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Remove Barriers to Pipe Repair

Jun 2016

In a recent op-ed, Jennifer Klein, President of the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, discusses a VI supported bill in Ohio that would remove local bans on certain piping materials like PVC.  The Ohio Legislature is currently considering HB 214, that would allow all piping materials to compete in the bidding process for water infrastructure projects.  Many municipalities in the state and across the country limit the piping materials water engineers can specify in their projects, often allowing only ductile iron to compete.  These antiquated procurement practices reduce competition, drive up costs for consumers, and take away the engineer’s ability to specify the most appropriate material for their projects.
 
In Ohio, the U.S. EPA has estimated that the state will need more than $12 billion to upgrade its water infrastructure over the next two decades, most of which will have to come from state funds.

“A recent study by the leading market-research firm BCC Research found that Ohio counties that limited project bids to old-fashion ductile iron pipes — to the exclusion of other safe and durable materials — increased the project material costs by nearly 35 percent,” Klein wrote.  “According to the study, these exclusionary bidding practices have cost local taxpayers nearly $100,000 more per mile of pipe, without any additional water quality or safety benefits.”

HB 214 seeks to address these issues and remove barriers to procurement that allow local engineers to choose the most suitable piping materials for their community.  If you’d like more information about this bill or ways to get involved in our advocacy efforts, contact the VI at advocacy@vinylinfo.org.

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