House bill exempts farms from reporting emissions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A bipartisan bill to exempt farmers from reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard emissions from the natural breakdown of manure on their farms yesterday was introduced in the U.S. House. The National Pork Producers Council strongly supports the legislation, which is similar to a bipartisan bill introduced last month in the Senate.Sponsored by Reps. Billy Long, R-Mo., and Jim Costa, D-Calif., along with 85 cosponsors, the “Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions (ACRE) Act,” H.R. 5275, would fix a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).CERCLA, more commonly known as the “Superfund Law,” is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.The appeals court ruling could force more than 100,000 livestock farmers to “guesstimate” and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center (NRC) and subject them to citizen lawsuits from activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.“America’s pork producers are grateful to Congressmen Long, Costa and their 80 colleagues for introducing legislation to fix this problem,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “Routine emissions from hog manure do not constitute a ‘hazardous’ emergency that requires the Coast Guard to activate a national cleanup response.“EPA exempted farms from CERCLA reporting because it knew responses would be unnecessary and impractical. We need to have that exemption reinstated, and NPPC calls on the House and Senate to pass their respective commonsense, bipartisan bills as soon as possible.”The appeals court’s April decision originally set a Nov. 15, 2017, deadline for as many as 200,000 farms to report emissions. After petitions from EPA — supported by NPPC motions – the court twice delayed that deadline, with the most recent postponement until May 1.Some farmers tried filing reports Nov. 15, but the Coast Guard’s NRC system was overwhelmed. In some instances, NRC operators refused to accept reports for more than a single farm per call because they didn’t want phone lines tied up, and in one case, an operator sent notices to more than 20 state and federal response authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a state police agency, after receiving a report.“The pork industry was prepared to comply with the reporting mandate,” Heimerl said, ”but EPA, the Coast Guard and state and local emergency response authorities said they didn’t want or need the information, which could have interfered with their legitimate emergency functions.”last_img read more

Mingo — Geocache of the Week

first_imgLocation:Kansas, USAN 39° 16.677 W 100° 56.621 TraditionalGC30by Kansas Stasher Difficulty:1Terrain:1 There was a cacher had a quest,And Mingo was its name-O.M – I – N – G – OM – I – N – G – OM – I – N – G – OAnd Mingo was its name-O.Mingo was its name-OTo most people it’s just a hole in the ground, next to a fence post, in the middle of nowhere. But to savvy geocachers, it’s a hole in the ground, next to a fence post, in the middle of nowhere, worth travelling hundreds (or thousands) of miles to find. Mingo started to earn its notoriety around 2005. This crew logs the cache in 2007.We are of course referring to Mingo, the oldest active geocache in the world. Published on May 11, 2000, just eight days after the The Original Stash was activated, Mingo is the seventh geocache ever created. The publish date is notable since it is the missing link for many to complete their Jasmer Challenge grid. The Caching Dead log their 2000th find at MingoYes yes yes we know, it’s a buried geocache — which is a major Geocache Listing Guidelines no-no. But remember this cache was created six months before Geocaching.com was even born and is “grandfathered” because its age. BIG Mama K’s big day!Should you venture to Mingo, don’t be surprised to find 20 or 30 parked cars on the side of the road. Many people make this a milestone-destination cache, logging their 1,000th, 5,000th, or 10,000th find at Mingo. Some people even celebrate their wedding anniversaries at the cache!Mingo is a very romantic fence postLogged over 5,700 times with 2,100+ Favorite points, this cache ain’t nothin’ purdy — but look how happy these people are to be standing by a hole in the ground, next to a fence post, in the middle of nowhere:MarcoIslandGirl(MIG) finds #1600This is what an AWESOME geocacher looks likeGR8CACHERS at MingoThat’s TEN thousand, folksLong live Mingo!Long live MINGO! Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Related”Mingo” GC30 GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – July 4th, 2010June 27, 2010In “Community”World’s most-logged geocache (GC189E5) is Geocache of the Week!May 17, 2017In “Community”1,000,000 Reasons to Get Outside Now Hidden Throughout the U.S.September 15, 2014In “Community”last_img read more

