A company called Omega Flex sued the City of Lubbock on Friday in federal court.
Omega Flex, based in Exton, Pennsylvania makes corrugated stainless steel tubing (“CSST”), which is used to convey natural gas to indoor appliances.
At first, the City of Lubbock issued a moratorium against the use of “yellow jacket” CSST after the August 2012 death of Brennen Teel. Teel was visiting friends in Lubbock when lightning struck a home in South Lubbock.
The fire killed Teel, and Lubbock Fire Rescue believed that CSST was a contributing factor to the fire.
Later, more than a year after the moratorium on “yellow jacket” CSST, the city issued moratorium all CSST in new home construction.
In 2016, the city formed a committee that recommended allowing CSST if it met certain criteria. The council voted in favor, but the Omega Flex lawsuit said the criteria are so high that no CSST product can be used.
The lawsuit said Lubbock’s ordinance was not based on any industry standard and was not reviewed by industry experts.
The lawsuit said, in Lubbock, “… the installation of CSST that does not meet the 85 Coulombs standard is a crime.”
How much is 85 Coulombs? According to the lawsuit, it’s “the 95th percentile of continuing current in a negative cloud-to-ground lightning flash.”
The lawsuit said the city exceeded state law in setting the 85-Coulombs standard, because it effectively bans all CSST. The lawsuit also said the city violated the state and federal constitutional rights of Omega Flex.
The city has not yet filed its side of the story in court records.
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