House Bill 2747 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
Enrolled Version - Final Version
H. B. 2747
(By Delegates Argento, Barker, Iaquinta,
Manchin, Martin, Perdue, Tucker, Yost, Blair,
Porter and Rowan)
[Introduced January 30, 2007; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §29-3D-1, §29-3D-2,
§29-3D-3, §29-3D-4, §29-3D-5, §29-3D-6, §29-3D-7, §29-3D-8
and §29-3D-9, all relating to regulating plumbers and fire
protection workers; requiring plumbers and fire protection
workers to be licensed; defining certain terms; providing
certain exemptions to the requirement of a license;
providing rulemaking authority to establish qualifications,
provide exceptions to examination requirements in certain
circumstances, fees, reciprocity provisions and complaint
procedures; providing enforcement procedures; authorizing
fines and criminal penalties for noncompliance; and
providing that no political subdivision of the state may
mandate additional licensing requirements.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §29-3D-1, §29-3D-2,
§29-3D-3, §29-3D-4, §29-3D-5, §29-3D-6, §29-3D-7, §29-3D-8 and
§29-3D-9, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3D. SUPERVISION OF PLUMBING AND FIRE PROTECTION WORK.
§29-3D-1. Declaration of purpose.
The provisions of this article are intended to protect the
health, safety and welfare of the public as well as public and
private property by assuring the competence of those who perform
plumbing and fire protection work through licensure by the State
As used in this article:
(a) "Fire protection layout technician" is an individual who
has achieved National Institute for Certification in Engineering
Technologies (NICET) Level III or higher certification, and who
has the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to layout fire
protection systems based on engineering design documents.
(b) "Fire protection system" means any fire protection
suppression device or system designed, installed and maintained
in accordance with the applicable National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) codes and standards, but does not include
public or private mobile fire vehicles.
(c) "Fire protection work" means the installation,
alteration, extension, maintenance, or testing of all piping, materials and equipment inside a building, including the use of
shop drawings prepared by a fire protection layout technician, in
connection with the discharge of water, other special fluids,
chemicals or gases and backflow preventers for fire protection
for the express purpose of extinguishing or controlling fire.
(d) "Journeyman plumber" means a person qualified by at
least eight thousand hours of plumbing experience and who is
competent to instruct and supervise the work of a plumber in
(e) "Journeyman sprinkler fitter" means a person qualified
by at least ten thousand hours of work experience installing,
adjusting, repairing and dismantling fire protection systems and
who is competent to instruct and supervise the fire protection
work of a sprinkler fitter in training.
(f) "License" means a valid and current license issued by
the State Fire Marshal in accordance with the provisions of this
(g) "Master plumber" means a person with at least twelve
thousand hours of plumbing work experience and who is competent
to design plumbing systems, and to instruct and supervise the
plumbing work of journeyman plumbers, and plumbers in training.
(h) "Plumber in training" means a person with interest in
and an aptitude for performing plumbing work but who alone is not
capable of performing plumbing work, and who has fewer than eight thousand hours of plumbing experience.
(i) "Plumbing" means the installation, maintenance,
extension, or alteration of all piping, fixtures, water treatment
devices, plumbing appliances and appurtenances, as defined by the
state building code including, but not limited to, the plumbing
venting systems, medical gas systems, fuel oil and gas piping,
backflow preventers, and public or private water supply systems,
inside of a building.
(j) "Sprinkler fitter in training" means a person with
interest in and an aptitude for performing fire protection work
but who alone is not capable of performing such work, and who has
fewer than ten thousand hours of experience installing,
adjusting, repairing and dismantling fire protection systems.
§29-3D-3. Necessity of license; exemptions.
(a) After the effective date of the legislative rules
promulgated pursuant to this article, no person may perform or
offer to perform plumbing or fire protection work without a
license issued by the State Fire Marshal in accordance with the
provisions of this article.
(b) A person licensed under this article must carry a copy
of the license on any job in which plumbing or fire protection
work is being performed.
(c) This article does not apply to:
(1) A person who personally performs plumbing or fire protection work on a single family dwelling owned or leased, and
occupied by that person;
(2) A person who performs plumbing or fire protection work
at any manufacturing plant or other industrial establishment as
an employee of the person, firm or corporation operating the
plant or establishment;
(3) A person who performs plumbing work while employed by an
employer who engages in the business of selling appliances at
retail, so long as such plumbing work is performed incidental to
the installation or repair of appliances sold by the employer; or
(4) A person who, while employed by a public utility or its
affiliate, performs plumbing or fire protection work in
connection with the furnishing of public utility service.
