NYSSPE: 2022 Legislative Review and Engineering Week Registration

NYSSPE-Newsletter January 12, 2022



By Mark Kriss, Esq., NYSSPE Legislative Counsel

Preliminarily, the Society’s leadership wants to again thank all of our members who helped advocate for legislation to require that an applicant seeking licensure as a professional engineer in New York State have a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (BDE). After a prolonged effort, over multiple legislative sessions, the bill has been signed into law, and the state has joined the majority of other states with similar licensure requirements. (The law does have a transition provision allowing those currently seeking licensure via the 12-year experience ladder to continue on their career path, provided a timely application is pursued with the State Education Department. In addition, the Commissioner of Education is authorized to permit exceptions to the BDE requirement including, for example, an applicant holding a bachelor’s degree in physics or mathematics and a master’s degree in engineering.)

1. Indemnification – To be introduced early 2022

This legislation, which was previously vetoed by ex-Governor Cuomo, addresses the issue of design professional contractual indemnification on public sector projects (state and local), and is strongly supported by NYSSPE. The legislation addresses public sector contracts wherein municipalities, state agencies and other governmental entities have inordinate leverage over the terms of indemnification. Presently, governmental entities can and do unfairly shift the burden to design consulting firms for the cost of future contingent events such as property damage, personal injury and attendant attorneys’ fees. Broad form defense and indemnification provisions subject design professionals to liability arising out of the circumstances that are well beyond the design professional’s scope of work, and for matters over which the design professional has no control. Design professionals in many instances are unable to secure insurance to cover the scope of claims these provisions can generate. Many of the most highly qualified engineering firms simply refuse to participate in RFQs when confronted with adhesion contracts of this nature. As a result both public owners and taxpayers are deprived of the opportunity to benefit from their participation. This bill addresses indemnification inequity by voiding contractual provisions requiring defense and indemnification involving a public work to the extent that a design professional is required to defend and indemnify a municipality, state agency, or other governmental entity or other parties for damages that are not the result of the negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct of the design professional. Responsibility for losses related to the actions or failures of other parties that are unrelated to the design professional services rightfully rest with the at-fault party or parties. Design professions simply should not be compelled to provide indemnification for such conduct.

2. Emergency Responder – Support

(A5769/Englebright and S6377/Savino) Combines Emergency Responder / Good Samaritan

As previously reported NYSSPE has joined a broad-based coalition, including other design professional organizations and the construction community, in support of this measure which combines enhanced good Samaritan protection with a proposal offering liability protection for emergency responders hired in the wake of a natural or man-made disaster. (The coalition includes the New York Building Congress, Associated General Contractors of New York, ACEC New York, AIA New York, and a number of other organizations representing the construction and design communities.)

In essence, this bill is designed to ensure that the liability for services rendered under emergency conditions (whether voluntary or based on contract) rests with the governmental bodies which are principally charged with restoring normalcy following a disaster. Under the proposal, service providers are held harmless in the absence of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing for services rendered in the wake of a disaster. The governmental entity securing services will stand in the shoes of the design professional or contractor in instances of ordinary negligence, thereby affording the injured party a source of recovery. The measure does not apply to businesses whose primary business is responding to disasters fully cognizant of the risks such as a company routinely advertising its emergency response services.

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The Capital District's

42nd Celebration of

National Engineers Week

February 17 - 18, 2022

Webinar Series

Up to 10 PDHs

45 Seminars Offered

8:00am - 4:00pm each day


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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently updated its guidance to clarify the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations regarding residential ancillary areas and building systems serving residential units of mixed-use buildings. This bulletin describes how FEMA’s clarifications apply to applications filed in conjunction with a new building, horizontal enlargement, or substantial improvement that are required to comply with the flood-resistant construction requirements of Appendix G of the New York City Building Code.

Residential Ancillary Areas • Dry floodproofing of residential structures or residential areas of mixed-use structures is not permitted. • Ancillary areas supporting residential units are also prohibited from being located within dry floodproofed enclosures below the design flood elevation. • Ancillary areas include lobbies, foyers, offices, mailrooms not required by USPS, meeting rooms and exercise rooms, and when supporting residential units, must be elevated above the design flood elevation. Building Systems • Only building utility systems and attendant equipment that serve non-residential buildings and nonresidential portions of mixed-use buildings are allowed in dry floodproofed areas. • Utilities and attendant equipment supporting residential units in mixed-use buildings are prohibited from being located within dry floodproofed enclosures below the design flood elevation. • This requirement applies to building systems that support both commercial and residential uses in mixeduse buildings.

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Upcoming Events Erosion Control and Ground Stabilization in the Third Dimension – 1 PDH Date: January 13, 2022 Time: 12pm-1pm Location: Webinar Cost: $45 For more information & registration: Click Here Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology – 7.5 PDHs Offered by: NYSSPE & SemTrain, LLC Date: January 20, 2022 Time: 8:30am-5:00pm Location: Webinar Cost: $325 NYSSPE Members; $350 Non-Members For more information & registration: Click Here Flocculant Applications in Soil Stabilization – 1 PDH Date: January 20, 2022 Time: 12pm-1pm Location: Webinar Cost: $45 For more information & registration: Click Here The Evolution of Hydroseeding and Hydromulching Technology – 1 PDH Date: January 27, 2022 Time: 12pm-1pm Location: Webinar Cost: $45 For more information & registration: Click Here Safety Hot Topics – Debunking the Myths, for Engineers – 7.5 PDHs Offered by: NYSSPE &SemTrain, LLC Date: February 1, 2022 Time: 8:30am-5:00pm Location: Webinar Cost: $325 NYSSPE Members; $350 Non-Members For more information & registration: Click Here Engineering Ethics and Engineering Code of Conduct for Professional Engineers – 2 PDHs Offered by: NYSSPE & SemTrain, LLC Date: February 14, 2022 Time: 12:00pm-2:00pm Location: Webinar Cost: $80 NYSSPE Members; $85 Non-Members For more information & registration: Click Here Plant Maintenance Engineering & Management In Industrial and Commercial Environment – 7.5 PDHs Offered by: NYSSPE & SemTrain, LLC Date: February 15, 2022 Time: 8:30am-5:00pm Location: Webinar Cost: $325 NYSSPE Members; $350 Non-Members For more information & registration: Click Here Engineers Week Seminar Series – 6 PDHs Offered by: Long Island Chapter & Engineers Joint Committee of Long Island Date: February 16, 2022 Time: 8:00am – 5:00pm Location: Holiday Inn Plainview, 215 Sunnyside Blvd, Plainview, NY 11803 Cost: $75 half day; $135 full day For more information & registration: Click Here Engineering Careers & Jobs: Career Center New York Job Board


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