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Vinyl Industry Calls for Open Competition in Ohio

Apr 2016

Vinyl and plastic pipe industry advocates traveled to Marietta, Ohio last week to testify at a proponent hearing in support of a bill that would allow all pipe materials to be considered in municipal water projects.  Ohio House Bill 214 would level the playing field and open markets for all pipe materials, not just ductile iron and cement, to be considered in the bidding process.

"Limiting the choice of products raises the costs of projects significantly and unnecessarily," said Ohio Chemistry Council President Jenn Klein.  

American Chemistry Council representative D’Lane Wisner pointed out that several major cities in need of significant water infrastructure upgrades, like Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, only allow bids from iron pipe manufacturers. "Given that may communities in Ohio, maybe yours, are or will be adding or replacing drinking water pipe, it is important that the fundamental laws of supply and demand that open competition yields allow cost savings of up to $1 million for every 10 miles," he said. "Today's tight budget situations desperately need ways to find any and all cost savings measures available."

Plastic pipe proponents also revealed the results of a new BCC Research study that found cost savings in jurisdictions that allow open competition for pipe bidding.  Delaware County, for instance, which allows all pipe materials to compete, spent about $100,000 less per mile for PVC than Columbus paid for ductile iron.

The U.S. EPA has said that Ohio will need $12 billion over the next two decades to upgrade its water infrastructure.

The vinyl industry also testified at a similar hearing in North Carolina this week.  If you’re interested in supporting this advocacy effort, please contact the VI at advocacy@vinylinfo.org.