NYC Local Law 152

Local Law 152

Local Law 152 is one of a series of laws enacted in response to deadly gas explosions in 2014 and 2015. The law mandates inspections of buildings’ gas piping systems at least every four years.

It impacts more than a quarter of a million NYC buildings, except those in occupancy group R-3, including buildings with two or fewer families and fewer than 20 occupants. Learn more about this regulation and how to avoid noncompliance fines.

If you’re a building owner or landlord in New York City, chances are you’re familiar with NYC Local Law 152. The law requires that buildings on a rotating schedule have their gas piping inspected and maintained by a licensed master plumber to ensure that they’re safe for occupancy. This helps prevent gas leaks, fires, and other hazardous conditions that can be dangerous for residents, staff, maintenance workers, and even first responders.

The law was enacted after several fatal NYC gas explosions, and it’s designed to boost gas line safety throughout the city. As such, there are many specific requirements surrounding the inspections and maintenance that need to be done in order to comply with Local Law 152. This includes who can conduct the inspections, how often they need to be done, and when the inspections need to be completed by.

Once the inspections are complete, a qualified Master Plumber will issue an Inspection Certificate to the building owner. The building owner will then need to file it with the Department of Buildings within 60 days. Failure to submit the certification will result in a $10,000 fine.

Buildings that stay current with their plumbing and boiler maintenance are less likely to have problems when it comes time for a Local Law 152 inspection. This is because their plumbers help identify potential issues before they become larger problems that would affect the entire system. This includes issues like radiator water hammer, low water pressure, and faulty shower valves.

If a problem is identified during an inspection, the master plumber will need to notify the building owner, the utility provider that provides gas to the property, and the Department of Buildings. The building owner will then need to correct the condition in accordance with the New York City construction codes.

The good news is that the process of complying with Local Law 152 isn’t as complicated or expensive as it may seem. With the help of a trusted plumbing and boiler expert, you can easily keep track of when your next inspection is due and have it conducted on time without any penalties.

How Does Local Law 152 Work?

The city’s Local Law 152 requires that all NYC buildings with exposed gas piping undergo inspection on a four-year cycle. This helps reduce the risk of fires, explosions, and other hazards that can affect building occupants, neighbors, maintenance staff, and even city first responders.

Introduced in 2016 and fully implemented in 2020, Local Law 152 requires that the Department of Buildings (DOB) oversee all inspections. The law details how frequently buildings are inspected, who can perform the inspections, and what steps need to be taken once an inspection is complete.

All inspections must be completed by a DOB-approved Licensed Master Plumber (LMP). After the inspection, the LMP will submit a certification document called a GPS1 form to the DOB within 30 days of the inspection date. The GPS1 must state whether the piping system is safe to continue use or if it needs to be repaired in order to be declared compliant.

If the piping system needs to be repaired, the LMP must also submit a follow-up certificate after the repairs are made stating that the piping is now in compliance with NYC plumbing codes. This step is essential to avoid costly fines for non-compliance with the law.

Those who work with a trusted plumber or boiler specialist will typically have no problems passing their Local Law 152 inspections. Regular service calls allow the plumber to catch issues before they grow into bigger problems that can affect a building’s entire plumbing system. Issues such as radiator water hammer, low shower water pressure, or faulty valves are easy to fix if they’re caught early on.

Those who do experience an inspection problem, like supply chain delays, parts shortages, or Covid-19 surges, will need to ask their plumber for more time to make the necessary repairs. This can be arranged by asking for an extension when they file their GPS1 form. The inspector must agree to this, and the extension will be valid for up to 180 days. If the extension is needed longer than that, a new GPS1 will need to be filed after 60 more days.

What Happens if I Don’t Have a Gas Piping System?

Aside from being extremely dangerous, gas leaks and explosions can lead to major building damage and loss of life. As a result, the city has been quick to implement local laws designed to ensure public safety. Among those is Local Law 152, which requires periodic inspections of a building’s gas piping system every 4 years. While inspections can be costly, it’s a far better alternative to the much more serious consequences of a deadly natural gas explosion.

As the year winds down, inspection deadlines for Local Law 152 are looming. However, the NYC government does occasionally issue extensions, so be sure to check in with NYC’s website to confirm the latest dates.

Ultimately, the key to successfully passing your Local Law 152 inspection is simple: staying current with your maintenance. Regular service calls by a professional plumbing and boiler specialist will help prevent little problems from turning into big ones that can affect your entire system. It will also help identify and fix potential issues that may be causing your building to fail its inspection.

While most home inspectors and other private building professionals will not pull out appliances to look at the gas line connections, it is recommended that you (or your plumber) do so. This will allow you to see the condition of these connections, as well as ensure that shutoff valves are connected and functional. Additionally, ensuring that the pipes are adequately buried or otherwise covered will help protect them from physical damage.

Remember, that the only way to know for sure whether your building’s gas piping is compliant with Local Law 152 is to have it tested by a qualified professional. Only a licensed master plumber can perform these tests, so make sure that you have one scheduled in the near future.

In short, Local Law 152 applies to buildings in occupancy group R-3 or above — meaning most of NYC’s 1-2 family dwellings. However, even if your building is not in an occupancy group R-3, it may still be subject to the requirements of the law. If you are not sure which occupancy group your building falls into, be sure to contact a licensed design professional* for assistance.

What if I Need More Time to Make Repairs?

As a coop or condo board member, you’re responsible for making sure your building is up to code and safe for its residents. That includes periodic inspections of the gas piping system. Local Law 152 requires NYC buildings to have their gas piping systems inspected by a licensed master plumber every five years.

If your building isn’t compliant, you could be subject to fines and penalties. To avoid these, make sure your building gets a qualified Local Law 152 inspector to conduct the inspection and submit a GPS1 form to DOB within 60 days of the inspection.

The qualified Local Law 152 inspector will need to check all exposed gas lines, starting at the point of entry into the building (including building service meters) and throughout public spaces and hallways up to individual resident spaces. This inspection will seek evidence of excessive atmospheric corrosion or deterioration that has created a dangerous condition, illegal connections, and non-code compliant installations. The inspector will also test all public spaces, hallways, corridors, and mechanical and boiler rooms with a portable combustible gas detector to see if there is a gas leak.

Once the inspection is complete, the qualified inspector will write a report with a list of all conditions that need to be corrected. The building owner, the utility supplying gas to the building, and DOB must be notified of any dangerous conditions found during the inspection. The building owner must take all necessary steps to correct the conditions, including obtaining any required work permits.

Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to withhold rent until the landlord makes the necessary repairs. But you should first talk to your landlord about the problem and try to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Alternatively, you can organize with other tenants in your building or community to demand that the landlord makes the necessary repairs. If the landlord refuses to act, you can ask a judge to appoint a temporary landlord called a receiver to make the repairs for you. This option isn’t available in all states, but it can be an effective way to get your landlord to fix a problem that’s affecting multiple tenants.