TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 4 TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION

CHAPTER 73. ELECTRICIANS

16 TAC §73.100

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 73, §73.100, regarding the Electricians Program. These proposed changes are referred to as the "proposed rule."

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULES

The rules under 16 TAC Chapter 73 implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305, Electricians.

Pursuant to Occupations Code, Chapter 1305, §1305.101(a)(2), the Commission is required to adopt the National Electrical Code (NEC) every three years "as the electrical code for the state." The Commission has adopted the 2020 NEC in its entirety by rule at 16 TAC, Chapter 73, §73.100, Technical Requirements. Section 90.4 of the 2020 NEC authorizes the Department to waive specific code requirements when doing so will not have a negative impact on safety.

Section 210.8(F) of the 2020 NEC requires certain outdoor outlets to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection. An incompatibility between most GFCI products on the market and common air-conditioning and heating equipment has resulted in that equipment failing by persistently tripping circuit breakers. Recent rulemaking by the Department has delayed the implementation of Section 210.8(F) until January 1, 2023, in order to allow equipment manufacturers to correct this incompatibility. See 16 TAC §75.100(a)(5). However, because this incompatibility will not be resolved by January 1, 2023, the proposed rule will exclude Section 210.8(F) from the Department's implementation of the 2020 NEC altogether.

Advisory Board Recommendations

The proposed rules were presented to and discussed by the Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board at its meeting on May 25, 2022. The Advisory Board did not make any changes to the proposed rules. The Advisory Board voted and recommended that the proposed rules be published in the Texas Register for public comment.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed rule amends §73.100(b) to state that compliance with Section 210.8(F) of the 2020 NEC is not required.

FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Tony Couvillon, Policy Research and Budget Analyst, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, enforcing or administering the proposed rule does not have foreseeable implications relating to costs or revenues of state or local governments.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT

As Mr. Couvillon has determined that the proposed rule will not affect the local economy, the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Mr. Couvillon also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, the public benefits will be increased safety for the public and reduced costs to consumers for service calls related to inoperable equipment.

PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rule.

FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES

There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rule. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rule will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Texas Government Code §2006.002, are not required.

ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT

The proposed rule does not have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government. Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rule. For each year of the first five years the proposed rule will be in effect, the agency has determined the following:

1. The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program.

2. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

3. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

4. The proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

5. The proposed rule does not create a new regulation.

6. The proposed rule expands, limits, or repeals an existing regulation. The proposed rule removes the applicability of Section 210.8(F) of the 2020 NEC and thus limits an existing regulation.

7. The proposed rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rules' applicability.

8. The proposed rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The Department has determined that no private real property interests are affected by the proposed rule and the proposed rule does not restrict, limit, or impose a burden on an owner's rights to his or her private real property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action. As a result, the proposed rule does not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under Government Code §2007.043.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted electronically on the Department's website at https://ga.tdlr.texas.gov:1443/form/gcerules; by facsimile to (512) 475-3032; or by mail to Monica Nuñez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The proposed rule is proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposed rule are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed rule.

§73.100.Technical Requirements

(a) Effective November 1, 2020, the department adopts the 2020 National Electrical Code as approved by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc. on August 25, 2019.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), compliance with Section 210.8(F) of the 2020 National Electrical Code is not required [until January 1, 2023].

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 6, 2022.

TRD-202202117

Brad Bowman

General Counsel

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 17, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4879