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The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (Shaheen-Portman)
Read white paper related to this topic here and see summary here.
Updates related to this bill are below:

>>Government Funding Battle Knocks Stalled Efficiency Bill Off Senate Floor
Source: Geman
Bipartisan energy efficiency legislation that has stalled on the Senate floor will be shoved aside completely (this) week by debate on a funding bill, leaving the fate of the energy measure highly uncertain. A Senate Democratic leadership aide said the bill will "likely be delayed" until after debate on the continuing resolution. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who co-sponsored the efficiency bill with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), said she was "disappointed" that the measure won’t proceed for now. 

>>Shaheen-Portman's Controversial Amendments
Source: M. Hansen
A bipartisan energy bill, sponsored by Sens. Shaheen and Portman, to promote energy efficiency and conservation, particularly for the nation’s largest energy consumer (the federal government), is under consideration in the full Senate and could have a final vote soon. The legislation will establish voluntary building codes and is supported by a wide variety of key stakeholders, including business and environmental groups. However, the real story will be the amendments offered to it in the Senate, which could doom the bill. Among contentious issues to be offered as amendments would likely include a declaration that the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the national interest, instructions to the Environmental Protection Agency about how new rules regarding emissions from new coal plants, and "Obamacare" prohibitive related amendments. These controversial amendments will not likely get the required 60 votes needed for passage, but look for this fight to be the focal point of the debate. 

Bill Requiring Building Insulation Review Headed to California Governor's Desk
Source: Carroll
A bill forcing state officials to review flammability standards for foam insulation materials passed the California Legislature and is expected to be signed by the state's governor. Assembly Bill 127 requires the state's fire marshal, in consultation with the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, to review the flammability standards for building insulation materials. The review includes studying if flammability standards for some insulation materials can only be met with the addition of chemical flame retardants or whether the standards could be met without the chemicals.

SPFA Examines Impact Upon SPF Industry Stemming From Newly Released OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Isocyanates
OSHA announces new National Emphasis Program for occupational exposure to isocyanates. The official announcement can be found here, and the associated Directive found here.  This National Emphasis (aka enforcement) Program is directed at roughly 20 industries using isocyanates, including spray polyurethane foam insulation and roofing. 

"This is a major development, perhaps the most impactful regulation affecting the industry in recent memory," said SPFA Executive Director Kurt Riesenberg. "I find the intent of the NEP understandable taking into account the focus of the federal agencies on SPF specifically and Iso generally, but there are several elements of this enforcement program that are very, and surprisingly discomforting, and we are going to need some close work with OSHA to get it worked out," he continued. The concerns range from the Directive atypically casting a wide net to include targeted companies with fewer than 10 employees, the mandated minimum number of inspections OSHA regional and local offices are going to conduct and the selection process of those to be inspected, and a question over the treatment of PEL for isocyanates in the SPF installation environment. "SPFA has developed a very good working relationship with OSHA and other agencies over the past four years and looks forward to working on these issues with them and on the members’ behalf," said Riesenberg. 

Members are strongly encouraged to review the requirements and expectations of OSHA inspectors that can be found in the Directive. This is a priority for OSHA. Resources and teams of inspectors are being tasked to this, and at least one SPF contractor already had an inspection scheduled within days of the announcement. 

Check the SPFA website, member-only section, Twitter and Facebook pages along with Sprayfoam Professional magazine for up-to-date information on this subject as it becomes available. 

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