Tammy Townley’s ‘request bill’ to modernize pool regulations signed by Governor Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation updating regulations of Oklahoma’s public pools and spas for the first time since the 1970s has been approved by the governor.

State Representative Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, was contacted by two constituents who own an apartment building in Ardmore after they faced numerous barriers of red tape while renovating the building’s public pool last summer. She proposed House Bill 4035 to eliminate those outdated regulations.

“Tourism is the third largest entity in Oklahoma, and House Bill 4035 will allow for more streamlined updates to Oklahoma’s public pools and resorts all over the state,” said Townley, who chairs the House Tourism Committee.

“All of Oklahoma deserves to have beautiful resorts and parks that attract their visitors to stay and enjoy with their families. I’m glad this measure has been signed quickly to help the process become less burdensome.”

“We spent the months between February and August 2024 attempting to get the Oklahoma State Department of Health to issue a permit to build the replacement pool,” the constituent, Frank Feiock, said.

“In desperation, we contacted Representative Tammy Townley of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Tammy made a few calls to the appropriate officials and got the pool permit process moving again. Not only that, Tammy introduced new legislation to update the pool permit process.”

Under H.B. 4035, the State Department of Health will oversee the regulations of public pools and spas, but exemptions exist for pools in private residences or managed by a Homeowner’s Association.

The State Commissioner of Health can establish safety rules, fees and penalties for non-compliance.

Construction permits and operation licenses cost $50.00 for municipalities with a population of 5,000 or less. Public pool owners must use designated forms for permits, adhere to safety codes, possess an annual license, and allow inspections.

HB4035 was authored in the Senate by Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow.

“This legislation updates outdated and burdensome language which allows the Oklahoma Department of Health to properly regulate public pools without unnecessary red tape,” Haste said.

H.B. 4035 was signed into law April 22 and takes effect November 1.