Testing Air Leakage in Multifamily Buildings

first_imgLook at the picture of the wall on the right. Does it look fire-stopped to you? It passed inspection in New York, but when we tested it, these low-rise multi-unit residential homes were very leaky. If it were my home, I would like to make sure that my fire-stopping actually stops fire. A blower door test can verify what a visual inspection cannot, because a passing grade is a number, not an opinion.It is easy to imagine the next steps from here. One obvious step is to require blower door testing of apartments in larger residential buildings. It is also possible to look forward a decade to when compartmentalization of other major spaces — boiler rooms, trash rooms, and even separate leases in commercial buildings — is verified with a blower door.Who would not like to verify that a boiler room is isolated from the rest of a large building? A quick test with a blower door will do that. This is the direction the industry should go. Code-required blower door testingBlower door testing is a great verification tool, and it should be included in energy codes. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) calls for residential buildings to be tested with a blower door and verified as having an air leakage rate not exceeding 3-5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals, depending on climate.A little while back, my home state of New York decided to adopt the IECC and its blower door testing requirements, but when I was at Steven Winter Associates I recommended some changes to the language. These recommendations were adapted and adopted into the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code, and just recently were signed into law.I’ve recently submitted a proposal for change to the IECC based on the New York language. I’ll tell you why I think you should support that change. Sean Maxwell formerly worked as a senior energy consultant at Steven Winter Associates in Norwalk, Connecticut. He now lives in Australia. Defining an appropriate building code requirement for compartment testingThe language in our IECC proposal is largely aligned with language from ASHRAE 62.2-2013, LEED BD+C: Multifamily Midrise, and the EPA’s Energy Star Multifamily High Rise program, which recommend or require a maximum leakage rate of 0.30 cubic feet of leakage per minute at 50 Pascals per square foot of apartment envelope area (0.3 cfm50/sf), which includes the floors, ceilings, and interior and exterior walls of an apartment.Will this threshold be difficult to meet? I can tell you that a builder should not have trouble passing the test unless something really big is missed. What fails apartment tests are typically big mistakes: the drywall doesn’t go from floor to ceiling between compartments; there are big holes in the fire separations where plumbing and electrical pipes run through; service chases are not fire-stopped between floors like they should be. Steven Winter Associates maintains a database of multifamily blower door tests that it has conducted over the past five years in the course of certifying thousands of units of green and high-performance housing in New York State, and it shows that the threshold of 0.3 cfm50/sf is generally achievable. The graph at right shows the results of over 600 of these tests.In the database, 88% of units tested in the Steven Winter Associates portfolio meet this threshold. While most of the projects participated in some sort of utility program that required compartmentalization, and therefore are not fully representative of typical practice, it clearly shows that the threshold is within reach for builders that make an effort.Perhaps one of the main benefits of compartment testing is that for larger buildings, doing a series of smaller tests may end up saving money over a whole-building test. Using a hypothetical 50-unit building as an example, we estimated that it may cost less than half as much to test a building by compartment testing as for whole-building testing. (The IECC proposal has more information about how this cost estimate was made.) For this to be widely adopted by states, I believe this is a welcome option. Compartmentalizing individual apartments is a good goalAlternatively, some attempts were made by Steven Winter Associates to find links between single-unit, guarded, and whole-building blower door test data, and to arrive at “factors” for converting results from single-unit tests to exterior leakage figures that are more useful to energy models. This is as complicated as it sounds, and the best summary of that research is that more research is needed. One might argue for an alternative compliance option in the code that allows whole-building testing. But compartmentalization is a valuable goal in itself, and whole-building and guarded blower door tests do not take it into account.Compartment testing leads the building industry in the right direction. It fosters a natural alliance between fire safety, health, and energy conservation professionals that other test methods may not. It is easy to explain and understand even for someone who has never seen a blower door, and the immediate benefits are apparent to builders, residents, and landlords alike. It also takes the building industry as a whole in a progressive direction by actually quantifying compliance with requirements for unit separation.For example, consider fire-stopping. Passive fire protection includes stopping the passage of smoke and hot gases between compartments in a building. Manufacturers often color their products red, to make it easier to breeze through a code-required visual inspection of fire-stopping measures. Most inspectors see the red and check a box. By comparison, single-unit or compartment testing (the terms are used interchangeably here) is simpler than other methods. A single technician with a single blower door moves around the building and tests each unit individually. Because no steps are taken to nullify leakage from other apartments as in whole-building or guarded testing, this test quantifies leakage from the exterior walls as well as the interior demising walls, floors, and ceilings of a unit. Experienced technicians will tell you that it is common for this inter-unit leakage to rival or even exceed that of the exterior leakage. Because exterior leakage is really what matters for energy use, this test is not very useful for energy cost calculations. The simplest blower door test on a single family home measures only the leakage of the exterior envelope, which can be referred to as “exterior leakage.” In multifamily buildings, there are lots of other air leakage pathways besides from the exterior, and a blower door test on a single unit will measure some leakage from outside and some “inter-unit” leakage from other spaces. Multifamily buildings typically have lots of inter-unit leakage, but it’s exterior leakage from the outside that relates most directly to energy consumption.Similar to a single-family home test, whole-building leakage testing uses one or more blower doors to pressurize or depressurize the entire building at once, measuring all the exterior air leakage in one shot. Because all spaces in the building are under the same pressure, inter-unit leakage is negated. For a larger building this method often requires multiple blower doors and experienced technicians to conduct properly. Factors such as building height, design, stage of construction, and especially weather on the testing day can make a whole-building test a challenge. Still, this test is quite popular, particularly in Europe, and for large commercial buildings, it may be the only option.Another method is