Author Archives: IPIA Admin

PLUMBING CAN UNITE THE WORLD

December 13th, 2017 | Posted by IPIA Admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
IAPMO, Jordanian Government Agencies Sign MOU to Develop Codes and Standards
Amman, Jordan (Dec. 12, 2017) — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Tuesday joined with the Jordanian National Building Council (JNBC), Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), and Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance water/sanitation infrastructure in the kingdom through the continued development and enforcement of plumbing codes and standards.
Jordan's Minister of Public Works and Housing H. E. Eng. Sami Halaseh, JSMO Director General H. E. Dr. Haydar Al Zaben, WAJ Secretary General H. E. Eng. Malik Rawashdeh, and IAPMO Senior Vice President of Government Relations Dain Hansen signed the MOU. IAPMO's delegation to Jordan also included Ohannes Dembekjian, Executive Vice President of Continuous Compliance for IAPMO R&T, and Christopher Lindsay, Director of Government Relations. Officials from the United States Embassy also attended the signing.
IAPMO and their Jordanian partners have been working together toward the development of a Uniform Plumbing Code – Jordan for several years. In 2015, IAPMO sent a delegation to Amman to participate in the International Water Association's Water and Development Congress and Exhibition as part of a U.S. grant highlighting U.S. standards, codes, and testing practices that can assist Middle Eastern communities in developing solutions to water scarcity issues. This work was funded through an effective public/private partnership known as the USAID/ANSI Standards Alliance.
"IAPMO and Jordan have long engaged in a fruitful collaboration and strong partnership, and the signing of this new MOU with JSMO, MOPH, and WAJ takes this partnership to the next step," Hansen said. "We are thrilled to work together to ensure that strong, water-saving product standards are embedded into technical regulations, to establish a robust conformity assessment scheme to protect Jordan from inferior, counterfeit products, and to update Jordan's plumbing code."
Rooted in their shared understanding of the importance of standards in developing water and sanitation related infrastructure, the signees agree to cooperate via the MOU on such goals as:
  • Recognize and promote the value of the most recent edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) to update Jordan's current plumbing code, which is based on an older version of the UPC
  • Promote the development of a skilled workforce that is capable of designing, building, maintaining, enforcing and inspecting the quality of water systems in buildings that Jordan desires
  • Recognize the important role international standards play in developing a conformity assessment scheme for plumbing products that will enhance manufacturing in Jordan and promote the trade of goods certified to safety and efficiency standards
"The signing of the MOU marks the consolidation of a true partnership with IAPMO," Halaseh said. "This is an opportunity to further develop the Jordanian plumbing code and national standards in addition to product certification and personnel certification of plumbers and inspectors on plumbing systems that can assist Jordan in contributing to solutions dealing with water scarcity."
Specifically, IAPMO pledges to work with JSMO and other government stakeholders in mandating water efficient plumbing regulations and product standards, provide technical assistance in developing conformity assessment schemes and processes that meet international best practices, provide the most recent edition of the UPC to JNBC and JSMO to officials updating Jordan's codes, and assist in the development of personnel certification criteria for a skilled workforce and competent inspection officials.
For more information, contact Hansen at (202) 445-7514 or dain.hansen@iapmo.org.

