In this Saturday, July 27, 2019 photo, retired nurse Tim Thomas, who assisted in a surgery in the parking lot of Watsonville Community Hospital after the facility lost power following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, poses during his visit to Lodi, Calif. California hospitals are asking lawmakers to scale back earthquake standards because they cost too much and might not be needed. Talk of scaling back the standards upsets Thomas, who was thrown to the floor during the earthquake. "To not make provisions to have the hospitals keep pace with the rest of the infrastructure doesn't make any sense to me" says Thomas. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California hospitals question 2030 earthquake standards

August 04, 2019 - 10:41 am

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.

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