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Plumbing plan review agreements

NOTE: The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has suspended the issuance of new plumbing plan review agreements with municipalities. Municipalities with existing agreements may continue to do plan reviews.

A list of municipalities which have established a formal agreement with the state of Minnesota to do plumbing plan review are available in the plumbing plan review agreement listing. These are the only cities authorized to perform plumbing plan review in lieu of a review by DLI. These agreements are subject to review, and can be altered if deemed necessary to assure compliance with the Plumbing Code. Plumbing plans may be submitted directly to those cities for review, except for the following:

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, supervised living facilities, free-standing outpatient surgical centers, correctional facilities, boarding care homes, or residential hospices, and similar state-licensed facilities must be submitted to DLI; 
  • Public buildings which are owned and paid for by the state or a state agency regardless of cost, and school district building projects or charter school building projects regardless of cost must be submitted to DLI; and
  • Projects of a special nature, including dialysis facilities and other projects for which a department plan review is requested by either the municipality or the state, must be submitted to DLI.

Plumbing plan review agreement requirements

The 2007 Minnesota Legislature set requirements for municipalities that wish to have an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) for responsibility for the review of plans and inspection of installation of plumbing systems in their jurisdiction. The requirements are found in Minnesota Statute Section 326B.43, Subd. 2 and as described below.

Municipalities can request an agreement with the DLI that gives responsibility for review of plans and inspections for plumbing systems to the municipality for most projects in their jurisdiction, including commercial, public, and industrial buildings. Certain types of facility plans must still be submitted to the DLI or the Minnesota Department of Health, however, as listed below.

Subd. 2. Agreement with municipality. The commissioner may enter into an agreement with a municipality, in which the municipality agrees to perform plan and specification reviews required to be performed by the commissioner under Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0215, subpart 6, if:

(a) the municipality has adopted:

(1) the plumbing code;

(2) an ordinance that requires plumbing plans and specifications to be submitted to, reviewed, and approved by the municipality, except as provided in paragraph (n);

(3) an ordinance that authorizes the municipality to perform inspections required by the plumbing code; and

(4) an ordinance that authorizes the municipality to enforce the plumbing code in its entirety, except as provided in paragraph (p);

(b) the municipality agrees to review plumbing plans and specifications for all construction for which the plumbing code requires the review of plumbing plans and specifications, except as provided in paragraph (n);

(c) the municipality agrees that, when it reviews plumbing plans and specifications under paragraph (b), the review will:

(1) reflect the degree to which the plans and specifications affect the public health and conform to the provisions of the plumbing code;

(2) ensure that there is no physical connection between water supply systems that are safe for domestic use and those that are unsafe for domestic use; and

(3) ensure that there is no apparatus through which unsafe water may be discharged or drawn into a safe water supply system;

(d) the municipality agrees to perform all inspections required by the plumbing code in connection with projects for which the municipality reviews plumbing plans and specifications under paragraph (b);

(e) the commissioner determines that the individuals who will conduct the inspections and the plumbing plan and specification reviews for the municipality do not have any conflict of interest in conducting the inspections and the plan and specification reviews;

(f) individuals who will conduct the plumbing plan and specification reviews for the municipality are:

(1) licensed master plumbers;

(2) licensed professional engineers; or

(3) individuals who are working under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer or licensed master plumber and who are licensed master or journeyman plumbers or hold a postsecondary degree in engineering;

(g) individuals who will conduct the plumbing plan and specification reviews for the municipality have passed a competency assessment required by the commissioner to assess the individual's competency at reviewing plumbing plans and specifications;

(h) individuals who will conduct the plumbing inspections for the municipality are licensed master or journeyman plumbers, or inspectors meeting the competency requirements established in rules adopted under section 326B.135;

(i) the municipality agrees to enforce in its entirety the plumbing code on all projects, except as provided in paragraph (p);

(j) the municipality agrees to keep official records of all documents received, including plans, specifications, surveys, and plot plans, and of all plan reviews, permits and certificates issued, reports of inspections, and notices issued in connection with plumbing inspections and the review of plumbing plans and specifications;

(k) the municipality agrees to maintain the records described in paragraph (j) in the official records of the municipality for the period required for the retention of public records under section 138.17, and shall make these records readily available for review at the request of the commissioner;

(l) the municipality and the commissioner agree that if at any time during the agreement the municipality does not have in effect the plumbing code or any of ordinances described in paragraph (a), or if the commissioner determines that the municipality is not properly administering and enforcing the plumbing code or is otherwise not complying with the agreement:

(1) the commissioner may, effective 14 days after the municipality's receipt of written notice, terminate the agreement;

(2) the municipality may challenge the termination in a contested case before the commissioner pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act; and

(3) while any challenge is pending under clause (2), the commissioner shall perform plan and specification reviews within the municipality under Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0215, subpart 6;

(m) the municipality and the commissioner agree that the municipality may terminate the agreement with or without cause on 90 days' written notice to the commissioner;

(n) the municipality and the commissioner agree that the municipality shall forward to the state for review all plumbing plans and specifications for the following types of projects within the municipality:

(1) state-licensed facilities as defined in section 326B.103, subdivision 13;

(2) public buildings as defined in section 326B.103, subdivision 11; and

(3) projects of a special nature for which department review is requested by either the municipality or the state;

(o) where the municipality forwards to the state for review plumbing plans and specifications, as provided in paragraph (n), the municipality shall not collect any fee for plan review, and the commissioner shall collect all applicable fees for plan review; and

(p) no municipality shall revoke, suspend, or place restrictions on any plumbing license issued by the state.

Subd. 3. Existing agreement with municipality. Any agreement between the commissioner and a municipality in which the municipality has agreed to perform plan and specification reviews required to be performed by the commissioner under Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0215, subpart 6, that is in effect on December 1, 2007, shall remain in effect and shall not be required to be in compliance with subdivision 2. If any agreement to perform plan and specification reviews required to be performed by the commissioner under Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0215, subpart 6, in effect on December 1, 2007, is later terminated by operation of the terms of the agreement or by either the commissioner or the municipality, or expires, then any new agreement between the commissioner and the municipality to perform plan and specification reviews required to be performed by the commissioner under Minnesota Rules, part 1300.0215, subpart 6, shall comply with subdivision 2.

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