guarded blower door testing, which also requires multiple blower doors and experienced technicians to perform. It also aims to measure exterior envelope leakage by manipulating inter-compartment pressures with multiple fans.The figure below illustrates this technique in more detail. It’s called guarded testing because it uses secondary “guard” blower doors placed around the target unit. These are maintained at the same test pressure as the target unit, which neutralizes any inter-unit leakage. The result is that only exterior leakage is recorded from the target unit.By moving the doors around a building like a tic-tac-toe board, the exterior leakage of all the spaces can be isolated and recorded. The time-consuming process requires experienced operators, a good plan, and several blower doors even for a small multifamily building. This method is often used for research, but it is also a practical way to test some townhouse building configurations.center_img A variety of test methodsThere are several valid ways to test a multifamily building’s air leakage with a blower door. Before we discuss these test methods, let’s first review some terminology. Changing the International Energy Conservation CodeMany states have adopted various versions of the IECC but have shied away from its provisions requiring blower door testing. Mostly likely this is because the prospect of requiring whole-building tests on all new residential buildings, particularly multifamily buildings, seems daunting. Many code councils probably didn’t see a productive way to introduce it. New Jersey, for example, took the requirements for inspections of the air barrier and blower door tests and changed it to inspections of the air barrier or blower door tests.Looking at some of the other currently recommended changes to the IECC regarding the blower door testing requirements, there are a range of approaches. Some are meant to strengthen the requirements, while others seek to weaken them or remove them entirely. But most seem to grapple with the difficult question of how to actually do blower door testing on larger residential buildings. Donald Surrena of the National Association of Home Builders in the U.S., a powerful industry group, attached the following comments to his proposal:“Air tightness testing for single-family detached homes is very straightforward; however, it is much more difficult to accurately test attached dwelling units, including multifamily buildings. Currently the IECC treats low-rise multifamily buildings of three stories or less like single-family homes and multifamily buildings of four stories or more like commercial buildings. Regardless of height, all multifamily buildings have the same airtightness testing complications, such as: Does the entire building need to be tested at one time? What about multifamily buildings with open corridors? Does every dwelling need to be tested? Can the leakages be averaged between units? Is the leakage tested only to the ‘outside’ or should it include leakage to adjacent units?”These questions and the resistance they cause are precisely the reason that an alternate approach to testing multifamily buildings is needed. Which test is best?Each test has its merits, but I believe that single-unit tests are most appropriate for residential buildings. Guarded blower door testing is more useful as a research tool, and whole-building testing can be too complicated and expensive to require on a wide scale.One might argue that a compartment test yields a number that is essentially useless for energy models because it measures mostly interior leakage. That is largely true. But the goal of an energy code requirement is to save energy, and testing compartmentalization will do that. The reasons are both practical and forward-thinking.Above all, for a code provision to be beneficial, it needs to be enforceable. More than the other methods, single-unit testing is easiest to introduce on a nationwide basis. It requires less training, experience, and equipment than whole-building tests. Many of the U.S. network of HERS raters and BPI professionals are all already qualified for it. As described below, the additional cost to builders in many cases will be less for single-unit tests than for other methods, when sampling protocols are used.There are several complications with conducting whole-building tests on a wide scale that make it more troublesome to require by code. First, these large tests have high mobilization costs, and there are fewer companies that own either high-powered fans or multiple blower doors for bigger buildings. Second, the entire building has to be prepared (central exhaust registers taped, windows locked, central fans switched off, etc.) before the test can be conducted, and for a large building this can take several hours. Workers also cannot enter or leave the building during the test; it must be “locked down.” For this reason, it is virtually impossible to do a big blower door test early in construction during normal hours because work on the building cannot stop. Punch list time is ideal because fewer workers are present, but fixing big problems at that stage is much more expensive.A single-unit test can be more useful to builders; it can be used to check progress and identify problems very early in construction when they are cheaper to fix. A tester can leapfrog and work around other trades in the building, reducing the disruption to regular workflow. If a unit passes the blower door test early on, the job is done; if not, fixes can be applied and a retest can be done in minutes.The possibility of demonstrating compliance early is very attractive because it reduces uncertainty and potential cost at the end of the project. In fact, a higher-volume builder may decide to purchase a blower door kit and self-check periodically. Wouldn’t it be a very positive side-effect if the blower door became a common tool of the builders of tomorrow?As for utility incentive programs that reward tight building exteriors, the builder may have to do a whole-building test at the end, but this is a much less worrisome prospect if smaller tests have been used to check progress along the way. In a previous article, I explained why it’s important to prevent air leaks between individual apartments in multifamily buildings — a type of air sealing known as “compartmentalization.” With my compartmentalization rant over, let me tell you how we can change our building codes to find a solution to the problem of leaky apartments, and why you should support a change to the language of the International Energy Conservation Code. A testing approach that is easier and cheaperThe proposed changes to the IECC should make it easier and less expensive for builders to comply with the new code mandate to conduct blower door testing on most residential buildings. It will also make buildings safer, healthier, and more comfortable. Furthermore, simple compartment tests are easier to implement on a wide scale, are more enforceable, take advantage of a very large and already-qualified workforce in the form of HERS and BPI testing specialists.Please view the proposal here and submit public comments by July 22. Look for Proposal RE56-16 on page 101. Anyone can view the proposed changes, but you’ll have to register with CDP Access to make comments. RELATED ARTICLES Compartmentalization in Multifamily BuildingsBlower Door BasicsA Few Pressure Testing Tips and TricksResidential CommissioningVentilation Rates and Human HealthHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?Makeup Air for Range Hoodslast_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: Leaders Use Persuasion Not Force

