwellings. If you’re unsure of your property classification, you can find your building’s occupancy group on the Certificate of Occupancy (if you’re an InCheck or SiteCompli user, you can view these in your account).
When are inspections due?
In a big change from the originally proposed rules, inspections are now being organized by Community District – not borough.
To make sure buildings have enough time to prepare, the first cycle start date has been pushed from 2019 to 2020.
Inspections must be performed and submitted once every 4 years, with different due date cycles for four groups of Community Districts:
- January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020: Community Districts 1, 3, and 10 in all boroughs
- January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021: Community Districts 2, 5, 7, 13, and 18 in all boroughs
- January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022: Community Districts 4, 6, 8, 9, and 16 in all boroughs
- January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023: Community Districts 11, 12, 14, 15, and 17 in all boroughs
As the law says, each Community District listed applies to that number for all boroughs at the same time (CD 1 in Manhattan, in the Bronx, etc.). If you don’t know which District your building is located in, reach out to our team – SiteCompli can provide a report that easily outlines Community Districts for each building in your portfolio.
We reached out to the DOB to confirm – you must submit your inspection as required by the above Community District due dates. You cannot submit inspections before the year they are due at this time. That means if you have several buildings across different Community Districts, you’ll have to submit inspections during the appropriately outlined year – and no earlier than that.
As of January 1, 2024, due dates for periodic inspections at each building will be the 4-year anniversary of the previous inspection (as indicated on the submitted certification). In addition, the inspection cannot be conducted more than 60 days prior to the due date.
For example, if your first inspection was on March 1, 2020, your next due date would be March 1, 2024. You would not be able to perform the inspection more than 60 days prior to March 1, 2024.
For new buildings (a building or any portion thereof approved for occupancy after 12/31/19), the gas piping inspection should be completed during the 10th year after the DOB issues a Certificate of Occupancy for the building (the rules make no distinction between temporary and final CO). Subsequent inspections would have to follow the above schedule based on Community District.
What if I don’t have a gas piping system?
If your building doesn’t have a gas piping system, you’ll still be required to comply with this law.
Per the proposed rules, buildings without systems have to file a Certification (from a registered design professional*) stating the building contains no gas piping system.
Similarly to the 4-year inspection cycle, this certification would follow the same Community District schedule above. For example, Community District 1 in every borough would have to file the certification before December 31, 2020, and “within every fourth calendar year thereafter”.
*Important note here – a registered design professional is either a registered architect or a professional engineer – NOT a licensed master plumber. That’s an important distinction. LMPs can perform the gas piping inspections (see below for more details), but can’t submit certifications for buildings without gas piping systems. This is confirmed in the DOB’s most recent service notice.
What’s the inspection and submission process like?
Inspections must be conducted by a qualified gas piping system inspector on behalf of the building owner. Qualified inspectors are either licensed master plumbers or individuals working under the “direct and continuing” supervision of a licensed master plumber who has met additional training requirements (you can see a complete list of these in the rules linked above). You can reference a database of Licensed Master Plumbers from the Master Plumbers Council here. You can also view any Licensed Master Plumbers in NYC who have had recent DOB issues here.
The qualified vendor performs the inspection, then submits a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Report to the owner no later than 30 days after the inspection date. The owner must then submit a Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certification signed and sealed by the licensed master plumber who conducted or supervised the inspection to the DOB no later than 60 days after the inspection date. Failure to file a certification of inspection within 60 days of the building’s inspection date will require a new inspection.
Corrections (if necessary), must be corrected and submitted within 120 days from the initial inspection date, though additional time (another 60 days) can be requested if needed.
All Gas Piping System Periodic Inspection Certifications must be submitted to the Department through the online GPS2 Certification Submission Portal located on the Department’s website.
All reports & certifications must be kept on file for 10 years after the inspection date, and be made available to the department upon request.
NOTE: There’s another note in the new rules about submitting an inspection “no more than 60 days prior to such building’s inspection due date.” Much like elevator inspections, we’re assuming this refers to subsequent inspections beyond the first filing. For example, if you submit in October of 2020, the DOB wouldn’t accept your 2024 submission in March. This would make the time period between inspections roughly 4 years each time, instead of more or less depending on the inspection date.
What are the penalties for noncompliance?
Per the proposed rules:
A building owner who fails to submit a certification required to be submitted…on or before the filing due date specified…will be liable for a civil penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Penalties can be challenged by submitting satisfactory proof of a timely and acceptable filing. These must be filed within 30 days from the date of violation.
What if there are unsafe or hazardous conditions?
If inspections reveal any conditions set forth in Section 28-318.3.4 of the Administrative Code, the person performing the inspection must immediately notify the building owner, utility providing gas service to the building, and the Department. The owner must take immediate action to correct such conditions in compliance with NYC Construction Codes.
(Per the DOB’s Service Notice, that includes filing any appropriate permits for the work)
Has COVID-19 impacted any of the requirements or due dates for LL 152 compliance?
The short answer? As of now, no.
That’s not to say nothing will change over the next several months – December is still a ways away, and anything can happen. That said, because this is a new requirement, we recommend contacting a Licensed Master Plumber (or a design professional, if your building has no gas piping system) to start the process as soon as possible. They may be in high demand towards the end of the year, and you’ll want to make sure any buildings you have due in 2020 are covered, and have inspections/certifications set up.