CONTACT: Bruce Davidson, 210-207-8998
Alex Sarabia, 210-207-8979
SAN ANTONIO (June 6, 2019) — Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Thursday asked City staff to prepare recommendations to provide local plumber certifications or licenses.
The Texas Legislature failed to take action during the recent session, resulting in the looming expiration of the Texas Plumbing Code and the sunset of State Board of Plumbing Examiners that licenses plumbers. If not addressed, the situation will leave the plumbing industry unregulated as of Sept. 1.
“We have an obligation to protect this community’s homeowners and businesses from the potential scams or property damage that could occur,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “Our community has hundreds of professional plumbers and reputable plumbing companies, and these licenses help assure consumers of their expertise.”
Licensing also helps assure the public’s safety. In a memo to City Manager Erik Walsh, Mayor Nirenberg also asked staff to explore possible partnerships with other area municipalities to create a community-wide license system to avoid creating gaps or patchwork system of regulations.
Walsh responded that City staff has been working on a plan since the conclusion of the Legislative Session.
“We have scheduled a stakeholders meeting next Wednesday, June 12th, with local plumbing, construction and development organizations to discuss alternatives,” said Walsh. “Neighboring cities have also been invited to the meeting, as it is our intent to develop a solution that includes reciprocity with other cities in our region.”
The City has also been in regular communication with the Texas Municipal League, as all Texas cities are grappling with this issue. If the state is not able to solve the problem, the responsibility will be on cities to ensure that the industry is properly regulated for the benefit of homeowners and businesses throughout our communities. The City currently registers plumbers to do work in San Antonio, but licenses are issued at the state level. In the past, the City certified or licensed professional construction trades, such as electricians and plumbers.
“While I do not favor creating unnecessary regulations or bureaucracy,” the Mayor said, “There is no other option until a statewide license system is restored.”