Proposed ground-fault protection rules on MRA conference agenda

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Representatives from Bellingham Marine will discuss new electrical regulations for marine facilities and the steps operators need to take to comply on Oct. 24 during the Marine Recreation Association’s Educational Conference & Trade Show.

The program will be held from 3:45 to 4:40 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif. The conference will run from Oct. 23-25.

In 2011 the National Fire Protection Association set a ground-fault protection threshold of 100 milliamps for marinas and boatyards. Anyone who encounters 100 milliamps of stray current in fresh water will experience ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening heart rhythm. A revised lower threshold at a shore-power pedestal has recently been discussed.

Bellingham’s Cliff Norton, Brian Bateman and Eric Noegel will discuss the revised threshold and how it would change the management and operations of a marina. They also will talk about programs and policies that marinas need to implement to offset the effects the new code will have on day-to-day operations.

Norton serves on a panel for an NFPA project addressing barriers and developing measures for preventing electric shock drowning around marinas. Bateman has an electrical contractor’s license and was president of his own company before joining Bellingham. Noegel is the manager of project development for Bellingham’s Southwest division.