Issue 2: Vol. 43
Stagnant Water Systems in City’s Commercial Buildings May Pose Health Risks
OP-ED: The Future of Gas in Downstate NY
BUILDINGS 2020-012 BULLETIN TECHNICAL
Construction Trades Renewal Course
Gas Operator Qualification Program and Local Law 152 DOB Periodic Gas Inspections
Leonard X. Farbman Scholarship Recipients
THE PLUMBING FOUNDATION’S ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT
New York County Supreme Court Convicts Three for 2015 East Village Gas Explosion
On November 15, 2019, after prosecution and defense spent two months at trial, the New York State Supreme Court of New York County convicted Maria Hrynenko, the owner of the building in the tragic 2015 East Village gas explosion, as well as Dilber Kukic, a general contractor, and Athanasios Ioannidis, an unlicensed plumber, for two counts of manslaughter, a class C Felony, among several other felony and misdemeanor convictions. Sentencing for all three is scheduled for January 10, 2020. Each face up to 15 years in prison.
The 2015 East Village gas explosion was due to reckless, unlicensed plumbing work, specifically an illegal connection. The horrific explosion resulted in two fatalities and nineteen injuries. The fire caused by the explosion damaged 119, 121, and 123 Second Avenue in the East Village.
Earlier this year, a cover-up plumber by the name of Andrew Trombettas, who was involved in the explosion, plead guilty for offering a false instrument for filing, as he allowed Athanasios Ioannidis to use his plumbing license. Trombettas received a sentence of 100 hours of community service and 3 years probation. His NYC plumbing license was permanently revoked.
The Plumbing Foundation City of New York, Inc. works to combat unlicensed plumbing work as the industry is well aware of the deadly consequences from such work. Building owners must hire licensed, qualified plumbers to conduct any gas work, whether it is an inspection, repair, or replacement of a full gas system.
If you or someone you know believes unlicensed plumbing work is being conducted in any of the five boroughs, please email email@example.com.
Plumbing Foundation Hosts Con Ed Yellow Book Seminar
The Plumbing Foundation thanks Mr. Monaghan and Mr. Giasemis, and all at Con Edison, for working with the industry on the operator qualification requirements. We look forward to the ongoing collaboration between the Plumbing Foundation and Con Ed.
NYC COUNCIL PASSES WATER TANK INSPECTION / MAINTENANCE LEGISLATION
The Plumbing Foundation is pleased to inform the industry that on April 9, 2019, the New York City Council passed Intro. No. 1157-B, which establishes qualification requirements for those inspecting and cleaning, coating, and painting water tanks. We commend the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Health Committee, as well as the co-Sponsors, and the entire City Council for passing legislation that ensures that water tanks are properly maintained. The City Council passed several other bills in the package, including on the reporting of inspections, to further strengthen the laws surrounding water tanks. There have been several reports of contamination and neglect of inspections and maintenance of the City’s water tanks. Click here to read a recent article covering the issue.
The Plumbing Foundation worked closely with the City Council on Intro. No. 1157-B, which for the first time in the NYC Administrative Code and the Health Code defines a water tank inspector as (i) a licensed master plumber pursuant, (ii) a person who works under the direct and continuing supervision of such a licensed master plumber, or (iii) a registered design professional. Prior to this legislation, the law was silent on who is required to conduct such inspections, which were commonly done by landlords and building owners themselves. Requiring that the inspector is a qualified and experienced person will ensure the integrity of such inspections and the health of NYC residents.
Intro. No. 1157-B also establishes more stringent criteria for those cleaning, coating, and painting water tanks. The new legislation will now make sure that the person conducting maintenance on water tanks is either a water tank inspector (i.e. a licensed plumber, someone working directly for a licensed plumber, or a registered design professional) or is a person who holds a commercial pesticide applicator certification in category 7G issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or works under the direct supervision of a person holding such certification.
Establishing clear criteria for who can maintain a water tank will decrease the instance of contamination and increase the safety of the necessary potable water source from diseases like E. coli and Legionnaires’.