A Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) delegation of member CEOs and other executives underscored the value of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program during their meetings on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2016, while emphasizing the need to manage risks to safe, sustainable drinking water highlighted by lead-in-water situations in Flint, Mich., and elsewhere.
They applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 2012), approved on April 20, that included an amendment spearheaded by PMI authorizing the WaterSense program. The next step is for the Senate to reconcile this energy overhaul package with the House-approved North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8), which includes a similar amendment authorizing WaterSense.
Coinciding with the Hill visits, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 19-1 to approve the 2016 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) (S. 2848) – a $9.3 billion bipartisan bill authorizing improvements to the nation's navigation and drinking water infrastructure. The measure includes the PMI-supported provision authorizing the EPA's WaterSense program thanks to ranking member Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif). The language is identical to the provision included in the Senate Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016.
WRDA includes $4.5 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water resources projects and $4.852 billion for drinking water and clean water infrastructure. It also makes permanent a program included in the 2014 WRDA bill – the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act - to provide low interest rate financing for large dollar-value projects. A House companion bill is expected to be debated and voted on before the mid-July recess.
A voluntary, public-private partnership, the WaterSense program was established in 2006 within the EPA to encourage the use of high performing, water-efficient plumbing products. Plumbing products with the WaterSense label have been verified by an independent, third-party certification laboratory to be at least 20 percent more water efficient than other plumbing products meeting federal standards, without sacrificing performance.
Prior to making the Hill visits, the members discussed PMI goals and objectives, featuring guest speakers David Crowe, Ph.D., Immediate Past, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); Ned Monroe, Senior Vice President of External Relations, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); Dorothy Coleman, Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy, NAM; and Jennifer McNelly, Executive Director, The Manufacturing Institute.
PMI contingent of CEOs and executives included:
- Bryan Mullet, CEO, Bradley Corp.
- Christopher Ochoa, Vice President, Government Relations, International Code Council (ICC)
- Claude Theisen, President and CEO, T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc.
- Clif McLellan, Vice President, Global Water Programs, NSF International
- David Purkiss, General Manager Water Distribution Systems, NSF International
- Harold Chase, Lobbyist, NSF International
- Hugh Ekberg, President, Kohler Co.
- Lars Christensen, President-Sales and Marketing, North America, Franke
- Paul Patton, Sr. Manager, R&D and Regulatory Research & Development, Delta Faucet Co. and 2016 PMI Board President
- Ray Fisher, President, Fisher Manufacturing Co.
- Robert Knoll, President/CEO, Speakman Co.
- Russ Chaney, CEO, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)
- Steve Edwards, Vice President, Jing Mei Industrial (USA)
- Tim O’Keeffe, CEO, Symmons Industries, Inc.
- Todd Talbot, President, Fluidmaster Inc.
They were joined by PMI CEO/Executive Director, Barbara C. Higgens, and Federal Government Affairs Consultant, Stephanie Salmon.
Plumbing Manufacturers International is the voluntary, not-for-profit international industry association of manufacturers of plumbing products, serving as the Voice of the Plumbing Industry. Member companies produce 90 percent of the nation’s plumbing products and represent more than 150 brands. As part of its mission, PMI advocates for plumbing product performance and innovation contributing to water savings, sustainability, public health and safety, and consumer satisfaction. For more information on PMI or its conferences, contact the organization at 1921 Rohlwing Road, Unit G, Rolling Meadows, IL, 60008; tel.: 847-481-5500; fax: 847-481-5501. Visit our website at www.safeplumbing.org.
Ray Valek, firstname.lastname@example.org, 708-352-8695