Industry Continues AB 262 Discussions During Flat Glass Meeting

In addition to flat glass, the tempering division also met yesterday, wrapping up the 2018 Annual Conference.

The final day of the 2018 Annual Conference wrapped up yesterday in Napa, Calif., with discussions of a number of serious issues. During the Flat Glass Manufacturing Division meeting, California legislation AB 262 was once again a major topic on the agenda. The legislation requires state agencies to consider in its sourcing the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of “eligible materials”—including glass. By January 1, 2019 the California Department of General Services (DGS) must establish a maximum acceptable GWP for each category of eligible materials. The DGS must set the maximum acceptable GWP at the industry average of facility specific GWP emissions for each material category. The DGS can set the industry average by consulting environmental product declarations (EPD), life cycle assessments (LCA) or EPDs that have had critical review.

The challenge for the glass industry, which had been discussed earlier in the week during the Energy Division meeting, is that currently only two float glass manufacturers have an EPD, meaning an industry-wide EPD for flat glass currently doesn’t exist. According to the legislation, without an industry-wide EPD, California will calculate the industry average GWP with the data from the two flat glass manufacturers.

Representatives from the DGS were in attendance to discuss the issue and possible options.

Scott Fong, associate procurement engineer with the DGS, explained that this legislation affects public works contracts, and the agencies are setting the GWP limits based on information available today.

“We can only come up with a number based on available data,” he said, adding that means there is a risk of it not reflecting the industry well. But Fong stressed that glass suppliers have to be aware of the limit, because if they’re over it they’ll most likely not be able to participate in the job.

“… this [the two EPDs] is what we have to work with and we’re trying in good will to hear the industry …” Fong said.

Both of the flat glass EPDs currently available only address clear, flat glass—which is not typically the type of glass used in most building projects.

Fong said he understands that most of the glass used in these building projects is processed (fabricated) glass, and that’s something they’re trying to work with the agencies on.

Another unintended result of the legislation as currently written is that it could restrict which fabricators can be used on public works projects.

Fong added that the intent [of the legislation] was most likely processed glass.

One of the most concerning parts about this legislation, many of those attending the meeting agreed, is that with only two data points the legislation arbitrarily is eliminating companies.

The questions were asked: What are the next steps and what can the industry do? Fong said there is still a lot of discussion that needs to take place, and possible options to consider. This could include not publishing a number for flat glass at all at this point, but that’s something, he said, that can’t be guaranteed.

The DGS has set a meeting for June 5 in Sacramento, Calif., to further discuss the legislation. The meeting will be open to the industry to attend in person, as well as via webinar. Participants will have the opportunity to ask the agency questions about how this legislation will affect business, the industry, etc.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for additional updates on AB 262 as they are made available.

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