Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Inspectors Generally.


§ 2–131. Regulation of electricity; examination fees; exemption of public utilities.

The Council of the District of Columbia shall have power to make from time to time such rules and regulations respecting the production, use and control of electricity for light, heat, and power purposes in the District of Columbia not inconsistent with existing laws, as in its judgment will afford safety and convenience to the public; and the Council is further authorized and empowered to prescribe such fees for the examination of the electrical wiring, machinery, and appliances in buildings as it may deem proper, to be paid to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia, and any such rules and regulations shall after promulgation have the effect and force of law: Provided, that nothing in §§ 2-131 to 2-133 contained shall apply to any electric company or electricity supplier facility or equipment engaged in the production, transmission, or distribution of electric current for public service or use.


(Apr. 26, 1904, 33 Stat. 306, ch. 1602, § 1; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 301, 47 DCR 1091.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1019.

1973 Ed., § 1-719.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-132.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 substituted “any electric company or electricity supplier facility or equipment engaged in the production, transmission, or distribution” for “the power plants or buildings of incorporated companies engaged in the production and distribution”.

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 1, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(25) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–132. Electrical Engineer; electrical inspectors.

There is hereby established, under the direction of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the office of Electrical Engineer, and the Mayor of said District is hereby authorized and directed to appoint an Electrical Engineer, and said Electrical Engineer shall be an expert electrician, possessing a thorough knowledge of the most modern methods for the production, use, and control of electricity and electrical appliances, construction, wiring, and insulation, as well as such executive ability and adaptability to office work as is requisite for the efficient management of the said office. And the Mayor is authorized and directed to appoint 2 electrical inspectors to assist in the work required by the authority of §§ 2-131 to 2-133, who shall perform such clerical duties as may be required by the Mayor.


(Apr. 26, 1904, 33 Stat. 307, ch. 1602, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1020.

1973 Ed., § 1-721.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–133. Assistant Electrical Engineer.

The Assistant Electrical Engineer shall perform the duties of the Electrical Engineer in the absence or disability of the latter and shall have the same qualifications as to ability and technical knowledge as is required by law of the head of the Department.


(Mar. 2, 1911, 36 Stat. 981, ch. 192.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1021.

1973 Ed., § 1-722.


§ 2–134. Appointment of Inspector of Plumbing; duty.

There shall be appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia an Inspector of Plumbing for said District, whose duty it shall be, to inspect all houses in course of erection, and pass upon the plumbing and sewerage of said houses.


(Jan. 25, 1881, 21 Stat. 318, ch. 27.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1022.

1973 Ed., § 1-724.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–135. Regulation of plumbing; licensing of plumbers and gas-fitters; noncompliance.

The Council of the District of Columbia and its successors are authorized and empowered to make and modify, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia and his successors are authorized and empowered to enforce, regulations governing plumbing, house drainage, and the ventilation, preservation, and maintenance in good order of house sewers and public sewers in the District of Columbia, and also regulations governing the examination, registration, and licensing of plumbers and the practice of the business of plumbing and gas-fitting in said District; and any person who shall neglect or refuse to comply with the requirements of the provisions of said regulations after 10 days notice of the specific thing required to be done thereunder, within the time limited by the Mayor for doing such work, or as the said time may be extended by said Mayor, shall upon conviction thereof be punishable by a fine of not more than $200 for each and every such offense, or in default of payment of fine, to imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the regulations pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Apr. 23, 1892, 27 Stat. 21, ch. 53, § 1; Mar. 3, 1893, 27 Stat. 543, ch. 199; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 480, 32 DCR 4450.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1023.

1973 Ed., § 1-725.

Cross References

Building restrictions and regulations, zoning regulations, see § 6-641.01 et seq.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(26) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–136. Plumbing permit fees; disposition of fees collected.

