DES MOINES — A district judge is being asked to void state rules requiring electrical inspections at farm facilities, a regulatory dispute that has put Gov. Terry Branstad at odds with the state’s Electrical Examining Board and some state lawmakers.
Attorneys for a trio of Carroll County farmers are challenging the board’s authority in requiring requests for inspections and permits for electrical installations on farm property, contending state examiners’ actions were an abuse of their discretion based on “an erroneous, irrational, illogical or wholly unjustifiable” interpretation of the Iowa code governing electrical inspections.
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is countering that the state board committed no errors of law when it determined electrical installations at farm buildings constituted regulated commercial applications that were not exempt under Iowa law. State attorneys argue the farmers’ contention that the Legislature intended to “completely exempt” all electrical installations on farm property from regulation was not supported by “the plain language of the statute and is not consistent with its express goal of enhancing public safety and health.”
Of course Braindead thinks it's a bad idea to ensure that electrical installations won't hurt or kill a person or animal or set a building on fire.
In filing his formal objection, Branstad said he believed that requiring farmers to have safety inspections done after performing electrical work was unduly burdensome. He called the 2008 rule a “power grab” by the Electrical Examining Board that “hurts hardworking Iowa farmers” with costly and unnecessary regulations.