The March 15, 2012 compliance deadline for ADA pool compliance deemed “POOL-MAGGEDON” by industry insiders has been extended. In an unexpected but not surprising move given the public outcry against the revised pool access rules, President Obama ordered a 60 day stay on the implementation of the enforcement of pool rules that require all “places of public accommodation” to be accessible, see article.
According to opponents of the rule there were not enough pool lifts in existence to enable all entities to comply. With the severity of the penalties and the ability for private individuals to sue, the rules could have had devastating impacts on associations and entities that would otherwise be required to comply.
In addition to the lack of availability of pool lifts, there are also serious questions as to who must comply with the rules. President Obama is also considering an additional six month stay of enforcement to clarify misunderstandings of the rule. In the White House response, the White House stated that you should still plan on complying with the rules as originally set forth in 2010, however, there is a proposed 15 day comment period during the 60 day stay regarding the proposed six month compliance extension for the purpose of clarifying the rules.
As a more permanent solution to the issue, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) have introduced legislation to repeal the new rules entirely. As a result of the continued confusion, expect this issue to continue to be a topic of discussion for the remainder of the year until both the Department of Justice can work out the details or have the Senate address the entire issue. If you have questions or concerns you can contact your Senator.