Governor Objects to Rule Requiring Electrical Inspections on Farms

Earlier this week Governor Branstad formally filed his objection to a 2008 rule that requires farmers to have an inspection done on most electrical work. In his letter to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Larry Noble the governor stated that the rule was a “power-grab” by the Electrical Examining Board (board) and that it was “unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.”

Branstad objected to Iowa Administrative Code r. 661-551.2 and 661-552.1 noting that he felt the board went beyond their statutory authority because Iowa Code Chapter 103 does not give the board permission to regulate electrical installations on farms by requiring an inspection or permit. Branstad stated that he felt such a requirement increased the regulatory burden on farmers, was excessively costly, and clearly violated the intent of legislature by circumventing the common-sense exemption for farmers. He said that a $500 inspection is not needed because farmers generally hire licensed electricians to do the work.

The governor could not veto the rule (put in place by former Governor Culver) because it is more than 70 days old. However, his formal objection to the rule does mean that it will be easier for farmers to challenge the rule in court.
The full text of Governor Branstad’s rule objection can be found here

  • john doe

    The Iowa electrical inspection law that was pass several years ago does nothing for the safety of Iowan’s, in fact the city electrical inspections that have been required by many cities in Iowa actually probably don’t really contribute to the safety of the public they just collect money for the city and cost the public. In reality the only people that gain anything from these inspections are the inspectors and the unions. I’m sure you have seen the adds telling you only the union worker can do you wiring right. This law was manufactured by the unions for the union s and now is costing us and the state money we don’t have.
    When governor Branstad took office he stated that he would work to remove laws that were proved to not be beneficial and are not cost effective, well this is one of them.
    From the research I have done I have found that in the last 10 years there are no reported deaths in Iowa in a home from electrocution. I have also found that there is only one fire attributed to the wiring in a house and that was caused by an old fuse box that had corroded from water getting into it. All most all fires in the home are caused by three things, drop cords, appliances and lights. Electrical fires are not caused by short circuits, a shorted circuit will trip a breaker, the fires are caused by loose connections causing arcing and by lights and appliances over heating. With the new arc fault circuit breakers most of these fires will no longer occur. There is no defined safety threat to the public that required this action.

    With the passing of this law we now have people attempting to replace old fuse and breaker panels with out having the power company turn off the power. They know if they call the power company to turn it off they will be subject to inspection and all of the cost and inconvenience. This is placing more people in danger of electrocution or serious injury.

    If we want to do something constructive the way to do it is by educating the public about the use of arc fault circuit breakers and the use of ground fault circuit breakers in arias where people are standing on the ground or concrete. It would be much more effective and cheaper to provide public service messages to promote this .
    Some of this could be done inexpensively by having insurance company’s creating a incentive of lower rates to home owners that up grade there fuse boxes and circuit breakers to the new arc fault breakers and ground fault breakers. This would be a win for the home owner making there home safer and in the long run saving money on insurance. It would be a win for the Insurance company as it would reduce there exposure to losses. It would also take care of where the most problems with fires in homes occur the older housing where the most problems exist.

    What’s really a good one you hear about the inspectors, it seems that they all have a different interpretation of the electrical code. I have been told some of them do not even have a electrical license.
    The national electrical code was written with union bias and really needs to be looked at in a realistic manor with the current state of the art.

    About that union guy being the best guy to call, your local electrician will probably do a better job as he is accountable for the work he does and doesn’t need all of the extra cost and time this law burdens him with and cost the customer more for no reason at all.

    I have taught basic electricity and electronics classes and would have to say most people taking this
    twenty five hour course would be competent to do there own wiring. Most of the states union inspector probably couldn’t pass my test! For those inspectors out there who think your God and there are some, YOUR NOT.

    One last thing you know that concrete encased ground BS was that done for the union concrete guys?
    One things for sure it really makes a lousy ground system and I can prove it, its called the exploding concrete experiment. This law needs to be repealed!
    Name with held (don’t a bunch of union thugs at my door)