August 13, 2012

Sears Holdings said Friday it has again been selected to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.

For the third consecutive year, Sears will participate in the competition, this year entering 56 facilities that will compete against thousands of other teams representing buildings across the country. All efforts will be focused on eliminating waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA's Energy Star program.

August 1, 2012

By Ben Gann, director of legislative affairs, NLBMDA

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act reforms the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule by restoring the opt-out clause and suspending the rule if the EPA cannot approve a commercially available test kit that meets the regulation’s requirements.

July 31, 2012

An Illinois man whose workers removed and then dumped asbestos-containing insulation with no training or safety protection has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Duane “Butch” O’Malley, 59, was also ordered to pay restitution of $47,086 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to the cleanup of illegally disposed asbestos, as well as a $15,000 fine, according to an EPA announcement.

July 2, 2012

Opposition to the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule — a rule that requires renovation work in pre-1978 homes to follow rigorous and costly work practices supervised by an EPA-certified renovator — has gelled to bipartisan status.

June 19, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said its WaterSense program is achieving Olympic-sized water savings for consumers as it 2,600 partners and some 5,400 products.

WaterSense-labeled products have helped Americans save $4.7 billion in water and energy bills and 287 billion gallons of water since the program’s inception in 2006. That amount of water could supply Atlanta, Georgia, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games host city, for more than eight years, according to the agency.

June 12, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched Team Energy Star to help engage and educate American youth and their families about saving energy in the home.

Team Energy Star is giving kids to tools to help protect the climate through easy-to-implement, money-saving actions -- with the help of Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax.

June 6, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are sponsoring a nationwide competition offering awards to any company that develops a personal, portable sensor system that measures air pollution and a person’s physiological response to it.

The “My Air, My Health Challenge” will be formally announced on June 6 at the Health Data Initiative Forum III: The Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. Representatives from both the EPA and the NIH will be present.

June 4, 2012

Marking the first time an outdoor technology has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense label, Cyber-Rain, of Encino, Calif., announced that its full line of weather-based controllers has been independently certified to meet the WaterSense specification for weather-based irrigation controllers. 

Homeowners, municipalities, businesses and irrigation professionals can now select WaterSense-labeled controllers that operate like a thermostat for sprinkler systems.

April 16, 2012

A product linked to the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead paint rule has been approved for use on drywall and plaster.

The 3M LeadCheck Swabs, in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP), are now recognized by the EPA for use on drywall and plaster.

The swaps are designed to turn red in the presence of lead and were the first commercially available lead test kit recognized by the EPA for use on painted wood and metal. 

March 30, 2012

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) applauded new legislation designed to curb regulatory overreach, building delays and red tape.

Introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and 29 other Senators from across the country, the Preserve Waters of the United States Act would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from using a draft guidance to dramatically expand the scope of the Clean Water Act.

March 27, 2012

In 1992, Energy Star was launched as the first national, market-driven energy efficiency partnership program of its kind. If EPA’s estimates are to be believed, the effort has worked wonders. According to the EPA, Energy Star has helped save Americans $23 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 41 million vehicles.

March 22, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed that companies be required to report to EPA all new uses, including in domestic or imported products, of five groups of potentially harmful chemicals. Over the years, these chemicals have been used in a range of consumer products and industrial applications, including paints, printing inks, pigments and dyes in textiles, and flame retardants in flexible foams, plasticizers and some building materials. 

March 6, 2012

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named NVR the 2012 Energy Star Partner of the Year for the large home builder category for its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through building Energy Star homes. 

March 2, 2012

A new bill that would modify the EPA’s lead paint rule has been introduced into the Senate, promising regulatory relief to professional painters and remodelers. S.2148, the "Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments of 2012," was introduced on March 1 by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

October 20, 2011

Sherwin-Williams has agreed to pay $570,000 to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its paint manufacturing facility at 2325 Hollins Ferry Rd. in Baltimore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. 

EPA cited Sherwin-Williams for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which governs the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

October 6, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized five organizations and one individual as the 2011 WaterSense Partners of the Year. The "Retailer Partner" is The Home Depot, and the "Manufacturer Partner" is Delta Faucet Co.

August 31, 2011

Ben Gann took over his role as the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) director of legislative affairs and grassroots activities last month. Here’s his first HCN Q&A:

HCN: What are the key issues you’re pushing right now?

August 29, 2011

The past months have seen a tightening of EPA regulations on rodenticide products. But according to at least one manufacturer, the strategy is misguided.

August 8, 2011

On the fifth anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program, organizers say the system has saved 125 billion gallons of water. That’s equal to three days’ flow of water over Niagara Falls.

Over the last five years, WaterSense labeled products have also helped users reduce their water and energy bills by more than $2 billion, avoid greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 1.2 million cars from the road, and save enough energy to power more than 1.5 million American homes for a year.

August 7, 2011

DuPont has told the federal government it will stop the sales of a herbicide that has been blamed for damaging trees around the country, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. The chemical manufacturer notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is examining background studies conducted on the new weed killer, called Imprelis. The EPA is also looking at warnings and label directions on the product. 

August 2, 2011

There will be no more talk of dust wipe sampling and clearance testing requirements for the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. The extra requirements were pulled by the EPA after vigorous opposition from the industry, including the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA).

July 26, 2011

The following letter was a response to "EPA lead rule suffers setback:"

"There is no need for a better ‘test kit,’ as highly reliable and affordable X-Ray Fluorescence technology has been in use for decades. There are many consultants who have XRF machines, and lead inspections are inexpensive. XRF testing produces no damage, while ‘test kits’ and chip sampling involves producing widely scattered damage (12 to 15 sample locations for a typical room in a house).

July 13, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not be able to enforce its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule until it approves a reliable lead test as mandated by its own regulations, according to an amendment adopted yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee. The amendment, supported by the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA), was sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and was approved by a committee voice vote.

July 12, 2011

The WaterSense program, run by the Environmental Protection Agency, will hold public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the WaterSense Product Certification System, which controls the certification process to ensure that WaterSense-labeled products are in accordance with EPA regulations. These program revisions, according to the EPA, will aim for growth of the WaterSense program, and to make better use of the program’s resources.