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Manufacturer Concerns Expressed at NAFEM Regulatory Reform Roundtable in D.C.

Commercial foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers took another step to engage in the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform process when NAFEM hosted a roundtable to share members’ perspectives with government officials Tuesday, Oct. 31, in Washington, D.C.

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The discussion supplemented NAFEM comments filed earlier this year about reducing burdensome regulations. These comments were provided in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) compliance to Executive Order (EO) 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) compliance to EO 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”

Nearly 30 NAFEM members met with two, lead attorneys from the DOE office of general counsel, and five staffers from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy to discuss the government’s regulatory reform process and review regulatory reform requests outlined by NAFEM members. These requests included:

  • Expand use of DOE’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) organization to increase collaboration with all stakeholders;
  • Set standards for product categories and subcategories using demonstrated technologies that justify the standard;
  • Evaluate the current regulatory exemption or waiver request process to avoid project launch bottlenecks;
  • Calculate energy savings and financial impacts that have occurred before initiating any new standards development processes;
  • Reform the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS); and
  • Address duplication between energy efficiency regulations and ENERGY STAR.

“The government representatives attending were shocked to learn more about NAFEM members’ real-world concerns, examples and recommendations about regulatory processes that would allow the agencies to address reform agenda requirements,” said Bill Sickles, P.E., product safety & compliance engineering, InterMetro, Wilkes Barre, Penn., who helped lead the discussion on behalf of NAFEM’s Technical Liaison Committee (TLC).

Sickles cited extensive discussion about the DOE exception and waiver request processes which are common barriers to foodservice equipment compliance because devices don’t fall into neat, consumer appliance-like categories. “This is an area where reform can bring real relief to the industry and allow qualified, innovative products to enter the market faster, more efficiently.”

Members encouraged support for the ENERGY STAR program at a time when the voluntary program, overseen jointly by the DOE and EPA through a third-party administrator, is under intense, budgetary pressure. There was strong support for ENERGY STAR approval of a pilot program that incorporates third-party energy audits, conducted in conjunction with third-party safety audits, to lower compliance costs of the voluntary program by avoiding third-party lab verification expenses. Additional points of the collaborative discussion included:

California Air Resource Board (CARB) HFC Refrigerants 
Members touched on CARB’s HFC Reduction Measures Rulemaking, including implementation timing and continued serviceability of existing equipment. DOE referenced the proposed regulatory language and process for providing comments: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/hfc-reduction-measures-rulemaking.

DOE – Test Waiver Process
The DOE representatives referenced the April 2017 Enforcement Policy on the Application of Waivers and the Waiver Process: https://energy.gov/gc/downloads/enforcement-policy-application-waivers-and-waiver-process.

SBA Regulatory Reform
SBA representative summarized the results of their nation-wide, regulatory reform roundtable discussions and the follow up sent to various agencies regarding regulatory reform. This information is available at: https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/regulatory-reform.

“We had a good plan and a good meeting,” said Jeff Longsworth, NAFEM legal counsel. “After admitting that they expected us to more or less ‘nit-pick’ existing standards, we were very encouraged that DOE counsel left the meeting appreciating our frank and honest discussion on more fundamental issues and intend to share our suggestions with senior management of the agency.” He acknowledges the discussion is one small step in an ongoing process. “It’s one thing to get government officials to attend a meeting and another thing entirely to have them walk out thinking about regulatory improvements. I think we achieved both goals.”

NAFEM members are invited to take part in this ongoing process by contacting Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, vice president, regulatory & technical affairs, +1.312.821.0212; csouhrada@nafem.org.

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NAFEM provides input to USDOE on data collection processes

NAFEM submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Proposed Agency Information Collection Extension (82 Fed. Reg. 39,780; August 22, 2017) (DOE Information Collection Proposal).

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In brief comments, NAFEM suggested that USDOE:

  • Reform the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS); and
  • Reform its test procedure waiver process.

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U.S. Court of Appeals Vacates EPA HFC Rule

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Rule, which is based on Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. 42 U.S.C. § 7671k, “to the extent it requires manufacturers to replace HFCs” and remanded the Rule to EPA for additional work.

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The opinion, decided August 8, is in response to a petition filed by Mexichem Fluour, Inc. EPA still has several statutory options to regulate HFCs, which include gases used in commercial refrigeration equipment.

Manufacturers are strongly encouraged to continue to explore alternative refrigerant options while waiting for EPA’s response.

NAFEM will continue to monitor this situation and provide future updates as appropriate.

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NAFEM comments to USDOE on ways to reduce regulatory burden

As required by Executive Order 13777 offsetting the number and cost of new regulations, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) is seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate to repeal, replace or modify. On behalf of its members, NAFEM recommended that USDOE:

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  • Collaborate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to eliminate duplicative or conflicting regulations.
  • Create achievable energy reduction standards by relying on expert insights rather than computer modeling.
  • Test proposed standards to measure the potential energy savings before requiring industry to redesign product lines.
  • Better align regulation changes with the industry’s product development cycle.
  • Create an efficient waiver process with a timely conclusion.

