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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 19




Meeting Date: July 23, 2002

Subject/Title: Amendment to the City of Brentwood Municipal Code by Adding
Chapter 15.68, Gas Shutoff Devices

Submitted by: Community Development Department (Mitch Oshinsky/Louis R. Kidwell)

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager


RECOMMENDATION
Introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance amendment to the Brentwood Municipal Code by adding Chapter 15.68 – Gas Shutoff Devices.

PREVIOUS ACTION
None.

BACKGROUND
This Ordinance Amendment adds language to the Municipal Code to require the installation of automatic gas shut-off devices in new construction as well as in remodels that alter gas piping. 
In most of California as well as in Brentwood, homes and public buildings use natural gas and consequently are vulnerable to potential explosions caused by disconnected or broken gas lines. In the past, gas lines have been broken by earthquakes, floods, and construction accidents. Because this danger exists downstream of the gas meter it is not the responsibility of the utility company, leaving the problem in the public’s domain. In response to this, over the past several years, cost effective technologies have been developed to mitigate this problem.

ANALYSIS
Protection for public buildings and our citizen’s homes in the event of a catastrophic event is a critical public safety issue. Many organizations including: The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Earthquake Engineering International (EQE) have published reports that document significant loss of life and property as a result of natural gas fires. These same reports present sobering estimates for future events. Accordingly, there have been calls from leading government officials and agencies including President Bush, US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and FEMA to increase protection and reduce potential damage wherever possible.

With the invention of cost effective technologies, preventative measures can be easily taken at the time of new construction or at the time of modifications to an existing building. With resolution to this problem so easily attainable, many jurisdictions have adopted ordinances to solve this problem. The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin, as well as the cities of Clayton, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, and Richmond have identified gas pipeline safety as a public policy issue. In response, they have adopted ordinances requiring installation of automatic gas shut-off devices. This Ordinance is consistent with the Ordinance adopted by these jurisdictions.

FISCAL IMPACT
There are several manufacturers of these devices and there are various capacity requirements depending on the size of the system on which the device will be installed. Depending on the variables, the cost of the device, including installation by a licensed plumber, should range from $150 to $300. 

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD ADD CHAPTER 15.68 GAS SHUT-OFF DEVICES TO THE MUNICIPAL CODE. 
WHEREAS, Pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code Section 17958.5 and 17958.7, the City of Brentwood City Council hereby finds that it is necessary to modify the requirements of the California Building Standards Code due to local climatic, geographical, or topographical conditions. (See attached findings, exhibit A); and 
WHEREAS, a Notice of Public Hearing was legally advertised in the Ledger Dispatch on August 2, 2002, and posted according to City policies and Government Code 65090; and
WHEREAS, The City Council of the City of Brentwood held a public hearing on the proposed addition on July 23, 2002 for the purpose of reviewing the addition; and
WHEREAS, after the close of the public hearing, the City Council considered all public comments received both before and during the public hearing, the presentation by City staff, the staff report, and all documents and associated actions regarding the proposed amendment.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby amends the municipal code of the City of Brentwood by adding the following:
CHAPTER 15.68 - GAS SHUT-OFF DEVICES
15.68.010 DEFINITIONS. For the purpose of this section certain terms shall be defined as follows:

A. "Downstream of gas utility meter" refers to all customer-owned gas piping or in liquid petroleum gas installations shall refer to the gas piping on the structure side of the gas regulator.

B. "Residential building" means any single-family dwelling, duplex, apartment building, condominium building, townhouse building, lodging house, congregate residence, hotel, or motel.

C. "Excess flow gas-shut-off device" means those valves or devices that are not actuated by adoption but are activated by significant gas leaks or over- pressure surges, which can occur when pipes rupture inside the structure. The design of the device provides a proven method to automatically provide for expedient and safe gas shutoff in an emergency. The design of the device shall provide a capability for ease of consumer or owner resetting in a safe manner. The device is certified by the State Architect or the operational and functional design of the device meets or exceeds the device certified by the Office of the State Architect. The determination of whether the operational and functional design of the device is at least equal to the device certified by the State Architect may be made by one of the following: the Independent Laboratory of the International Approval Services (IAS), Underwriter’ s Laboratory
(UL), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), or any other recognized listing and testing agency
.
D. "Seismic gas-shut-off device" means a system consisting of a seismic sensing means and actuating means designed to actuate automatically a companion gas shut off means installed in a gas piping system in order to shut off the gas downstream of the location of the gas shutoff means in the event of a severe seismic disturbance. The system may consist of separable components or may incorporate all functions in a single body. The device is certified by the State Architect, and the operational and functional design of the device meets or exceeds the device certified by the Office of the State Architect. The determination of whether the operational and functional design of the device is at least equal to the device certified by the State Architect may be made by one of the following: the Independent Laboratory of the International Approval Services (lAS), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Office of the State Architect, or any other recognized listing and testing agency.

