New Seismic Safety Law Will Save Hospitals Billions, Experts Say
A new law (SB 499) that delays state deadlines for hospitals to meet seismic safety standards could save California hospitals billions of dollars over the next several years, according to experts, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
SB 499 was signed into law in fall 2009. In January, the California Building Standards Commission incorporated the legislation into state regulations.
The new law delays the deadline for meeting hospital seismic safety standards until 2020 or 2030. In addition, SB 499:
- Allows hospitals in the least safe seismic safety category, SPC-1, to have their safety status reassessed with HAZUS software developed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration;
- Grants a two-year extension from the current deadline in 2013 to fix or replace SPC-1 structures and an extension until Jan. 1, 2012 for submitting requests for reclassification; and
- Provides a new threshold for classifying buildings as SPC-1.
Chris Poland, chair and CEO of Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco, said the law allows the state to focus on the facilities most vulnerable to earthquakes (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/5).
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