Lupardo, O’Mara testify before Code Council to urge action
(ALBANY, NY) — The New York Department of State will issue regulations for the regular structural inspections of parking garages across the state. This action was taken during a Monday morning hearing of the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council at which Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Tom O’Mara testified to urge regulations be put in place.
“These regulations will offer protection to motorists and their vehicles across the state,” Lupardo said. “After the collapse and closure of parking garages in our community, we all were surprised to learn there were no state or federal requirements for regular structural stability inspections of parking ramps; the new regulations are a necessary step to protect New Yorkers and provide national leadership on what is becoming an important public safety issue.”
“We appreciated this opportunity to continue working with the Cuomo administration and providing input that we believe is critical to moving forward on this public safety priority,” O’Mara said. “Aging infrastructure needs to be regularly inspected and we’re pleased that the Council shares our goal and supports the Department of State issue new regulations to provide the effective oversight that’s needed. This commonsense safety strategy has been lacking in New York State when it comes to parking ramps.”
During Monday’s meeting, the Department of State (DOS) presented its plans for drafting regulations for regular structural inspections of parking structures. The Code Council was supportive of the initiative by DOS and praised the efforts of Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator O’Mara to implement an inspection program. DOS will now begin work on drafting the regulations, which will then be put forward for public comment. DOS proposed enhancing the current requirements for fire and general safety inspections by code enforcement officials to include structural stability inspections.
Last year, Lupardo and O’Mara passed a bill through the Legislature that would have required periodic inspections by licensed professional engineers, the first such legislation in the country. This legislation followed the partial collapse of the parking garage at UHS Medical Center in Johnson City. After that incident, garages in Binghamton in Ithaca were closed due to structural safety concerns. In November, the Governor vetoed the bill, but included in his veto message that he intended to work with Lupardo and O’Mara to put in place regulations to ensure the safety of parking garages throughout the state.