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The hard deadline of March 15, 2012, for compliance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design with regard to existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas has once again been extended.  January 31, 2013 is the new compliance date for the application of Section 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design for existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas (“2010 Standards”).

The 2010 Standards contain, among other things, the requirement to provide accessible entry and exit to swimming pools, wading pools and spas – including existing swimming pools, wading pools and spas.  On March 15, 2012, the Attorney General signed a final rule extending the date for compliance with the ADA’s new accessibility to swimming pool requirements (e.g., pool lifts) sixty days to May 21, 2012.  Shortly thereafter, the Department of Justice issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make the extension a total of 180 days which would bring the compliance date to September 11, 2012.  The final rule extending the deadline for compliance to January 31, 2013, goes into effect on May 21, 2012.

What does all this mean?  Pool owners and operators must gear up for compliance with the 2010 Standards by January 31, 2013.  The Department of Justice has published “ADA 2010 Revised Requirements:  Accessible Pools – Means of Entry and Exit” which is designed to assist pool owners and operators with understanding the new accessibility requirements, the application of the requirements and the longstanding obligations of pool owners and operators in connection with the new requirements.  Nine months and 13 days until the deadline!