Updates on lead rule, Energy Star and American Jobs Act during AAMA conference

By Katy Devlin, Glass Magazine
October 3, 2011
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association Regulatory Affairs Committee held a content-packed meeting at AAMA's National Fall Conference, addressing topics ranging from new chemical emissions regulations to lead paint rules for the commercial building segment.

Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, started off the regulatory discussion with an update of the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. An amendment of the July 12 Appropriations bill was passed, halting all EPA RRP funding until improved testing kits are available. Additionally, the EPA is "backtracking on testing and clearance requirements," Walker said.

Those in the commercial sector should stay on top of the EPA's Commercial LRRP, a move to extend the lead rules to renovations on public and commercial buildings. Final action must be taken by July 15, 2013, Walker said. Read an article about what the commercial LRRP could mean for contract glaziers.

On the Energy Star front, Walker said that Phase Two revisions for windows, doors and skylights most likely won't include requirements for life cycle analysis. "There's some good news, that they're going to do more investigation about [LCA]," Walker said. "As we've found, it's a complicated subject, and it's going to take time to sort through." Read more about AAMA's LCA activities.

One additional specification for Phase Two includes maximum air leakage requirements. The framework of the updated Energy Star document will be distributed this month, and it will take effect in the fall of 2013.

Manufacturers of composite wood products should be aware that the EPA issued a mandated rule promulgation for formaldehyde emissions, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Additionally, manufacturers selling into California need to note that Titanium dioxide has been added to Proposition 65.

Walker also addressed the opportunities for construction included in the American Jobs Act. "This has some good focus on schools—$25 billion allotted to elementary and secondary school modernizations, available until September 2012, and $5 billion in fiscal 2012 for community college modernization," he said. Educational facilities would be required to utilize rating systems, such as LEED and the Collaboration for High Performance Schools criteria. "The CHPS program focuses heavily on the benefits of enhanced window viewing area and toplighting," Walker said.

However, "widespread opposition will likely derail this plan in part, or in its entirety," he said.

Walker also provided brief updates on the EPA's Boiler MACT rules, the National Fenestration Rating Council's Independent Verification Program. 

Read more news from the meeting.