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AWC promotes the idea of balance at EPA

A call for regulations to consider cost and benefit – and to do no harm.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The American Wood Council is offering advice for the Environmental Protection Agency. Basically, the voice of American wood products manufacturing wants the EPA to ensure that its regulatory process does more good than harm.

As the EPA issued its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on balancing the benefits and costs of regulatory proposals, AWC President & CEO Robert Glowinski urged progress that would improve that balance.

“There has been strong bipartisan consensus among all presidents for the last 37 years that benefit-cost balancing should play a central role in the question of whether and how to regulate,” Glowinski said in a statement. “Despite broad agreement, there has been little progress.”

The advanced notice (ANPRM) – issued June 7 — requests public comment on how EPA can consider benefits and costs, with greater consistency, transparency and reliability, when interpreting and implementing its regulatory statutes to develop beneficial regulations.

“We support EPA’s efforts toward meaningful regulatory reform,” Glowinski added. The “announcement is an important first step in allowing industries, including American wood products manufacturers, to innovate, create jobs, and compete here and around the world. When we can work together to advance common sense policies and regulations, we liberate our creative potential and increase economic growth and job opportunities, while ensuring environmental stewardship.”

When asked to point to an example of a regulation that introduced high costs at little benefit in the wood products industry, AWC pointed to the Plywood and Composite Wood Product (PCWP) MACT rule.

According to Paul Noe, VP for Public Policy for the AWC, the rule “forced the industry to spend many millions of dollars to incinerate emissions consisting largely of low-toxicity methanol, at the same time generating NOx from the thermal destruction equipment that has an adverse effect on the concentration of ground-level ozone in NOx-limited areas.”

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Kwikset and Kobalt get close

SmartKey Security is now available for tool chests at Lowe’s stores.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Kwikset brand of Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware & Home Improvement Division (HHI), now offers one-key convenience through SmartKey Security technology in select Kobalt Tools 3000 Series tool chests, available at Lowe’s.

This feature will allow homeowners and trade professionals alike the convenience of one-key access for their home or workshop.

Typically, according to the company, pro-grade tool chests come with multiple keys for each compartment. But with the SmartKey Security in Kobalt tool chests, users can now re-key the tool chests so they all work on one key. They can also re-key the Kwikset door locks in the workshop/garage and home to use the same key.

Previously just available in door hardware, SmartKey Security was designed to make security simple, while also including advanced features to protect homeowners from common break-in methods such as lock bumping and picking.

Kobalt Tools offers an assortment of organizational solutions to its customers. With the new 3000 Series tool chests available with SmartKey Security, the ability to mix and match different sizes to build a custom work station that is accessible with a single key is now possible.

With this industry-first partnership, Kobalt Tools and Kwikset bring a streamlined, secure solution to the tool storage category.

“Our partnership with Kobalt is an exciting venture as we are solving a palpable need across multiple service industries – one-key convenience between tool chest compartments – while also adding value for homeowners with Kwikset door hardware.” says Marty Hoffmann, Kwikset VP of marketing, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware and Home Improvement Division.

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Meet the new Somerville Home Center

A long-time New Jersey dealer rebrands itself to more than just a lumber yard.

BY Andy Carlo

Somerville Home Center is celebrating the beginning of a new era. For 84 years the Bridgewater, N.J.-based dealer was known as Somerville Lumber. But that all changed earlier this year.

The company rebranded itself as Somerville Home Center this spring, including a web site overhaul, new logo, and some category restructuring.

“The branding name change was prompted by the need for clarification. Somerville Lumber Company, by name, leads customers to believe that we are simply a lumber yard when we are so much more than that,” says Stacy McKay, co-owner and the third-generation of Somerville.

“Changing our name to the Somerville Home Center, lends more to the description of the many products and services we provide,” McKay explains.

The company now consists of four divisions: Somerville Lumber, Somerville Deck Center, Somerville Windows and Doors, and Somerville Kitchen and Bath.

McKay says the dealer continues to offer renovation and building materials. Somerville also maintains individual centers within its store to highlight the moulding department, doors, windows, kitchens and baths.  A deck center is just a few doors down from the main location, offering interactive displays for builders and homeowners.

“We wanted to tell our story of what makes up Somerville Lumber. By adding ‘Home Center’ to the name it makes a clear message of what we actually do,” Somerville General Manager Ken Kovacs told HBSDealer. “We are strong in all phases of interior and exterior home projects and this supports that.”

Regarding a focus on decking, McKay says the company has been selling decking materials since Somerville’s inception.

“It is a very strong business because people are spending more time enjoying their outdoor living space of their homes. The demand comes from our customers wanting to beautify their yards,” she says. “We are very strong in this area because we provide cutting edge products with a large selection of colors and options to achieve that gorgeous, peaceful space our customers dream of.”

In addition to decking, Somerville’s outdoor living showrooms feature full displays of railing, exterior doors, siding, patio furniture, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens.

“Everything you need to make your outdoor area an extension of your living area,” Kovacs says, noting that the company opened another 2,000-sq.-ft. location in Flemington last year while expanding the Bridgewater showroom to 6,000 sq. ft.

“We have a strong commitment to this product category and see more expansion in the near future,” Kovacs said.

Somerville Home Center is one of the dealers discussed in the latest HBSDealer cover story: Return of the Home Center.

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