IAPMO’s view from the Hill, and the industry

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Dain HansenDain Hansen is vice president of Government Relations, The IAPMO Group. He lends his frequent perspective of Capitol Hill, and the plumbing industry.

Here is an edited version of his update Friday May 13, 2016

Congressional Update.

This week: Western Senators Introduce Legislation Advancing Water Priorities for Drought-Stricken States. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), John McCain (R-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced legislation his week to help drought-stricken states make better use of existing water infrastructure, increase conservation efforts, and protect state-issued water rights. The bill includes provisions that would reevaluate flood control operations at reservoirs, develop procedures on how to best control water-intensive invasive species, and encourage voluntary efforts to conserve water in order to protect Lake Mead.

State Update.

CA Governor Addresses Longer-Term Water Conservation. Gov. Jerry Brown this week issued an executive order that outlines longer-term water conservation measures aimed at achieving a top priority in the California Water Action Plan — making conservation a way of life. The executive order was issued in conjunction with a State Water Resources Control Board staff proposal to modify the existing emergency water conservation regulation to reflect improved conditions and allow for more local decision making. The staff proposal would replace the existing mandatory conservation tiers with targets based on local supply and conditions. Proposed changes to the emergency regulation would require local urban water agencies to self-assess their water supply conditions — looking ahead three years —  and set conservation targets based on those conditions and average customer demand during 2013 and 2014. If approved by the board at its May 18 meeting, the amended emergency conservation regulation would take effect June 1 and remain in effect until the end of January 2017. Brown’s executive order keeps in place such conservation measures as permanent monthly water use reporting by water agencies and makes permanent bans on practices such as hosing off sidewalks, driveways and others hardscape.

Industry Update.

IAPMO Joins WorldSkills As Global Partner. For 90 years, IAPMO has been working with government and industry to implement comprehensive plumbing and mechanical systems around the world. As a Global Industry Partner, IAPMO will expand its work of improving the health of people everywhere through the power of skills. Education and training is at the core of IAPMO – developing plumbing and mechanical codes and training the professionals who install, design, and inspect them. Like WorldSkills, IAPMO uses a consensus process in the development of qualification competency standards, to heighten the benchmark for plumbing and mechanical requirements. IAPMO also has a third-party certification program for piping trade professionals, as well as a plumbing and mechanical product testing and certification program. For more information, click here: https://www.worldskills.org/media/news/iapmo-joins-worldskills-global-industry-partner/

UN Says Climate Adaptation Costs to Skyrocket by 2050. The cost of helping poor countries adapt to climate change could rise to as high as $500 billion a year by midcentury—multiple times previous formal estimates—said a new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Released May 10, the report assesses “gaps” in three key areas: technology, finance and know-how, focusing primarily on developing countries. The UNEP said estimates for adaptation financing needs are higher than predicted in part because the models it uses are based on more accurate data and because a lack of progress for climate mitigation programs is more likely to result in more severe weather worldwide by 2050. For the five years ending in 2014, industrialized countries provided $22.5 billion in adaptation financing for developing countries. The global Paris Agreement vows to raise at least $100 billion a year by 2020. The UNEP report said that will not be enough: Its estimates are that adaptation initiatives in the developing world will cost between $140 billion to $300 billion a year by 2030, and between $280 billion and $500 billion annually by 2050.

Fairbanks Pollution Policies Target Wood-Fired Hydronic Heaters. Some wood-burning hydronic heater owners, after receiving two smoke pollution tickets, face forced removal of their device under new anti-pollution regulations adopted this week. The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly also added $500,000 to the woodstove changeout program and approved new criteria prioritizing the changeout of hydronic heaters.The new policies came about in amendments to an ordinance that aimed to prohibit outdoor hydronic heaters in parts of Fairbanks and North Pole. The debate was intense, and the smoke pollution policy-making entailed major morphing of a measure that intended to get rid of an estimated 250 heaters blamed for a disproportionate amount of the smoke pollution that settles on the Tanana Valley on winter days when the air is stagnant. Under the policy that was adopted, owners of hydronic heaters who have been cited twice for smoke pollution would have 90 days to remove their device. The policy applies to hydronic heaters in the borough’s Air Quality Control Zone.

All of Dain Hansen’s full updates can be seen in their entirety in the RPA newsletter. Become a proud member of the RPA and reap the many benefits it provides for the radiant and hydronics industry. For more information, please visit http://www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org/Pages/Join.aspx


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