New York Governor George Pataki recently vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of PVC pipe for plumbing projects in residential buildings larger than six stories and commercial construction for another two years. Pataki had approved the ban in 2001.

Article 10-A of New York's labor law, which expired Dec. 31, 2004, stated that plastic pipe, including ABS and PVC, could only be used in sanitary drainage piping of one- and two-family homes or "multiple dwellings" of six stories or less. All other buildings must use copper, cast-iron, wrought iron, galvanized steel, or other approved piping materials.

However, in his veto message, Pataki said the law was confusing, as the state already allows plastic piping in new home construction. CPVC, PEX and PEX-AL-PEX can be used in the water distribution piping for single- and two-family homes, as cited in the state's building codes.

The bill fostered intense debate, with advocates claiming that plastic piping emits toxins when burned in building fires and critics contending that the bill would have increased the cost of building homes.