JUSTIFICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RULE ADOPTION

JUSTIFICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RULE ADOPTION
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
16 TAC Chapter 75, amendments to §75.110

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 75, §75.110, regarding the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 16, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 3055). The rules will not be republished.

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License Law, Tex. Occ. Code §1302.101(a), requires the Commission to adopt rules for the practice of air conditioning and refrigeration contracting that are at least as strict as the standards provided by the Uniform Mechanical Code and the International Mechanical Code. These codes define the standard of practice for ACR contracting, and are used by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) compliance staff to evaluate the mechanical integrity and proper installation and service of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The adopted amendments are necessary to align the program’s applicable codes with currently recognized national standards and to provide clarity and consistency for the Department’s licensees.

The adopted amendments to §75.110 update the date and code editions from 2012 to 2015 for the Uniform Mechanical Code, the International Mechanical Code, International Residential Code, and other applicable codes, including the International Energy Conservation Code and International Fuel Gas Code.

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the June 16, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 3055). The deadline for public comments was July 27, 2017. The Department received a comment from one individual on the proposed rules during the 30-day public comment period.

Comment--The commenter supports the proposed amendments to the rule.

Department Response--The Department appreciates this comment. The Department did not make any changes to the proposed rules based on this comment.

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board (Board) met on July 25, 2017, to discuss the proposed amendments and the public comment received. However, the Board lacked a quorum and could not vote on the rule proposal. At its meeting on August 18, 2017, the Commission adopted the proposed rules without changes.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1302, which authorize the Commission, 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 adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1302. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

  • 75.110. Applicable Codes.

(a) The commission adopts the following as the applicable codes as referenced in the Act and this chapter:

(1) 2012 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code; and

(2) 2012 editions of the International Mechanical Code, the International Residential Code, and other applicable codes.

(b) The 2012 codes shall remain in effect through December 31, 2017. All air conditioning and refrigeration work permitted or started before January 1, 2018, may be completed in accordance with the 2012 code editions.

(c) The commission adopts the following as the applicable codes as referenced in the Act and this chapter:

(1) 2015 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code; and

(2) 2015 editions of the International Mechanical Code, the International Residential Code, and other applicable codes.

(d) The 2015 codes shall be effective January 1, 2018.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on August 23, 2017.

Brian E. Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation