California hospitals question 2030 earthquake standards

Posted at 12:02 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-04 15:02:28-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California hospitals are asking lawmakers to scale back some earthquake standards because they cost too much and might not be needed.

Most hospitals in the earthquake prone state have met a 2020 deadline for standards designed to keep hospital buildings from collapsing in an earthquake. But a 2030 deadline requires hospital buildings to stay open after an earthquake.

A study paid for by the California Hospital Association says to comply with the 2030 standards could cost as much as $143 billion.

Labor unions are pushing back. Stephanie Roberson with the California Nurses Association says changing the regulations now would amount to a multibillion-dollar bailout on seismic safety standards.

But California Hospital Association President Carmela Coyle said some hospitals might have to close if forced to comply with the 2030 standards.