WSR 18-18-081
[Filed September 4, 2018, 10:51 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Review of the electrical rules to consider amendments in chapter 296-46B WAC, Electrical safety standards, administration, and installation.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 19.28 RCW, Electricians and electrical installations including RCW 19.28.031 and 19.28.251.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department of labor and industries (L&I), electrical program is performing a review of the electrical rules in chapter 296-46B WAC. The purpose of the review is to update and clarify existing rules, make housekeeping changes, accept stakeholder proposals, implement new legislation, and adopt the 2020 edition of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 70, the National Electrical Code (NEC) by reference with an effective date. The review process will provide Washington's electrical stakeholders the opportunity to review the existing rules, submit proposals and provide recommendations to the department regarding adoption of the rules.
ESHB 1952 (chapter 240, Laws of 2018), passed the legislature in 2018. ESHB 1952 authorizes incorporated cities and towns that conduct electrical inspections to enforce applicable electrical licensing and certification rules within their respective jurisdictions. The bill became effective June 7, 2018. Amendments are needed to implement the new statutory requirements.
SSB 6126 (chapter 249, Laws of 2018), passed the legislature in 2018. SSB 6126 requires completion of an apprenticeship program to qualify for examination to obtain a general journey level electrician certificate of competency. The bill takes effect July 1, 2023. Amendments are needed to clarify and implement the new apprenticeship requirements for apprentices or trainees in training or planning to begin training to become a general journey level electrician.
The 2020 NEC will be published by NFPA in August 2019. NEC sets the standard for safe electrical installations in homes, businesses, and institutions to protect people and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. It provides the most up-to-date electrical safety requirements that impact electrical installations and is adopted in all fifty states. The program is considering adopting the 2020 edition of NEC by reference with an effective date of July 1, 2020 (tentative). Adopting the 2020 NEC at this time will give stakeholders advance notice of the effective date and more opportunity for review and comment on adoption of the 2020 NEC, prior to its publication and the department's review process. The program plans to begin its standard review process of the 2020 NEC next year. At that time, stakeholders will have the opportunity to submit proposals for changes to the new code requirements and make recommendations to the department on adoption of the rules prior to the effective date.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rules and formulation of the proposed rules before publication by contacting the individual listed below. The public can also participate, after amendments are proposed by providing written comments and/or testimony during the public hearing and comment process. All rule proposals will be reviewed by a technical advisory committee (TAC) and the electrical board.
L&I is seeking input from interested parties to be used in the formulation of the proposed electrical rules. Interested parties may submit rule proposals for additions and/or revisions to the rules from 12:01 a.m., September 5, 2018, to 11:59 p.m., October 19, 2018. The department is also appointing a general TAC made up of experts and interested group representatives to review and make recommendations on proposals from the electrical industry. Interested parties may submit an application to become a TAC member and participate in the rules development process from September 5, 2018, to October 19, 2018.
For more information on this rule making, visit the L&I web site at or contact the individual below.
Interested parties can sign up for email updates at
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Alicia Curry, L&I, Field Services and Public Safety Division, P.O. Box 44400, Olympia, WA 98504-4400, phone 360-902-6244, fax 360-902-5292, email, web site
September 4, 2018
Joel Sacks