< Back to H.R. 1721 (110th Congress, 2007–2009)

Text of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on October 9, 2007 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 15, 2007 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate).

Source: GPO

II

Calendar No. 417

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1721

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 15, 2007

Received; read twice and placed on the calendar

AN ACT

To increase the safety of swimming pools and spas by requiring the use of proper anti-entrapment drain covers and pool and spa drainage systems, by establishing a swimming pool safety grant program administered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to encourage States to improve their pool and spa safety laws and to educate the public about pool and spa safety, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Sec. 3. Federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standard.

Sec. 4. State swimming pool safety grant program.

Sec. 5. Minimum State law requirements.

Sec. 6. Education program.

Sec. 7. Definitions.

Sec. 8. CPSC report.

2.

Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1)

of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 in the United States;

(2)

there are approximately 260 drowning deaths of children younger than age 5 each year in swimming pools, and an estimated 2,725 children are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for pool submersion injuries, mostly in residential pools;

(3)

many children die due to pool and spa drowning and entrapment, such as Virginia Graeme Baker, who at age 7 drowned by entrapment in a residential spa, and Preston de Ibern, who at age 5 nearly drowned and was left permanently brain damaged, finally succumbing to his catastrophic healthcare issues when he was 12 years old;

(4)

adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical safety factor in preventing children from drowning; and

(5)

research studies show that the installation and proper use of barriers or fencing, as well as additional layers of protection, could substantially reduce the number of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near drownings.

3.

Federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standard

(a)

Consumer product safety rule

The provisions of subsection (b) shall be considered to be a consumer product safety rule issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2058).

(b)

Drain cover standard

Effective 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard.

(c)

Revision of Rule

If, after the enactment of this Act, ANSI proposes to revise the entrapment protection requirements of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8, ANSI shall notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the proposed revision and the proposed revision shall be incorporated in the consumer product safety rule under subsection (a) unless, within 60 days of such notice, the Commission notifies ANSI that the Commission has determined that such revision does not carry out the purposes of subsection (b).

(d)

Implementing Regulations

Section 553 of title 5, United States Code, shall apply with respect to the issuance of any regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement the requirements of this section, and sections 7 and 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act shall not apply to such issuance.

4.

State swimming pool safety grant program

(a)

In General

Subject to the availability of appropriations authorized by subsection (e), the Commission shall establish a grant program to provide assistance to eligible States.

(b)

Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant under the program, a State shall—

(1)

demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has a State statute, or that, after the date of enactment of this Act, it has enacted a statute, or amended an existing statute, that provides for the enforcement of a law that—

(A)

except as provided in section 5(a)(1)(A)(i), applies to all swimming pools in the State; and

(B)

meets the minimum State law requirements of section 5; and

(2)

submit an application to the Commission at such time, in such form, and containing such additional information as the Commission may require.

(c)

Amount of Grant

The Commission shall determine the amount of a grant awarded under this Act, and shall consider—

(1)

the population and relative enforcement needs of each qualifying State; and

(2)

allocation of grant funds in a manner designed to provide the maximum benefit from the program in terms of protecting children from drowning or entrapment, and, in making that allocation, shall give priority to States that have not received a grant under this Act in a preceding fiscal year.

(d)

Use of Grant Funds

A State receiving a grant under this section shall use—

(1)

at least 50 percent of amount made available to hire and train enforcement personnel for implementation and enforcement of standards under the State swimming pool and spa safety law; and

(2)

the remainder—

(A)

to educate pool construction and installation companies and pool service companies about the standards;

(B)

to educate pool owners, pool operators, and other members of the public about the standards under the swimming pool and spa safety law and about the prevention of drowning or entrapment of children using swimming pools and spas; and

(C)

to defray administrative costs associated with such training and education programs.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013 $5,000,000 to carry out this section, such sums to remain available until expended.

5.

Minimum State law requirements

(a)

In General

(1)

Safety standards

A State meets the minimum State law requirements of this section if—

(A)

the State requires by statute—

(i)

the enclosure of all outdoor residential pools and spas by barriers to entry that will effectively prevent small children from gaining unsupervised and unfettered access to the pool or spa;

(ii)

that all pools and spas be equipped with devices and systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains;

(iii)

that pools and spas built more than 1 year after the date of enactment of such statute have—

(I)

more than 1 drain per circulation pump;

(II)

1 or more unblockable drains per circulation pump; or

(III)

no main drain; and

(iv)

every swimming pool and spa that has a main drain, other than an unblockable drain, be equipped with a drain cover that meets the consumer product safety standard established by section 3; and

(B)

the State meets such additional State law requirements for pools and spas as the Commission may establish after public notice and a 30-day public comment period.