The Council of the District of Columbia and its successors, be, and they hereby are, authorized to establish, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia and his successors, be, and they hereby are, authorized to charge, a fee for each permit granted to connect any building, premises, or establishment with any sewer, water, or gas main, or other underground structure located in any public street, avenue, alley, road, highway, or space; and also to establish and charge a fee for each permit granted to make an excavation in any public street, avenue, alley, highway, road, or space for the purpose of repairing, altering, or extending any house sewer, water main, or gas main, or other underground construction. The fees authorized by this section shall be paid to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia and by him paid for each fiscal year into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the General Fund of the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 23, 1892, 27 Stat. 21, ch. 53, § 3; Feb. 22, 1921, 41 Stat. 1144, ch. 70, § 7; June 28, 1944, 58 Stat. 533, ch. 300, § 18; Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1967, § 402(27), 81 Stat. 952.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1024.

1973 Ed., § 1-726.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 21-522, § 21-527, § 21-562, and § 21-2047.

Cross References

Water and gas mains, service pipes, and sewer connections, duty to complete prior to construction of pavement and other permanent works, see § 9-401.03.

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(27) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–137. Powers of Inspector of Plumbing.

The Inspector of Plumbing and his assistants shall be under the direction of said Mayor of the District of Columbia, and they are hereby empowered, accordingly, to inspect or cause to be inspected, all houses when in course of erection in said District, to see that the plumbing, drainage, and ventilation of sewers, and gas-fittings thereof conform to the regulations hereinbefore provided for; and also at any time, during reasonable hours, under like direction, on the application of the owner, or occupant, or the complaint under oath of any reputable citizen, to inspect or cause to be inspected any house in said District to examine the plumbing, drainage, and ventilation of sewers, and gas-fittings thereof, and generally to see that the regulations hereinbefore provided for are duly observed and enforced.


(Apr. 23, 1892, 27 Stat. 21, ch. 53, § 4; Mar. 3, 1893, 27 Stat. 543, ch. 199.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1025.

1973 Ed., § 1-727.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 21-2002.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–138. Duties of Assistant Inspector of Buildings.

The principal Assistant Inspector of Buildings may perform and discharge any of the duties of the Inspector of Buildings when so directed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 3, 1899, 30 Stat. 1046, ch. 422.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1026.

1973 Ed., § 1-728.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 2–139. Inspector of Elevators and Fire Escapes.

One of the Assistant Inspectors of Buildings shall hereafter also perform the duties of Inspector of Elevators and Fire Escapes, without additional compensation.


(Aug. 7, 1894, 28 Stat. 244, ch. 232.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1027.

1973 Ed., § 1-729.

Cross References

Elevators, regulation of construction, repair and operation, see § 1-303.44.

New Implementing Regulations

New implementing regulations: Pursuant to this section, the following new regulations were adopted in 1984: The “Apartment House Elevator Act of 1984” (D.C. Law 5-132, Mar. 13, 1985, 32 DCR 1717).


§ 2–140. Notice of attempted residential service.

(a) Within 90 days after April 11, 1986, the Mayor shall issue rules establishing a system under which agencies of the District of Columbia government which provide the services enumerated in this section to residents of the District of Columbia upon request shall notify the requestor that a service cannot be provided. The rules shall provide for notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and for notice to be left, if possible, (1) by being pushed under the internal door on the premises of the requestor, (2) by being pushed through a mail slot in the internal door on the premises of the requestor, or (3) as a last resort, in any manner on the premises of the requestor that offers a reasonable assurance that it will remain there until retrieved by the resident.

(b) The rules shall provide a system under which the following information shall be made available to the residents: The name of the agency, the name of the individual attempting to provide the service, the date and time of the attempt to complete the requested service, the reason the service could not be delivered, and a telephone number that the resident can call to reschedule service.

(c) The services covered by this section shall include bulk trash collection, tree trimming, alley cleaning, leaf collection, inspections for alleged housing code violations, and any other service included in the rules issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(d) All rules issued pursuant to this section shall be transmitted to the Council for a 45-day review period.

(e) The Council may, by resolution, approve or disapprove the rules, in whole or in part, within the 45-day review period. If the Council, by resolution, does not approve or disapprove the regulations before the expiration of the 45-day review period, the regulations shall become effective at the expiration of the 45-day review period.


(Apr. 11, 1986, D.C. Law 6-103, § 2, 33 DCR 1157.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1028.

Cross References

Business improvement districts, collection and disbursement of taxes, see § 2-1215.15.

Washington Convention Center Authority, limitations on authority’s powers, see § 10-1202.04.