Home Heating Safety

December 4th, 2017 | Posted by IPIA Admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
As temperatures drop, families often look for alternative ways to generate heat throughout their homes. While space heaters and fire places are good sources of warmth, they can be very dangerous. Space heaters account for about one-third of home heating fires and 80 percent of home heating fire deaths annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Families should use extreme caution with all alternative heating devices.
According to the NFPA, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths, with almost half of these fires occurring in the months of December, January and February. Common household mistakes contribute to the majority of these fires, such as placing flammable objects too close to heating equipment.
The NFPA recommends the following safety precautions when using heating equipment:
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as a portable space heater, fireplace, wood-burning stove or furnace. The three-foot safety zone includes furniture, drapes, electronics—anything that can burn.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not place an electrical cord under a rug. Dispose of older, fraying extension cords.
  • Always use only the type of fuel specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Do not burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood, or wrapping paper in a home fireplace.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
Dec. 20, 2017 - George Swietczak
Jan 17, 2018 - Jim Majeriwiz will be discussing the State Code Feb 21, 2018 - will be Gary Howard on Referenced Codes (YOUTH CAMPS) and professionalism in our association March 21, 2018 -Gary Howard continuing on referenced Codes for (YOUTH CAMPS) June 20, 2018 - Tom Palkon ASSE Director on Water filtration Meetings: every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Earn 1 hour CEU! 11:30 – 12:00      SIGN IN 12:00 – 12:45      LUNCH 1:00 - 2:00            PROGRAM Medinah Shrine Center 550 Shriners Drive Addison IL 60101 (630) 458-0200
At the Request of Industry, U.S. Senate Committee Supports WaterSense
Washington, D.C. (Nov. 21, 2017) — The U.S. Senate, at the urging of the plumbing industry and its partners, via language in a Department of the Interior appropriations bill for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, expresses strong support for the continued operation and complete funding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense consumer product labeling program.
"The Committee rejects the proposed elimination of the WaterSense program, and provides not less than the fiscal year 2017 level," per the bill, introduced recently by the Appropriations Committee.
The Senate language echoes similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, which the committee passed earlier this year, seeking to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to include the formal federal establishment of the WaterSense program. IAPMO has been a vocal proponent of WaterSense since its inception more than a decade ago.
"We have seen tremendous support from across the industry, from all facets of the political spectrum, in solidarity for the WaterSense program," said Dain Hansen, IAPMO Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. "This support has translated into both chambers of Congress, recognizing the vital need for the continuation of the WaterSense program. Building upon the House's support for WaterSense, the Senate has explicitly expounded on its support that WaterSense not only continues, but also remains at 2017 funding levels or higher."
Modeled after the ENERGY STAR program, WaterSense is a labeling and recognition program that seeks to protect the future of the U.S. water supply by offering consumers a simple way to make product-purchasing choices that conserve water with no sacrifice to quality or performance. Services and products earning the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient than average products in the same category without affecting performance. Such products include toilets, urinals, showerheads, bathroom faucets, landscape irrigation controllers, and pre-rinse spray valves.
IAPMO Research and Testing, Inc. ("IAPMO R&T") is the leading provider of WaterSense product certification in the nation and has been a U.S. EPA licensed provider, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), from the beginning, certifying the first high-efficiency toilet (HET) to the standard in April 2007. To date, IAPMO R&T, part of The IAPMO Group, has certified thousands of such water-efficient products to the WaterSense specifications.
For more information on the legislation, contact Hansen at
 (202) 445-7514 or dain.hansen@iapmo.org
.

The IAPMO Group Washington Update—November 17, 2017

November 20th, 2017 | Posted by IPIA Admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
Congressional Update.

This Week. The House passed their version of legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code while the Senate confirmed a slew of nominations.

Next Week. The House and Senate are in recess until after Thanksgiving.

Tax Reform. The House of Representatives passed their tax reform bill. Under the measure, the corporate income tax rate would be cut to a flat 20%, the current system of taxing U.S. companies’ worldwide income would end, and dozens of breaks would be modified or eliminated. Hours after the House passed their tax bill, their colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee approved a far different version. Some of the biggest differences between the plans include the number of individual income tax brackets, the timing of a corporate income tax rate cut, the future of the estate tax, the taxation of passthrough businesses, and the process for taxing businesses’ international income. Almost all of the Senate’s individual tax changes would be temporary, while most of the House’s changes would be permanent. The Senate is scheduled to vote on their version of the tax reform bill the week of November 26.