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Leaders have to be great salespeople to lead effectively. The reason? Because true leadership is based on persuasion and not force (with one exception we’ll get to later).Leadership isn’t a position on an organizational chart. An org chart contains titles, and despite what you might believe, titles aren’t always an indication as to whether or not someone is a leader. The real way to discern who is a leader is to measure their followers. You see, someone may have the title without the followers, and another someone may have the followers without the title.You don’t create followers with formal, structural, organizational chart authority. That “power” only creates subordinates, employees, and direct reports. You create followers with persuasion, with influence.Persuasion and influence are more powerful forces than formal authority. Formal authority might allow you to tell someone what to do, but it does nothing to make them want to do it, and more often it has the opposite effect (especially in the most important things).When you forego formal authority, you are forced to sell people on your vision, your mission, your values, and why you are different.You have to sell people on why your vision is necessary and how those who follow you are going to be transformed.You have to persuade people to adopt your mission as their own mission, knowing that until it becomes their mission, it isn’t going to be powerful enough to produce the outcomes.As a leader, you have to sell your values. What you value is the foundation of the culture you build. You have to sell those beliefs, persuading others to adopt them as their own.It’s difficult for people to believe you are different and follow your lead unless you persuade them that you are different and that it makes a difference.You can’t force people to become followers.But there is a major exception to influence, one where force is required: When people refuse to adopt your values and threaten your culture. There isn’t anyway to negotiate around your values and your culture, and allowing people to threaten your culture puts your vision, mission, and differences at risk. Not all values are equal, and you might need to use force to defend your culture.Drucker is credited as saying culture eats strategy for breakfast. Persuasion eats force for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.last_img read more

Cong. a true national party: Shatrughan

first_imgActor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who has announced that he is quitting the BJP, on Sunday said he decided to go with the Congress as it was a national party in the true sense and family friend Lalu Prasad also advised him to do so. He said leaders such as Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal, among others, wanted him to join their respective parties, but he had made it clear that whatever be the situation, the constituency he would be contesting in the Lok Sabha poll would be Patna Sahib.last_img

