SB 106: Legalize Cold Plunges
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Cold Plunge tub services, unfortunately, become a perfect example of overregulation in Utah. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Utah’s Health Department has determined that cold plunges are public pools under the inflexible language of Utah’s law. With that determination comes all the legal requirements placed on public pools, like needing a fence, a ladder, a lifeguard, and more just for a tank of icy water not much larger than a bathtub.
Recognizing the clear mismatch between the legal definition and the service being offered, cold plunge provider Plunj applied to participate in Utah’s regulatory sandbox, which has the authority to temporarily waive laws and regulations when the legal barriers are unnecessary.
However, using its authority to override sandbox applicants, the Health Department vetoed the applicant’s entrance into the sandbox. With that, Plunj was forced to shut down its cold plunge services, along with other providers in Utah, who couldn’t afford the nearly $300,000 compliance costs.
This issue is a clear example of the need for updated sandbox language to prevent the furtherance of blatant overregulation. But fortunately, SB 106, proposed by Sen. Curt Bramble, is an example of responsive legislation that would address an obvious legislative need and reopen these businesses.