County's Crane Ordinance Deconstructed in Federal Court

Today there was a minor crane accident on NE 79th street. The crane tipped, but no one was hurt. It was fitting as Miami-Dade's controversial crane ordinance was also tipped over this week in a federal court.

The county passed the law in March of last year, the same month a much more serious crane accident claimed two lives. The measure had been on the table before that  -- after a string of accidents in 2006 claimed 14 lives -- but had met with resistance from the construction industry. The measure put even stricter rules on construction companies, and gave the county the power to shutdown construction sites.

The local chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors and three other industry groups challenged the ordinance in court.

Yesterday a federal judge ruled that sufficient federal standards on crane safety existed, and that these preempted local standards. So, basically they stripped some of the strongest regulations from the ordinance. You can read the full summary judgement here.

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