Green News ― November 2008
November 1, 2008
Convinced that the state’s water softener
ban bill would have hurt consumers and had “little positive impact,” California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the legislation (AB
2270) on Sept. 30. Schwarzenegger acknowledged the reality of salinity
problems. However, his veto message stated that the bill included provisions
“that go too far in limiting residential use of water softeners.”
The Water Quality Association, the Pacific Water Quality Association and others
in the industry put together a coalition - retail “big-box” companies, major
brand names, dealers and many of their employees, and the Retail Merchant’s
Association - to oppose the bill.
Among the group’s efforts was the development of a Web site,
SaveMySoftener.com, where the industry helped direct more than 14,000 consumer
e-mails to every legislator in California and the governor’s office, expressing
their personal opposition to the ban.
However, Gov. Schwarzenegger did sign AB 2222, a bill which directs
the State Water Resources Control Board to recommend to the legislature policy
solutions to address acute drinking water problems in areas where communities
rely primarily on groundwater. The board has been conducting groundwater
monitoring since 2002, gathering data from 16,000 public drinking wells. The
data documents the closure of more than 8,000 public drinking water wells since
1984 - in most cases, due to contamination.
The Environmental Protection Agency recognized its first WaterSense
Partners of the Year for encouraging Americans to tap into their water
resources wisely over the last year
awards were presented Oct. 9 at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and
Exposition in Las Vegas, the first national water-efficiency conference for an
In 2007, WaterSense partners were responsible for labeling, selling and
promoting more than 193,400 WaterSense-labeled products.
While the EPA’s WaterSense program depends on the efforts of more than 1,000
partners, these four partners earned this special distinction:
Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Kohler Co.
- Retailer and
Distributor Partner of the Year: Ferguson
- Promotional Partner of
the Year: The Saving Water Partnership
- Irrigation Partner of the
Year: Timothy Malooly of Shorewood, Minn.
Plumbing for greywater systems will be required
in all new homes built in Tucson, Ariz., after mid-2010. The new rules require
stub-outs for greywater systems for all new homes that are issued permits after
June 1, 2010. The regulations affect only new construction, not existing
houses, unless the homeowner builds an addition with a new bedroom, bathroom
The greywater plumbing would cost $500 to install - although home builders can
knock off $200 of that through a state income-tax credit - and the cost would
likely be passed on to home buyers. Homeowners then could choose to install
additional pipes, underground tanks to store the water and a pump to move the
More than 70 of Gerber Plumbing Fixtures’ lavatory faucets were
recently WaterSense-certified. In order to earn the label, Gerber’s faucets -
both residential and commercial models - were tested in accordance with the
procedures in ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1, and met the exacting U.S. EPA maximum
flow rates of 1.5 gpm. The faucets join the 16 Gerber toilets already certified
through the program since fall 2007.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently launched the Zero-Net Energy
Commercial Building Initiative with the objective of developing new commercial
buildings that produce as much energy as they use by 2025. Energy-efficiency
technologies and on-site renewable energy generation systems, including solar
power and geothermal energy, will help make this possible. The DOE also has
formed the National Laboratory Collaborative on Building Technologies, which
will allow the department and five of its national laboratories to work
together on the research, validation and commercialization priorities that are
important to achieving zero-net energy buildings.
To learn more about DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in
NIBCO recently introduced a “green” addition to its Web site to make
it easier for end-users to specify and install NIBCO products in eco-friendly
construction projects. Visitors will have access to a central repository of
resources and tools to keep them informed of green building practices, as well
as changing standards and codes. Go to www.nibco.com and click on
the Green link.
Armstrong Ltd. has been accepted as a “leader” of the Canadian
Industry Program for Energy Conservation. This program is part of the Canadian
Natural Resources Department. Armstrong is a supplier of quality
high-efficiency HVAC and fluid-handling equipment for residential, commercial
and industrial applications.
The Mechanical Service Contractors of America announced that eight
additional contractors have been awarded the MSCA GreenStar designation:
The Fagan Co., Kansas City, Kan.
E.B. O’Reilly & Associates, Philadelphia
Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Midwest Mechanical, Kansas City, Mo.
Egan Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
Hill York Service, Ft. Lauderdale,
Indoor Environmental Services, Sacramento, Calif.