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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 12/18/2015

US Federal Legislative & Regulatory Activities

  • Omnibus Funding and Tax Bill-Energy Related Funding
  • Application Submission Deadline Less Than Two Weeks Away for Public Policy & Engineering Summer Internship in Washington, DC
  • NIST Seeking Nominations for Appointments to Eight Federal Advisory Committees, Including Smart Grid Advisory Committee

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

  • State of Colorado Issues Notice of Proposed Rule for On-Site Construction and Safety Codes for Motels, Hotels and Multifamily Dwellings Where No Such Standards Exist
  • State of Iowa Issues Update for Administrative Rules on Indoor Air Quality
  • State of New York Reissues Temporary Rules on Legionella
  • State of Oregon Issues Proposed Rule on Methods of Testing for Rating Seasonal Efficiency of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
  • City of Austin Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals to Review Proposed Energy Code
  • City of New York Proposes New Regulations on Cooling Towers
  • BCAP Publishes Comparison of Comprehensive Energy Plans
  • Mayors Lead the Way on Climate Change Issues

 

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].

Omnibus Funding and Tax Bill to Be Signed Into Law

Congress is finishing work on H.R. 2029, which combines both the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. President Barack Obama has signaled that he will sign the bill into law.

Often referred to as the ?omnibus?, this bill combines the 12 annual appropriations bills into a single package, providing funding levels for federal programs until the end of the 2016 federal fiscal year next September. In a move to meet the needs of the moment, the bill also makes several changes to tax provisions. Below is a summary of the key provisions in the bill of greatest interest to ASHRAE and its members:

The reference standard to the 179D Commercial Building Tax Deduction was changed from ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001 to Standard 90.1-2007, and extends the deduction until December 31, 2016.

Extends the 45L Credit for Energy Efficient New Homes to December 31, 2016.

 

Program/Subprogram

FY 2015 Enacted (in thousands)

Final Bill

Change

Department of Energy

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (overall)

1,937,000

2,073,000

+136,000

Building Technologies

172,000

200,500

+28,500

Weatherization Assistance Program

193,000

215,000

+22,000

State Energy Program

50,000

50,000

0

Federal Energy Management Program

27,000

27,000

0

Smart Grid R&D

15,439

35,000

+19,561

Energy Storage R&D

12,000

20,500

+8,500

Energy Information Administration

117,000

122,000

+5,000

Basic Energy Science Research

1,594,500

1,848,700

+254,200

ARPA-E

280,000

291,000

+11,000

Housing and Urban Development

Community Development Grant Program

3,066,000

3,060,000

-6,000

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

900,000

950,000

+50,000

Department of Commerce

National Institute of Standards and Technology

863,900

964,000

+100,100

General Services Administration

Government-wide Policy (includes the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings)

58,000

58,000

0

Department of Education

Math and Science Partnerships Program

152,717

152,717

0

State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality

2,349,830

2,349,830

0

Teacher Quality Partnership

40,592

43,092

+2,500

 

Application Submission Deadline Less Than Two Weeks Away for Public Policy & Engineering Summer Internship in Washington, DC

December 31, 2015 is the deadline for submitting applications for one of the most unique engineering internships in the United States. Late applications will be accepted if a letter of intent to submit a full application is received by the December 31 deadline.The application can be found here.

Founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program is an intense, hands-on summer internship in Washington, DC whose 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.

For more information on the program, including the application, please click here.

 

NIST Seeking Nominations for Appointments to Eight Federal Advisory Committees, Including Smart Grid Advisory Committee

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking nominations for appointments to eight Federal advisory committees, including NIST?s Smart Grid Advisory Committee. The Smart Grid Advisory Committee provides guidance to NIST on smart grid standards, smart grid implementation, and helps identify needs, gaps, and issues.

Nominations for all committees are accepted on an ongoing basis and will be considered as and when vacancies arise. Full information on the call for nominations can be found 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].

State of Colorado Issues Notice of Proposed Rule for On-Site Construction and Safety Codes for Motels, Hotels and Multifamily Dwellings Where No Such Standards Exist

The Colorado Register, published on December 10, 2015, has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding on-site construction and safety codes for motels, hotels and multifamily dwellings in those areas of the State where no such standards exist. This proposed rule, noted as Resolution number 36, can be found here and is quite lengthy. The rule is quite complex in nature and deals with many different codes including the IECC (both residential and commercial) as well as references to Standard 90.1 (though a year is not noted), and to other ASHRAE publications. 

A public hearing has been set for January 4, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. (MST) in Denver at the Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing, BAA hearing room 315, 1313 Sherman St. Denver, CO 80203. 