‘Disappointed’ Yousuf vows to make strong comeback

first_imgFormer Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf was left disappointed but vowed to come back stronger after being ignored for Pakistan’s 15-member World Cup squad, announced on Tuesday by the selectors without a captain.Mohammad YousufYousuf, a veteran of 90 Tests and 288 ODIs, was named in the preliminary squad of 30 players for the quadrennial event but national selectors decided to show faith in youngster Asad Shafiq, who is captaining the Lahore team in the ongoing national ODI.Yousuf, while accepting the decision of the selectors, said he will keep giving his best no matter how limited the opportunities are.”It is all in the hands of God. If he doesn’t want me to play this World Cup I will not play,” said the 36-year-old batsman.”I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to playing in this World Cup as it would be my last. I was also feeling confident and in good nick for the tournament. But only the selectors can explain why they didn’t consider me for final selection,” said the maverick batsman.Sources said that the selectors were not happy with the present fitness of Yousuf, who was also dropped for the tour to New Zealand.Earlier, before the team announcement, Yousuf had told mediapersons that he wanted to play in the World Cup that begins in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19.”I don’t think age is a bar for any player. Misbah is still going strong at 36 and I am also playing well and scoring runs. I am fit so why can’t I play the World Cup,” he said.advertisementYousuf, who has featured in Pakistan’s last three World Cup campaigns, said he would continue to play the national one-day tournament for Lahore as cricket remained his passion.Meanwhile, former chief selectors, Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim felt that the omission of Yousuf from the squad was not a big surprise.”I think the fact that the team already has two very seasoned batsmen in the middle order in the shape of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq plus the youngsters like Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad are also coming up well would have influenced the selectors to go in without Yousuf,” said Qasim.He described the selected squad as a balanced one. Qadir said the selectors had taken the correct decision to ignore Yousuf.”The present team is an ideal blend of experience and youth and I don’t think Yousuf has been in the best of fitness in recent months,” said Qadir.But former captain, Rashid Latif felt that the selectors should have gambled with Yousuf in the World Cup.”He is too good a player to be ignored for such a big event where experience and the ability to play the spinners well on turning tracks will matter a lot. Yousuf I think is one of the best players of spin and that is why he deserved a place in the final squad,” Latif said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Mumbai lawyer files PIL seeking CBI probe into jpurnalist J. Dey’s murder

first_imgStepping up pressure for a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the murder of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, a Mumbai-based lawyer filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday.Advocate V.P. Patil also sought special protection for journalists who complain of threats.The matter has been slated for hearing on Thursday.Dey, special investigation editor of daily Mid Day, was shot dead on June 11 by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai area. According to police, Dey’s recent articles on oil mafia and underworld gangs could have led to his killing.Following a protest march by over 500 journalists on Monday, the state government had assured to bring in a law to protect journalists, but it refused to hand over the case to the CBI.Seeking CBI probe, the journalists in Mumbai again held a protest on Wednesday and observed a daylong hunger strike at Azad Maidan.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

ICC Champions Trophy: “Be ruthless and finish games off”, Virat Kohli’s message to Team India

first_imgOn the eve of the crucial ICC Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday, India skipper Virat Kohli asked his side to be “ruthless” and improve on the fielding, which lacked the sting during the opening tie against Pakistan.Defending champions India got off to a rollicking start, thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs at Edgbaston on Sunday, but had a lot to answer in the fielding department, which included a few dropped chances.The 28-year-old also cautioned his team against any complacency when they take the field against the islanders who, despite being a young side, boast of a couple of match-winners in Lasith Malinga and Niroshan Dickwella, among others. “In ICC tournaments, the Sri Lankans have done really well. If you see their record over the years, they have always been a side who have reached the semi-finals or the finals. They have got talented players in the team in their team. They are a young team as well but they have the sort of players who can deliver match-winning performances on their day,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference here.”Be ruthless and finish games off because the teams which bat deep can still have a 60-70 run partnership towards the end. In a tournament like this, we need to plug those holes and we have identified that and going to work hard on those areas.Complimenting young all-rounder Hardik Pandya as a “real asset” to the side, Kohli said he can go down as one of the most accomplished Indian cricketers.advertisement”Hardik is a real asset to Indian cricket, it’s very hard to find someone who can almost touch 140 kms/hr and who strikes the ball as hard. He can also bat through the innings which we saw in the practice matches. It’s very hard to find people with that kind of ability,” he said.”Once you have a player like him, you need to make sure he is always motivated, committed to give his 100 percent for the team and that comes naturally to him.”He can go down as one of the most accomplished Indian cricketers. The kind of balance he brings into the team is priceless and that was on display the other day,” he added.Commenting on the composition of the side, Kohli said: “We still havent spoken about the combination. We are going to look at how their batsmen react to different bowlers and then decide on the combination.””The batsmen get a lot of confidence when they have bowlers who can deliver with the wickets. I think we are in a great position to have such good bowlers. It feels great when to have bowlers who can intimidate the opposition batsmen.”On leaving the leading duo of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Mohammed Shami out of the playing XI, Kohli said: “Ashwin is a high class bowler and is very professional. He understood the dynamic of the side that we picked in the last game and he was absolutely fine with it. He always puts the team first.””Shami has not played 50-over cricket for a long time and I am glad he bowled really well in the practice games. But I felt the others — Umesh (Yadav), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah — had much more match practice and had the performances to back that up,” he added.A win in Thursday’s encounter would see the men-in-blue go through to the semi-finals alongside hosts England.last_img read more