AAMA Pegs Government Regulations to Watch
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association Regulatory Affairs Committee is actively monitoring a host of government codes and regulations on behalf of its members. The following items were reviewed at the association’s 76th Annual Conference in Tucson, March 24-27, 2013. For a full list and more details on the topics below, please contact AAMA.
Federal Trade Commission item: “Made in the USA”
The FTC has the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin. The act applies to any U.S. origin claims that appear on products and labeling, advertising and other promotional materials, along with electronic marketing. The guidance was released February 4, 2013.
- Examples of express claims include: “Made in USA;” "Our products are American-made;” “USA”
- The product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content
- The product’s final assembly or processing also must take place in the U.S.
- Using U.S. symbols, such as the flag or references to the location of a company’s headquarters, could imply a claim of U.S. origin.
Florida legislation on school building safety item: Bill HB 201
On January 17, 2013, Bill HB 201 was introduced, requiring educational facilities to retrofit doors, windows and locks to meet Florida Building Code Standards and newly introduced security-related requirements by June 30, 2015.
- Doors shall be able to be locked by key from the inside without impeding the ability of the occupants to exit without unlocking the door.
- Locks and latch mechanisms in doors shall be made of bullet-resistant, protected materials.
- Door windows shall be positioned or secured to prevent an intruder from opening the door by reaching through a broken window and unlocking or unlatching the door.
- Window shall be bullet resistant or meet current hurricane resistance standards.
Environmental Protection Agency item: Commercial LRRP
The EPA postponed the lead paint rule for public and commercial buildings until July 1, 2015. The EPA will determine whether renovation, repair and painting activities on public and commercial buildings might also create lead-based paint hazards. For those activities that do create lead-based paint hazards, the EPA intends to develop certification, training and work practice requirements as directed by the Toxic Substances Control Act. The comment period ends April 1, 2013.
International Trade Admnistration item: PRC curtain wall
In April 2011, the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission instituted effective antidumping and countervailing duties on aluminum extrusion products from China. According to the DOC, the Chinese exported their aluminum extrusions to the United States at roughly 33 percent less than their value. The DOC order exempted finished merchandise containing aluminum extrusions as parts that are fully assembled and completed at the time of entry, such as finished windows with glass, doors with glass or vinyl. The DOC now agrees that curtain wall is to be considered as included within the scope of the order and therefore subject to any increased tariff brought on by the originating antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders.
Item: HR 243 Bowles-Simpson Plan of Lowering America’s Debt Act; introduced January 14, 2013
- Seeks to repeal 25c, 45L, 179D (deduction for energy efficient commercial building property) and 48c
- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.
Item: 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction
Expires for property placed in service after December 31, 2013. Ranges from $0.30 to $1.80 per square foot of improved building. If the building contains a partially qualifying property for interior lighting, HVAC, or building envelope, the deduction available is the cost of the qualifying system up to $.60 per square foot.
Item: 48c (ARRA)
- The Department of Energy opened Phase II for additional project awards; $150 million in funding remains available; relaxed qualifications to include equipment for energy conservation. Offers a 30 percent investment tax credit.
- Application period: February 7, 2013 through July 23, 2013.
EPA public meeting: June 26, 2013; details expected Spring 2013. Item: Chemical Safety and Reporting S847 – Safe Chemical Act of 2011
This shifts the burden, and costs, from EPA to chemical manufacturers to prove that substances are safe before they enter the marketplace; it also uthorizes EPA to charge fees to chemical manufacturers. On December 27, 2012, it was reported on favorably with amendments by Environment and Public Works. For more on this topic pertaining to manufacturers, and also EPA S1660 – Formaldehyde Standards Act, contact AAMA.
Department of Homeland Security item: Resiliency Star
The department is investigating the development of a labeling program for resilience modeled after Energy Star that would consider community resilience in terms of structures.