BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          AB 127 (Skinner) - Fire safety: fire retardants: building  
          insulation
          
          Amended: June 24, 2013          Policy Vote: BP&ED 6-1
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: No
          Hearing Date: August 30, 2013                     Consultant:  
          Marie Liu     
          
          SUSPENSE FILE. AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED.
          
          
          Bill Summary: AB 127 would require the State Fire Marshal (SFM)  
          to propose updated insulation flammability standards that  
          maintain fire safety, consider long-term human and ecological  
          health impacts associated with chemical flame retardants, and  
          provide sufficient protection for building occupants and  
          firefighters.

          Fiscal Impact (as proposed to be amended): 
              Minor and absorbable cost from the Building Standards  
              Administration Special Revolving Fund (special) to the SFM  
              for the development of update insulation flammability  
              standards.
              Minor and absorbable cost to the Bureau of Electronic and  
              Appliance Repair, Home Furnishing, and Thermal Insulation  
              (bureau) from the Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation  
              Fund (special) consult with the SFM.

          Background: The bureau, with input from the California Energy  
          Commission, the SFM, manufacturers, distributors, and licensed  
          installers, is charged with establishing insulation material  
          standards governing the quality of all insulation material sold  
          or installed in the state, including safety and thermal  
          performance. Any standards adopted relating to insulation  
          material must be submitted to the California Building Standards  
          Commission (BSC) for adoption into state building standards.
           
          The SFM is authorized under existing law to develop building  
          standards relating to fire and panic safety. These standards  
          must be submitted to the BSC for approval.

          The BSC is responsible for adopting, approving, publishing, and  








          AB 127 (Skinner)
          Page 1


          implementing California's building codes under the California  
          Building Standards Law. 

          Proposed Law: This bill would require the SFM, in consultation  
          with the bureau and DTSC, to propose updated insulation  
          flammability standards that take into consideration long-term  
          human and ecological health impacts associated with chemical  
          flame retardants while ensuring overall building fire safety and  
          adequate protection for building occupants and any firefighters  
          who may be present during a fire. The updated standards would be  
          required to be completed by July 1, 2015.

          Staff Comments: The SFM would need approximately need half a PY  
          to conduct the research necessary to propose updated insulation  
          flammability standards. These costs could potentially increase  
          should the SFM find it necessary to conduct physical testing of  
          building materials. 

          The bureau would likely have minor and absorbable costs to  
          consult with the SFM on the insulation flammability standards  
          assuming data sharing with the SFM. 

          DTSC would require additional staffing to determine long-term  
          human and ecological health impacts associated with chemical  
          flame retardants. The workload would result in costs between  
          $65,000 and $130,000 depending on whether DTSC was relying on  
          existing, readily available information or not. Using existing  
          data would keep costs on the lower end of the range. 

          Proposed Author Amendments: Amend to remove the involvement of  
          DTSC and the requirement for the SFM to give consideration to  
          the long-term human ecological health impacts associated with  
          chemical flame retardants. And to specify that the SFM is to  
          review whether the flammability standards for some insulation  
          materials can only be met with the addition of chemical flame  
          retardants.