The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) continues to take center stage, when it comes to industry lobbying efforts. Specifically, the industry wants to make sure that the rule, which affects homes built before 1978, is not expanded to include commercial buildings. When members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) took to Capitol Hill this week they talked to lawmakers about the LRRP rule, while also asking them to support neutral green building systems that offer more flexibility than LEED. This was all part of the WDMA’s 2014 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference held in Arlington, Va.
Members who spoke to congressional representatives and their staff asked that legislators restore the opt-out provision in the LRRP rule and prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from expanding the rule to include commercial and public buildings.
“My appointments were split between Democrats and Republicans and it seemed that both parties understood and somewhat agreed with the position WDMA was taking on this,” said Ric Jackson, director of government relations, Quanex Building Products.
Members also spoke to legislators urging them to support and approve the Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness Act (S. 2074, HR 1616) which would spur the use of energy-efficient technologies in the residential and commercial structures while fostering job creation.
A provision in the Senate version of the bill also ensures that the green building rating systems used by federal agencies do not unfairly exclude certain building materials, according to the WDMA.
WDMA members are requesting that green building systems are neutral and follow Green Globes 2010, which is more flexible than LEED for vinyl and wood.
“I think the key issue in this revision is the reference to green building programs that do not have materials bias as part of the scoring system and that are consensus based,” said Jackson. “A tremendous amount of work has been done on Capitol Hill by the American Chemistry Council, the Vinyl Institute and WDMA to educate Congress on the shortcomings of programs such as LEED which are not consensus based.”
The bill also includes efforts to make building codes and the process of writing codes more transparent, as well as allowing the Federal government go use existing funds to update plans for new federal buildings.
As far as timing for S2074, Steve Kittridge in Senator Portman’s office, sponsor of the bill, told Jackson he felt there was a good chance the legislation would reach the floor before Memorial Day.