Congress to Send Trump His First Defense Policy Legislation. President Donald Trump will receive his first $700 billion defense policy bill, legislation that exceeds legal spending caps, after the Senate cleared the measure this week. The fiscal 2018 defense authorization measure (H.R. 2810) includes $66 billion for war operations in the year that started Oct. 1. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. would see a boost in the Pentagon’s aircraft orders. The bill also would authorize a 2.4 percent pay increase for the military, extends bonuses for service members, and would make permanent a program to pay military widows and widowers $310 a month. The bill marks lawmakers’ determination to put more money into the military even though they have yet to agree on how to address the spending limits that Congress set in the 2011 Budget Control Act (Public Law 112-25). Actual spending decisions will be made later in appropriations legislation.

Water Contamination on Military Bases. The House and Senate included provisions on drinking water contamination in a military spending bill that had been in conference between the two chambers.  The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $7 million to study the health effects of perfluorinated chemicals. An ingredient in foams that are used to put out oil fires, these chemicals have been found in groundwater on military bases and in wells in nearby communities. The study is due five years after the bill is enacted. The Defense Department will be required to submit a report within 180 days that outlines alternative fire fighting foams. The bill also orders the Defense Department to report on radium in groundwater near Bethpage, New York. The radium is linked to a Naval weapons facility. In addition, lawmakers considered a rider to adopt a wastewater drainage settlement with a large and powerful irrigation district in California. In the end, they did not include in the final measure.

EnergyStar. House Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee held a hearing last week on possible legislation that could lead to major changes to the Energy Star program. The bill’s biggest proposal would transfer the program’s leadership from the EPA to the DOE. “This hearing... is a starting point for reforming the Energy Star program,” said Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, the author of the proposed bill, which hasn’t been formally introduced into Congress. Democrats on the subcommittee were much less enthusiastic. While the Energy Star Reform Act of 2017 would make DOE the lead agency for Energy Star, it would allow for some responsibilities to be delegated to the EPA. Witnesses who testified at the hearing said swapping agency leadership could create confusion and generate extra costs. The draft bill would also require the program to adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). That would treat every change to an Energy Star specification as agency rulemaking. Because of that, proposed changes would be published in the Federal Register and face a lengthy public-comment period. Critics worry that delays could leave standards lagging far behind product innovation. That, in turn, would undermine consumer confidence in Energy Star, and it could lead to fewer companies participating in the program, which has been called a model of public-private energy-efficiency programs. The draft bill also provides exceptions from the requirement that all products participating in Energy Star be tested by a third-party certification body. It would allow self-certification for makers of electronics products that are in good standing under the program. The High-Performance Buildings Coalition, which IAPMO chairs, has identified Energy Star as an industry priority, and issued a Coalition letter: Here<https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f25a90a64f70c9a877955bae9/files/096cf667-c209-436d-bff9-de1efad4041a/2017_11_energy_star_vfinal.pdf>.

Administration Update.

EPA's Timeline to Rewrite Water Rule May Be Tough to Meet. The Trump administration's “aggressive timeline” to rewrite a regulation clarifying the geographic reach of the Clean Water Act by the end of 2018 will be hard to meet, according to EPA officials. The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in the midst of a two-step process that first involves the withdrawal of the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule, followed by its rewrite. The undoing of the 2015 rule will involve the reinstatement of a 1986 jurisdiction rule and related guidance that the EPA said was in place prior to the Obama-era regulation. Waters and wetlands that fall under Clean Water Act jurisdiction are protected from pollution by a number of tools, including federal permits, oil spill prevention requirements, and state water quality certifications. The EPA expects to issue the final rule reinstating the 1986 regulation and the proposed rewrite of WOTUS by the end of March. The agency expects to receive at least 100,000 substantive comments on the proposed rewrite, which will take time to address in the final rule. The delay is good news to local policymakers. State water officials have repeatedly asked the EPA to include them in the rewriting of the WOTUS because they said they were left out during the crafting of the 2015 rule.

