supports the bill.
On July 29, 2001 an antique steam tractor engine operated by a hobbyist
exploded killing five and injuring 48 people. There was considerable
debate at the time as to whether the explosion was due to mechanical
failure, operator error, or a combination of the two. Whatever the cause,
the explosion caused several states to review the effectiveness of their
rules and procedures. Ohio passed a law creating a Historical Boiler
Licensing Board. Minnesota revised its law and Wisconsin modified its
inspection procedures. Michigan proposed to revise its boiler rules
to adopt Appendix C of the National Board Inspection Code and to require
ultrasonic testing to identify structural weaknesses missed by current
procedures. Michigan’s proposal proved to be very controversial
with steam engine hobbyists. Forty-five of them came to the public hearing
on the proposed rules. Ultimately, the department
did not proceed with the portions of the proposed rule opposed by the
of Bill: The bill amends the Boiler
Act of 1965 to define “antique steam boiler” and add other
definitions related to antique steam boilers. The bill also increases
membership on the Board of Boiler Rules from 11 to 12 members and requires
that 1 member represent antique steam boiler owners and operators. The
current provision that the fee for an inspection made by a deputy inspector
is $25 and is not subject to change by rule is deleted.
hobby has a nearly perfect accident record. The causes of the Medina,
Ohio explosion were due to low water in the boiler (#1 problem) and
human error (#2 problem). Expanding mechanical inspection procedures,
as the department proposed to do in rules in 2002 would not have increased
public safety, because there is no correlation between problem and this
solution. Such inspection procedures would merely create a false sense
of security. They would also be so cost-prohibitive to the hobby that
their participation in important historical shows/events would cease.
Popular events, such as those in Buckley and Mason that draw visitors
from throughout the Midwest would cease. The current bill is a constructive
compromise between the hobbyists and the department and will provide
for hobbyist input into development of reasonable and workable rules.
The enrolled bill would have no budgetary impact.
The enrolled bill would have no revenue implications.
There is no budgetary impact on the state.
There is no revenue impact on the state.
The bill would have no impact on local governments.
State Departments: The bill does not
affect other state departments.
Other Pertinent Information: Tom Husband
represented the Michigan Historical Steam Engine Association in working
with the department on this bill.
House Bill 6569 was introduced in 2002 to address this
issue. There were technical differences between the 2002 bill and the
bill originally introduced in 2003.
Rules Impact: The bill does not mandate
new or revised administrative rules. All fees, including those conducted
by a deputy inspector, would be subject to establishment by administrative