(2)

Use of minimum state law requirements

The Commission—

(A)

shall use the minimum State law requirements under paragraph (1) solely for the purpose of determining the eligibility of a State for a grant under section 4 of this Act; and

(B)

may not enforce any requirement under paragraph (1) except for the purpose of determining the eligibility of a State for a grant under section 4 of this Act.

(3)

Requirements to reflect national performance standards and commission guidelines

In establishing minimum State law requirements under paragraph (1), the Commission shall—

(A)

consider current or revised national performance standards on pool and spa barrier protection and entrapment prevention; and

(B)

ensure that any such requirements are consistent with the guidelines contained in the Commission’s publication 362, entitled Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools, the Commission’s publication entitled Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer, and any other pool safety guidelines established by the Commission.

(b)

Standards

Nothing in this section prevents the Commission from promulgating standards regulating pool and spa safety or from relying on an applicable national performance standard.

(c)

Basic access-related safety devices and equipment requirements to be considered

In establishing minimum State law requirements for swimming pools and spas under subsection (a)(1), the Commission shall consider the following requirements:

(1)

Covers

A safety pool cover.

(2)

Gates

A gate with direct access to the swimming pool that is equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device.

(3)

Doors

Any door with direct access to the swimming pool that is equipped with an audible alert device or alarm which sounds when the door is opened.

(4)

Pool alarm

A device designed to provide rapid detection of an entry into the water of a swimming pool or spa.

(d)

Entrapment, Entanglement, and Evisceration Prevention Standards to be Required

(1)

In general

In establishing additional minimum State law requirements for swimming pools and spas under subsection (a)(1), the Commission shall require, at a minimum, 1 or more of the following (except for pools constructed without a single main drain):

(A)

Safety vacuum release system

A safety vacuum release system which ceases operation of the pump, reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected, that has been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.

(B)

Suction-limiting vent system

A suction-limiting vent system with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening.

(C)

Gravity drainage system

A gravity drainage system that utilizes a collector tank.

(D)

Automatic pump shut-off system

An automatic pump shut-off system.

(E)

Other systems

Any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective as, or better than, the systems described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of this paragraph at preventing or eliminating the risk of injury or death associated with pool drainage systems.

(2)

Applicable standards

Any device or system described in subparagraphs (B) through (E) of paragraph (1) shall meet the requirements of any ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standard if there is such a standard for such a device or system, or any applicable consumer product safety standard.

6.

Education program

(a)

In general

The Commission shall establish and carry out an education program to inform the public of methods to prevent drowning and entrapment in swimming pools, spas, and ornamental pools. In carrying out the program, the Commission shall develop—

(1)

educational materials designed for pool manufacturers, pool service companies, and pool supply retail outlets;

(2)

educational materials designed for pool owners and operators;

(3)

educational materials designed for ornamental pool owners and operators, including municipalities; and

(4)

a national media campaign to promote awareness of pool and spa safety.

(b)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 $5,000,000 to carry out the education program authorized by subsection (a).

7.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

ASME/ANSI standard

The term ASME/ANSI standard means a safety standard accredited by the American National Standards Institute and published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

(2)

ASTM standard

The term ASTM standard means a safety standard issued by ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials.

(3)

Barrier

The term barrier, with respect to a swimming pool, means a fence, dwelling wall, or nondwelling wall, or any combination thereof, which completely surrounds the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool, especially access from the residence or from the yard outside the barrier. In the case where a wall of a dwelling that contains a door or window serves as part of the barrier, all doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet. Alarms should meet the requirements of UL 2017 General-Purpose Signaling Devices and Systems, section 77. All doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor. The term barrier means, with respect to a portable hot tub, a lockable cover.

(4)

Commission

The term Commission means the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(5)

Main drain

The term main drain means a submerged suction outlet typically located at the bottom of a pool or spa to conduct water to a re-circulating pump.

(6)

Ornamental pool

The term ornamental pool means a man-made structure designed to contain water such as a decorative fountain or reflecting pool in the ground, partially in the ground, or in a building, intended primarily for aesthetic value and not intended for swimming or wading.

(7)

Safety vacuum release system

The term safety vacuum release system means a vacuum release system capable of providing vacuum release at a suction outlet caused by a high vacuum occurrence due to a suction outlet flow blockage.

(8)

Unblockable drain

The term unblockable drain means a drain of any size and shape that a human body cannot sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment hazard.

(9)

Swimming pool; spa

The term swimming pool or spa means any outdoor or indoor structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing, including in-ground and above-ground structures, and includes hot tubs, spas, portable spas, and non-portable wading pools.

8.

CPSC report

Within 1 year after the close of each fiscal year for which grants are made under section 4, the Commission shall submit a report to the Congress evaluating the effectiveness of the grant program authorized by that section.

Passed the House of Representatives October 9, 2007.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk

October 15, 2007

Received; read twice and placed on the calendar