§29-3D-4. Rules; qualifications; reciprocity; complaint
(a) The State Fire Marshal shall propose rules for
legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the implementation
and enforcement of the provisions of this article, which shall
(1) Standards and procedures for issuing and renewing
licenses, including classifications of licenses as defined in
this article, applications, examinations and qualifications;
(2) Provisions for the granting of licenses without examination, to applicants who present satisfactory evidence of
having worked the hours required for journeyman and master
classifications as defined in this article and who apply for
licensure on or before the first day of July, two thousand nine:
, That if a license issued under the authority of this
subsection subsequently lapses, the applicant is subject to all
licensure requirements, including the examination;
(3) Reciprocity provisions;
(4) Procedures for investigating complaints and revoking or
suspending licenses, including appeal procedures;
(6) Enforcement procedures; and
(7) Any other rules necessary to effectuate the purposes of
(a) The State Fire Marshal and his or her deputy fire
marshal, assistant fire marshal, assistant fire
marshal-in-training, any deputized person pursuant to subsection
(j), section twelve, article three, chapter twenty-nine of this
code or any compliance officer of the Division of Labor as
authorized by the Commissioner of the Division of Labor is
authorized to enforce the provisions of this article, and may, at
reasonable hours, enter any building or premises where plumbing
or fire protection work is performed and issue citations for noncompliance.
(b) The State Fire Marshal may deputize any compliance
officer of the Division of Labor in the enforcement of the
provisions of this article, and may revoke the authority of any
person deputized pursuant to subsection (j), section twelve,
article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code.
(c) Persons authorized to issue citations shall submit a
monthly report to the State Fire Marshal of all citations issued.
The reports must include the violation for which the citation was
issued, the date of issuance, the name of the person issuing the
citation and the person to whom the citation was issued.
(d) The State Fire Marshal shall contract with the Division
of Labor for the enforcement of the licensing provisions of this
article. The State Fire Marshal and the Commissioner of Labor
shall execute a work-sharing agreement which defines the
enforcement authority to be shared, the appropriate distribution
of revenues, and the procedures for citation and disciplinary
actions against persons who violate the licensing requirements of
§29-3D-6. Denial of license; suspension and revocation of
(a) The State Fire Marshal may deny a license to any
applicant who fails to comply with the rules established by the
State Fire Marshal, or who lacks the necessary qualifications.
(b) The State Fire Marshal may, upon complaint or upon his
or her own inquiry, and after notice to the licensee, suspend or
revoke a licensee?s license if:
(1) The license was granted upon an application or documents
supporting the application which materially misstated the terms
of the applicant?s qualifications or experience;
(2) The licensee subscribed or vouched for a material
misstatement in his or her application for licensure;
(3) The licensee incompetently or unsafely performs plumbing
or fire protection work;
(4) The licensee violated any statute of this state, any
legislative rule or any ordinance of any municipality or county
of this state which protects the consumer or public against
unfair, unsafe, unlawful or improper business practices; or
(5) The licensee fails to comply with any legislative rule
promulgated pursuant to this article.
§29-3D-7. Penalties for noncompliance.
(a) Any person who performs or offers to perform plumbing or
fire protection work without a license issued by the State Fire
Marshal is subject to being issued a cease and desist order.
(b) Any person continuing to engage in plumbing or fire
protection work after the issuance of a cease and desist order is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, is subject
to the following penalties:
(1) For a first offense, a fine of not less than two hundred
dollars nor more than one thousand dollars;
(2) For a second offense, a fine of not less than five
hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or
confinement in jail for not more than six months, or both;
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not less
than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars,
and confinement in jail for not less than thirty days nor more
than one year.
(c) Each day during which the plumbing or fire protection
work is performed without the required license or while in
noncompliance with any of the provisions of this article, after
official notice that the work is unlawful, is a separate offense.
(d) The Fire Marshal may institute proceedings in the
circuit court of the county where the alleged violation of the
provisions of this article occurred or are now occurring to
enjoin any violation of any provision of this article. A circuit
court by injunction may compel compliance with the provisions of
this article, with the lawful orders of the State Fire Marshal
and with any final decision of the State Fire Marshal. The State
Fire Marshal shall be represented in all such proceedings by the
Attorney General or his or her assistants.
(e) Any person adversely affected by an action of the State
Fire Marshal may appeal the action pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
§29-3D-8. Inapplicability of local ordinances; exclusive
After the effective date of the legislative rules
promulgated pursuant to this article, no political subdivision of
this state may require any license or other evidence of
competence as a plumber or sprinkler fitter from any person who
holds a valid and current license issued under the provisions of
this article, as a condition precedent to the performance of
plumbing or fire protection work in the political subdivision.
§29-3D-9. Disposition of fees and fines.
(a) All fees shall be paid to the State Fire Marshal. The
fee receipts shall be deposited by the State Fire Marshal in a
special account with the State Treasurer for the use of the State
Fire Marshal as provided in subsection (c), section twelve-b,
article three of this chapter.
(b) All fines provided under the provisions of this article
shall be paid into the general revenue of the state.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require plumbers and
fire protection workers to be licensed.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.
This bill is recommended by the Joint Standing Committee on
Government Organization for passage during the 2007 Regular