NAFEM also recently responded to a similar request from the USEPA.

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NAFEM Comments to EPA on SNAP and ENERGY STAR

As required by Executive Order 13777 offsetting the number and cost of new regulations, the U.S. EPA is seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. On behalf of its members, NAFEM requested that EPA extend the current 2021 deadline to at least 2025 for changes to permissible refrigerants addressed under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP). The extension would allow the time needed to introduce new, safer refrigerants. NAFEM also recommended the agency revisit the ENERGY STAR program to make it less burdensome and more effective.

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NAFEM’s advocacy efforts present its members’ point-of-view to legislators and regulators making decisions that potentially impact the industry. NAFEM works with allied industry partners, law makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to actively advocate for its members’ interests.

For details on these initiatives, members can login with your NAFEM site credentials. All others should contact: Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, NAFEM vice president, regulatory & technical affairs, +1.312.821.0212; csouhrada@nafem.org.

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Proposed Los Angeles-area regulation to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions could impact fuel-burning appliances

March 10, 2017

The Orange County, Calif.-based South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has completed its 2016 Air Quality Management Plan – a regional blueprint for achieving federal air quality standards primarily through reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions across the greater Los Angeles area..

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The plan must now be approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for inclusion in its State Implementation Plan, which, in turn, will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. The SCAQMD plan calls for a 17 percent reduction in NOx emissions by 2022; a 43 percent reduction by 2023; and a 55 percent reduction by 2031. Among the reduction standards to be created to comply with the plan are those for measuring and reducing NOx emissions from charbroilers and other appliances with burners used in commercial foodservice equipment. Until now, there have been no standards for regulating NOx emissions from these types of appliances.

For questions on this topic, please contact Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, NAFEM’s vice president, regulatory & technical affairs: csouhrada@nafem.org or +1.312.821.0201.

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Seventh Circuit Court Denies NAFEM Challenge to Commercial Refrigeration Efficiency Standards

August 8, 2016

On Aug. 8, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its decision denying industry’s petition for review of DOE’s commercial refrigeration test procedure and efficiency standards published in 2014 (EERE-2013-BT-TP-0025 &amp EERE-2010-BT-STD-0003).

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The decision means manufacturers must be ready to comply with the new standards by March 27, 2017.

NAFEM maintains that at every step, the court deferred to the agency. “Arguing against an agency is always an uphill battle, but the amount of deference the court exhibits in the opinion is much greater than what we have seen in other cases,” says Jeff Longsworth, NAFEM Legal Counsel. According to Longsworth, the court seemed reluctant to grasp the technical integrity issues raised by NAFEM and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which collaborated on the filing. “We knew this was a risk, but we had faith that the court would do their job – especially given the excellent help from members in breaking the information into bite-sized pieces for a lay person to understand. It’s disheartening that the court did not look beyond the DOE’s words and into the substance and technical impact of the case.”

NAFEM’s advocacy efforts present its members’ point-of-view to legislators and regulators making decisions that potentially impact the industry. NAFEM works with allied industry partners, law makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to actively advocate for its members’ interests.

For details on these initiatives, members can login with your NAFEM site credentials. All others should contact: Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, NAFEM director, member services, +1.312.821.0212; csouhrada@nafem.org.

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NAFEM 2004 Size & Shape of the Industry Study

Winter 2004

This past spring, NAFEM sponsored its 2004 Size & Shape of the Industry Study, an industry-wide, information-gathering survey of the foodservice equipment and supplies market. The survey data was collected and aggregate results analyzed and reported through a joint effort by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Fryett Consulting Group. Companies can use the results to improve industry knowledge, assist in business planning, develop new products, set benchmarks and identify business opportunities.

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The results are compiled in nine volumes defined by the categorical breakouts within the survey: Food Preparation Equipment; Primary Cooking Equipment; Refrigeration & Ice Machines; Serving Equipment; Smallwares, Cookware & Kitchen Tools; Storage & Handling Equipment; Tabletops & Servingware; Warewashing, Janitorial & Safety Equipment; and Furnishings, Décor & Custom Fabrication.

Participating companies received two priority points and a copy of the complete report free of charge. Member non-participants may purchase for $250 per volume or $995 for the complete set. The data will be available to channel partners on March 1, 2005 for $495 per volume, or $3,395 for the complete set; and to the industry at large on September 1, 2005 for $995 per volume, or $6,500 for the complete set.

Visit www.nafem.org for more information and to order your copy of the study; or simply download an order form and mail or fax it to NAFEM Headquarters.

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Fostering Excellence in Foodservice

Summer 2002

One of the best ways for NAFEM to build on its strengths is to plan for the future through a strong professional development effort. Part of that effort includes NAFEM’s support of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) Educational Foundation where NAFEM is generously allocating $250,000 over the next five years to the program.

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The FEDA Educational Foundation is designed to provide training and education, and expand industry knowledge of individuals in the food service equipment supplies trade through online certification programs and graduate degrees in distribution.

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