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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 11/13/2015

US Federal Legislative & Regulatory Activities

  • Senate Leaders Revive Efforts for Year-End Permanent Tax Extensions
  • DOE Updates Baseline for Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings to Standard 90.1-2013
  • DOE Amends Federal Register Following Court Settlement for Six Energy Conservation Regulations on Walk-In Coolers and Freezers
  • Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Issued by DOE on Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
  • Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule for Labeling Requirements for Certain Equipment
  • HUD Manufacturing Housing Consensus Committee to Hold Call in Early December
  • ASHRAE Seeks College Student Applicants for Public Policy & Engineering Summer Internship in Washington, DC

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

  • EWeek Slated for February 21-27, 2016
  • California Passes Clean Energy Legislation
  • States and Municipalities Join Together to Support the Clean Power Plan
  • New York State Mold Law to be Effective on January 1

US Federal Legislative & Regulatory Activities

For additional information on federal legislative and regulatory issues, please contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE?s Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at [email protected].

Senate Leaders Revive Efforts for Year-End Permanent Tax Extensions

Earlier this week, US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), along with other House and Senate leaders signaled interest in adding permanent tax breaks for businesses to a year-end tax extension package. While the details of such an agreement are still fluid, several HVAC&R industry groups are encouraging Members of Congress to include provisions from the America?s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 636) that would make HVAC&R equipment eligible under Section 179 expensing rules. H.R. 636 passed the House last February with bipartisan support.

 

DOE Updates Baseline for Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings to Standard 90.1-2013

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a final rule updating the baseline federal energy efficiency performance standards for the construction of new federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings to Standard 90.1-2013. This rulemaking goes into effect for such buildings that design for construction begins on or after November 6, 2016. Full information can be found by clicking here.

 

DOE Amends Federal Register Following Court Settlement for Six Energy Conservation Regulations on Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated six energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers as a result of a settlement agreement reached by the litigants. Consequently, DOE recently issued an amendment to the Federal Register that reflects the court?s order. For additional information, please click here.

 

Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Issued by DOE on Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

The US Department of Energy is seeking public comment on its proposed changes to test procedures for central air conditioners and heat pumps. These changes include: a new basic model definition for central air conditioners and heat pumps, revised procedures to determine off mode power consumption, changes to the test procedure for test repeatability, and incorporation by reference of updated industry standards.

The proposed rule incorporates or otherwise discusses the following ASHRAE Standards:

  • 23.1-2010 Methods of Testing for Performance Rating Positive Displacement Refrigerant Compressors and Condensing Units That Operate at Subcritical Temperatures of the Refrigerant
  • 23.2 Method of Test for Rating the Performance of Positive Displacement Compressors that Operate at Supercritical Pressures of the Refrigerants
  • 37-2009 Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment
  • 41.1-2013 Standard Method for Temperature Measurement
  • 41.6-2014 Standard Methods for Humidity Measurement
  • 41.9-2011 Standard Methods for Volatile-Refrigerant Mass Flow Measurements Using Calorimeters
  • ASHRAE/AMCA 51-07/210-07 Laboratory Methods of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating

Comments are due to DOE by December 9, 2015. For additional information, please click here.

 

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule for Labeling Requirements for Certain Equipment

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would create requirements related to a new label database on the DOE's website, redesign ceiling fan labels, update the comparability ranges for refrigerator labels, revise central air conditioner labels in response to new DOE enforcement requirements, amend water heater labels, and update current plumbing disclosures.

Comments are due on or before January 11, 2016. Full information can be found here.

 

HUD Manufacturing Housing Consensus Committee to Hold Call in Early December

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development?s (HUD) Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Technical Systems Subcommittee will hold a public conference call on December 2, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. Agenda items include review of ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation and Acceptable indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Full information can be found by clicking here.

 

ASHRAE Seeks College Student Applicants for Public Policy & Engineering Summer Internship in Washington, DC

Calling all college engineering students! Are you interested in exploring the intersections between engineering and public policy through an intense, hands-on summer internship in Washington, DC? If so, then you are encouraged to apply for the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program!

Founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, WISE has become one of the premier Washington internship programs. Its goal is to groom future leaders of the engineering profession who are aware of and can contribute to the important intersections of technology and public policy. Students entering their final year of undergraduate study are selected each year in a nation-wide competition to spend nine weeks in the summer in Washington, DC. During the internship they learn how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.

The program is open to US citizens and permanent residents. Applications are due December 31, 2015. For more information on the program, including the application, please click here.

 

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

For additional information on state, local, and international government affairs, please contact Jim Scarborough, ASHRAE?s Manager of Grassroots Government Affairs, at [email protected].

EWeek Slated for February 21-27, 2016

Engineers Week, an annual event celebrating its 65th anniversary this coming year, will be held February 21-27, 2016. According to the EWeek website, www.discovere.org, Engineers Week?the only event of its kind?is a time to:

  • Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world.
  • Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers.
  • Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.

Please watch ASHRAE?s Government Affairs webpage as sample letters and proclamations for local governments will soon be posted for use. 

 

California Passes Clean Energy Legislation

The legislature in California passed Senate Bill 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015. The primary focus of this bill requires:

  • The amount of electricity generated and sold to retail customers per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased from 22% to 50% by December 31, 2030. 
  • Other revisions to the Renewables Portfolios Standards Program and to certain other requirements on public utilities and publicly owned electric utilities.
  • The State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to establish annual targets for statewide energy efficiency savings and demand reduction that will achieve a cumulative doubling of statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas final end uses of retail customers by January 1, 2030.
  • The Public Utilities Commission to establish efficiency targets for electrical and gas corporations consistent with this goal so that local publicly owned electric utilities must establish annual targets for energy efficiency savings and demand reduction consistent with this goal.
  • Transformation of the Independent System Operator into a regional organization, with the approval of the Legislature, pursuant to a specified process. 

SB 350 codifies goals Governor Jerry Brown (D) laid out in his January 2015 inaugural address to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030. For additional information on this legislation, please click here

 

States and Municipalities Join Together to Support the Clean Power Plan

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia along with the cities of Boulder (CO), Chicago (IL), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA) and South Miami (FL), as well as Broward County, Florida have formed a coalition across the country to defend the Clean Power Plan, which sets nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. This coalition is in response to suits from other several states, coal companies and industry groups which have filed to block the new rules that are aimed at slowing climate change.

Information on EPA?s Clean Power Plan can be found here.

 

New York State Mold Law to be Effective on January 1

On January 1, 2016, the New York State (NYS) mold law ? A 4759 or S 3674 will become active. Anyone who performs mold assessments and/or remediation in NYS must be licensed by attending a certified class and passing a test. 

There are 3 categories of mold work:

  • Mold remediation means conducting the business of removal, cleaning, sanitizing, or surface disinfection of mold, mold containment, and waste handling of mold and materials used to remove mold from surfaces by a business enterprise, including but not limited to, sole proprietorships. 
  • Mold assessment means an inspection or assessment of real property that is designed to discover mold, conditions that facilitate mold indicia of conditions that are likely to facilitate mold, or any combination thereof.
  • Mold abatement means the act of removal, cleaning, sanitizing, or surface disinfection of mold, mold containment, and waste handling of mold and materials used to remove mold from surfaces by an individual.

The law covers projects of mold remediation, mold assessment or mold abatement of areas greater than 10 square feet, but does not include:

  • Routine cleaning.
  • Construction, maintenance, repair or demolition of buildings, structures or fixtures undertaken for purposes other than mold remediation or abatement. 

An applicant for a license to perform mold assessment, remediation or abatement shall meet the following minimum requirements, in addition to paying the required fees:

  • Be eighteen years of age or older.
  • Have satisfactorily completed a commissioner approved course work.
  • Paid the appropriate fees as provided in subdivision six of this section; and
  • Assessment and Remediation - submitted insurance certificates evidencing workers compensation coverage, if required, and liability insurance or at least $50,000. 

For information about the law and to find class providers (with class dates and locations) that have been approved by the NYS Department of Labor (DOL), please visit the NYS DOL website by clicking here.

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