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VI Testifies at Ohio Pipe Hearing

Apr 2017

On Tuesday, April 25, VI Director of Government Affairs, John Serrano joined a group of plastics industry leaders in Columbus, Ohio to testify at a proponent hearing before the House Committee on State and Local Government regarding H.B. 121.  The bill would level the playing field by allowing all pipe materials to compete in the bidding process for water infrastructure projects.  In many municipalities in Ohio and across the nation, pipe specifications prevent competition in the bidding process, allowing local monopolies to flourish which then increases project costs and the financial burden on rate payers.

“There is a lack of choice and limit on competition that has created local monopolies in pipe markets and increased the costs of funding new and replacement projects at a time when budgets are already tight,” Serrano noted in his testimony.  “There is no reason our cities and water engineers should be prohibited from choosing the most appropriate pipe material for their project.  There is no reason local monopolies should be allowed to dictate what’s best for the people of Ohio.”

H.B. 121 was modeled after a decades old policy at the USDA and is similar to asset management practices employed by federal, state and local governments around the country.  If enacted, the legislation would protect the decision making power of local engineers while working to reduce the costs of water infrastructure projects on municipalities and rate payers. 

Serrano also noted the significant contributions of the vinyl industry in Ohio and the fact that so many manufacturers are not even allowed to adequately compete in their own state.

“In Ohio, our industry provides about 27,000 well-paying jobs at nearly 250 facilities, and provides an economic value of around $4.3 billion to the state.  With such a strong industry in Ohio, it is abhorrent that many of our manufacturers aren’t even allowed to adequately compete in their own state.”

Tuesday’s proponent hearing will be followed by an opponent hearing and another open hearing later this summer.   After the next two hearings, the committee will vote whether to pass the bill and advance it to the full House.

If you’d like more information on VI’s advocacy activities or to support this and other efforts, please contact John Serrano at jserrano@vinylinfo.org.

See related: 

State Open Competition Laws Could Provide Billions For Infrastructure