CDC Releases New Reports on US Waterborne Disease Outbreaks - Legionella Main Culprit. The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, but outbreaks of disease associated with drinking water and other types of water still occur. CDC released two new reports that describe 69 waterborne disease outbreaks reported from 2013 and 2014. The outbreaks were associated with drinking water, environmental exposures to water (such as water from cooling towers, decorative fountains, or back-country streams), and undetermined exposures to water (where an exposure to a single type of water could not be identified). Most of the outbreaks (61%) were associated with drinking water. The studies identified a total of 42 drinking water–associated outbreaks that were reported to CDC, resulting in at least 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths. Legionella was responsible for 57% of outbreaks and 13% of illnesses, and chemicals/toxins and parasites together accounted for 29% of outbreaks and 79% of illnesses.

NAFTA Negotiations Resume. The U.S., Mexico and Canada kicked off the latest round of NAFTA talks this week. A new development so far is that Mexico indicated that it is willing to review NAFTA every five years, accepting part of a U.S. proposal, while insisting that there must not be any clause that would lead to automatic termination of the deal. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, Guajardo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that they’ll skip the talks for the first time and leave discussions to their negotiating teams. They held “substantial” discussions at a Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering in Vietnam last week, according to a joint statement Wednesday. This round of talks is scheduled to run through next Tuesday. Meanwhile, three Republican senators yesterday urged Lighthizer to back away from the focus on trade deficits during renegotiations. “[I]f the desired result of current trade agreement renegotiations is job growth, concern over a negative trade balance should not be part of those discussions,” the lawmakers wrote. They pointed out that over the last decade, the U.S. unemployment rate was the highest in the same year that the U.S. trade deficit was the lowest.

Industry Update.

California’s Famed Cancer Warnings Threatened by Federal Push. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and dozens of other trade groups are pushing for a federal law that could override state ingredient-disclosure rules and warning labels, including California’s landmark Proposition 65. About 50 trade organizations have backed an effort for a national labeling law, saying a unified rule is needed instead of a patchwork of differing state requirements. They contend that the chaos of state legislation has become too much for businesses to bear. The effort could challenge laws like Proposition 65, a set of rules that’s been immortalized in signs and labels across California -- and frequently outside the state as well. The California proposition, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, took effect in 1986. It requires the state to maintain an updated list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm and for businesses to give “clear and reasonable” notice of exposure to those chemicals. That’s usually in the form of signs and labels. Critics say such warnings can be excessive. They point to a current lawsuit that seeks to add warnings about a chemical in coffee. But proponents say the law has been successful in alerting consumers to hazards like lead. Proposition 65 has served as a template for other states. In recent years, a number have enacted or weighed legislation regulating the use of certain chemicals in products. About 35 states have passed 173 measures, and more than 100 other bills are under consideration in two dozen states. Efforts to override state disclosure requirements for consumer products come on the heels of a battle last year over whether to require labels of genetically modified ingredients in food. Industry groups sought a national law that would supersede individual state mandates such as Vermont’s.

Oregon's Governor Orders Water-Saving Improvements. Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a two ground-breaking Executive Orders this week directing state agencies to adopt new policies on climate change that also provide a big boost for urban water efficiency. Among the many new directives for efficiency in buildings, the Governor is ordering the Building Codes Division of the Department of Business and Consumer Services to strengthen the state building code to require high-efficiency fixtures in all new buildings. The EO further calls for standards for on-site reuse to be adopted for all new commercial buildings. The Governor’s action comes less than four months after the State of New York gave final approval to its own building code revisions that will require water-efficient fixtures in new buildings. One-third of the U.S. population now resides in jurisdictions where the water consumption of plumbing products in new construction is required to more efficient than the minimum federal standards.

Dain M. Hansen
Senior Vice President
Government Relations
The IAPMO Group
101 Constitution Avenue, NW Suite 825 East
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 445-7514 www.IAPMO.org/GR<http://www.IAPMO.org/GR> www.Twitter.com/IAPMOGR www.Linkedin.com/in/DainHansen

Does the State of Illinois owe you money?

November 20th, 2017 | Posted by IPIA Admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
There are around 900 plumbing companies posted on the Illinois Treasury web site that have money coming to them!
Click on the site and under the last name/business name type in plumbing then search
Gary W. Howard