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Senators introduce incentives for EPA compliance

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March 10, 2010—Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. have introduced federal legislation to provide incentives for early compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) surface coating rule.

The EPA surface coating rule, or HAPs 6H Rule, requires shops to take measures to prevent air pollution during spray-painting activities by Jan. 11, 2011. The rule may require shops to undergo the installation of energy-efficient renovations.

The “Building Star” program, proposed by the two senators on March 4, allows for rebates to reduce the cost of rule compliance measures such as spray booth retrofits. The program will also extend low-interest financing options to shop owners. The financing arrangement will help small businesses with the upfront cost of renovation by letting them pay off the cost out of the savings on their energy bill.

The initial costs associated rule compliance measures may quickly be made up by putting the Merkley-Pryor legislation into practice, said Steven Schillinger, president of GRC-Pirk Management.

“I strongly support efforts to move toward energy independence through increased energy efficiency, which reduces emissions while creating jobs,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “That’s why I support ways for states and local governments to help businesses finance the upfront costs of energy-efficiency measures.”

Items covered by the proposed legislation include building envelope insulation, mechanical insulation, spray booth heaters, HVAC equipment, water heaters and boilers, building energy audits, commissioning, tune-ups, training and energy monitoring systems.

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