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RE: Strange But True (SB 828)

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Below is another engineer's contribution to explaining that SB 828 does not
do any drastic thing to the turf of ME and EE  P.E.'s in California. Neither
does it suddenly let unlicensed persons design buildings. It does however
continue unimpaired (but unexpanded) the longstanding right of manufacturers
of mechanical and electrical equipment intended for use in buildings to
design, build, and sell that equipment without having to use PE's in their
internal proprietary processes.

 Apparently CELSOC disagreed with existing law, and used the occasion of its
minor refinement to seek its overthrow. Having failed, now they are "using"
readers of their newsletter to unwittingly parrot their
still-unsubstantiated claims. It is understandably embarassing to rely on a
prominent professional engineering society's newsletter and find out that a
lot more to the story had been withheld. You be the judge if it was
innocently withheld and whether something unbecoming of engineering
integrity has taken place.     

Mr.Lubin's information below does not rely on CELSOC sources. That's quite

The "agency issuing permits" part refers to the provision in Uniform Bldg
Code, as adopted in Calif, that grants the local Building Official the
discretion to demand that a PE have prepared the design for portions of the
project even if otherwise exempted under state law. For buildings, the
equipment maker's engineer would not be the engineer who specifies in a
responsible-charge role what specific equipment goes where in the project.
The building project's design ME and EE who do this specifying are not
within the equipment maker's exemption, and they still must be licensed, as
before. (The exemption also covers public utility corporations, whose ME and
EE work on their own facilities has always been designable by non-PE
employees. That's where local officials can demand PE input in the building
permit process.)   

I am not going to explain here why SB 828, as it actually reads, is good
public policy. The legislature heard plenty of competent testimony,
including that of an extraordinarily well  qualified CE  senator, and acted
according to its own wisdom. The governor concurred. 

Charles O. Greenlaw, SE, Sacramento CA
>Return-Path: <JHLubin(--nospam--at)>
>Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:07:36 -0500 (EST)
>From: JHLubin(--nospam--at)
>To: cgreenlaw(--nospam--at), Bill.Gage(--nospam--at), Curt_Augustine(--nospam--at)
>Subject: Re: SB 828 postscript, titled "Strange But True"
>There never was a requirement that an employee of an industrial corporation
>be registered in CA as a PE in EE or ME to perform any work other than was
>required by an agency issuing permits.  For thirty years, the employee has
>been exempt from the PE Act, but not from the permiting agency requirements.
>[EE & ME practice acts are 30 years old in 1998.]
>SB 828 does not change anything other that the definition of employee.