E. "Upstream of gas utility meter" refers to all gas piping installed by the utility up to and including the meter and the utility’ s bypass tee at the connection to the customer owned piping.

F. "Gas shut-off device," as used in this section, refers to either a seismic gas shut-off device or excess flow gas-shut-off device.

15.68.020 DEVICES: WHEN REQUIRED. 

Approved seismic gas-shut-off devices (motion sensitive) or approved excess flow gas-shut-off devices (non-motion sensitive) shall be installed:

A. In any new building construction (commercial, industrial or residential) containing gas piping for which a building permit is first issued on or after the effective date of the ordinance; 

B. In any existing residential, commercial or industrial building, when any addition or alteration is made to the interior of a building that contains gas piping, and a building permit is required for said work; or

C. When any plumbing permit is issued for gas piping.

15.68.030 EXCEPTIONS.

A. Gas-shut-off devices installed on a building prior to effective date of this ordinance, are exempt from the requirements of this section provided they remain installed on the building or structure and are maintained for the life of the building or structure.

B. Gas-shut-off devices installed on a gas distribution system owned or operated by a public utility shall not be subject to the requirements of this chapter (Health & Safety. Code Section 19201(b).

C. Installation of gas shut-off devices is not required for building permits issued for minor and non-structural repairs such as re-roofing, window replacement, siding replacement, decks and any other minor permit as determined by the Chief Building Official.

15.68.040 DEVICES: LOCATION REQUIRED.

A. Seismic gas-shut-off devices shall be installed downstream of the gas utility meter or liquid petroleum tank on each fuel gas line where the gas line serves a building; and/or

B. Excess flow gas-shut-off devices shall be installed downstream of the gas utility meter or liquid petroleum tank on each fuel gas line where the gas line serves a building and at each gas appliance within a building.

15.68.50 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.
Gas-shut-off devices installed either in compliance with this ordinance or voluntarily, with a permit issued on or after the effective date of this ordinance, shall comply with the following requirements:

A. Be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’ s instructions;

B. In the case of seismic gas-shut-off devices (motion sensitive) only, such devices must be mounted rigidly to the exterior of the building or structure containing the fuel gas piping. This requirement need not apply if the building and safety division determines that the seismic gas shutoff device (motion sensitive) has been tested and listed for an alternate method of installation;

C. Seismic gas-shut-off devices shall be certified by the State Architect and be listed by an approved listing and testing agency such as IAS, IAMPO, UL or the office of the State Architect;

D. Have a thirty (30) year warranty which warrants that the valve or device is free from defects and will continue to properly operate for thirty (30) years from the date of installation; and

E. Where gas-shut-off devices are installed voluntarily or as required by this section, they shall be maintained for the life of the building or structure or be replaced with a valve or device complying with the requirements of this section.

15.68.60 LIST OF APPROVED VALVES AND DEVICES.
The building division of the City of Brentwood shall maintain a list of all seismic gas-shut-off devices (motion sensitive) and excess flow gas-shut-off devices (non-motion sensitive) which meet or exceed the requirements of devices certified by the Office of the State Architect for installation in the State of California and which comply with the standards and criteria set forth in Health and Safety Code section 19180 et seq., including quality and design regulation for earthquake actuated automatic gas shutoff systems (see 24 Cal. Code Regs. Ch. 12-16-1). 
19.04.090 

THE FORGOING ORDINANCE was introduced with the first reading waved at the regular meeting of the Brentwood City Council on the 23rd day of July, 2002, and adopted at the regular meeting of the Brentwood City Council on the 13th day of August, 2002, by the following vote:

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 13th day of August 2000 by the following vote:


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