 

State of Iowa Issues Update for Administrative Rules on Indoor Air Quality

The Iowa Administrative Bulletin, published on December 9, 2015, has given notice that it is updating its administrative rules on indoor air quality (among others) and is adopting, by reference, ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Previously, this rule had cited the 2010 version of this Standard. The intent is to drop Chapter 4 of the ICC IMC (which deals with ventilation) and substitute Standard 62.1. 

Any interested person may make written suggestions or comments on the amendments on or before December 29, 2015. Written materials should be directed to Jennifer Hart, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075 or at [email protected]. Please copy Jim Scarborough at [email protected]. Also, a public hearing will be held on December 29, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Lucas Office Building Conference Room 517 at the same address as above. At the public hearing persons may present their views orally or in writing. To view the suggested rule change, go to pages 1006-1007 at this link

 

State of New York Reissues Temporary Rules on Legionella

The New York State Register, released on December 2, 2015, has once again published the adoption of emergency rules for the treatment of Legionella. These regulations, which originally became effective in August, implemented requirements that protect the public from the threat posed by Legionella. To ensure that protection is maintained, the Commissioner of Health and the Public Health and Health Planning Council have determined it necessary to file these regulations on an emergency basis. Public Health Law and the State Administrative Procedure Act provide the authority to adopt emergency regulations when necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare and that compliance with routine administrative procedures would be contrary to the public interest. The various State agencies intend to adopt this emergency rule as a permanent rule and will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the New York State Register at some future date. The emergency rule, which is effective immediately, will expire February 10, 2016.

As with the earlier emergency rule published several months ago, portions of ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems are referenced. To review the rule please click here. The rule begins on page 28.

 

State of Oregon Issues Proposed Rule on Methods of Testing for Rating Seasonal Efficiency of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

The Oregon Bulletin, published on December 1, 2015, has issued a notice of a proposed rule that the State is updating its Residential Energy Tax Credit Rules, rate chart and other program aspects. A portion of this proposed rule refers to ASHRAE Standard 116 Methods of Testing for Rating Seasonal Efficiency of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. Additionally the rule references ANSI/AHRI/ASHRAE/ISO Standard 13256-1 Water-source heat pumps ? Testing and rating for performance ? Part 1: Water-to-air and brine-to-air heat pumps. These rules will be effective on January 16, 2016. The rule, which can be found starting on page 86 and continuing through page 96, references ASHRAE at several points.

To access the rule please click here

 

City of Austin Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals to Review Proposed Energy Code

The Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals for the City of Austin, Texas has included review of the proposed COA energy code (both residential and commercial) on the agenda for its January 27, 2016 meeting. This draft code includes possible adoption of the 2015 IECC as the residential code and Standard 90.1 as the commercial code. A public meeting will be held on this issue on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in the Learning Research Center, 2800 Spirit of Texas Drive, Airport Cargo Entrance, exit Highway 71 in Austin. This meeting is free and open to the public. 

 

City of New York Proposes New Regulations on Cooling Towers

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing new regulationsthatwould require owners of buildings with cooling towers to take steps to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. The regulations address cooling towers? operations, maintenance, testing and recordkeeping.

The proposed regulations are now open to public comment. Comments on the proposed regulations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 4, 2016.

A public hearing will be held on January 4, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center, 42-09 28th Street, Room 14-43, Long Island City, NY 11101-4132.

To view the proposals and find out how to comment or speak at the public hearing please click here.

 

BCAP Publishes Comparison of Comprehensive Energy Plans

The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) has published a comparison of comprehensive energy plans from Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, New York and Vermont. This comparison outlines how State energy plans in these five States are addressing building concerns. To learn how these States plan to increase energy efficiency, please click here. States currently without a State energy plan are: Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

 

Mayors Lead the Way on Climate Change Issues

The Compact of Mayors was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg (former Mayor of New York City). This is under the leadership of the world's global city networks ? Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) ? with support from UN-Habitat, the UN?s lead agency on urban issues. The Compact establishes a common platform to capture the impact of cities? collective actions through standardized measurement of emissions and climate risk and consistent, public reporting of their efforts.

Through the Compact, cities are:

  • Increasing their visibility as leaders responding to climate change
  • Demonstrating their commitment to an ambitious global climate solution
  • Encouraging direct public and private sector investments in cities by meeting transparent standards that are similar to those followed by national governments
  • Building a consistent and robust body of data on the impact of city action
  • Accelerating more ambitious, collaborative, and sustainable local climate action

Ultimately, the Compact of Mayors provides data that cities are climate leaders, and that local action can have a global impact. For more information on the Compact of Mayors and to find out if your city is part of this global effort, go to www.compactofmayors.org.  

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