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News: Pipeline

PIAC Update March 2016

April 4, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Plumbing Industry Advisory Council Chairman Kevin Ernst Reports: 

CSA Meeting
On January 15th CIPH staff and I met with senior representatives at CSA to discuss various topics including harmonization of standards, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), future collaboration, and the Canadian Advisory Council on Plumbing (CACP). The consensus is that the relationship is strong and avenues for future collaboration will be planned. 


Automatic Code Adoption
As a key initiative for PIAC, a meeting between CIPH, the National Research Council, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, CACP and the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes is in the works to discuss Automatic Code Adoption. Our preliminary discussions in the aftermath of CACP with other stakeholders have demonstrated a great deal of interest in this initiative. 


Quebec (Inspectors)
CIPH Quebec Region representatives will be meeting shortly with the Ministry of Labour to discuss proposed changes to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and the impacts to industry. The Quebec government is planning to change how the RBQ works, with specific changes focusing on how the RBQ interacts with the municipalities, the construction world, inspectors, and with codes. 


Saskatchewan (Codes updates)
As a follow up to our ongoing efforts to encourage the Province of Saskatchewan to update the National Pluming Code reference, the Ministry of Health has responded with their potential cycle windows of 2016/17 for their legislative reviews.  At that time they will review the options of updating from the 2005 National Plumbing Code (NPC) model. By then the 2015 NPC will be well established and referenced by other provinces, and with the planned legislative review, this may be an excellent opportunity to craft an automatic codes adoption model into legislation for the province to seamlessly enact. 


Saskatchewan (Inspections)
Saskatchewan is also proposing an alternate inspections model for certain classes of buildings, namely the use of affidavit-type letters by engineers to demonstrate adherence to the building code. The Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association and Saskatchewan Building Officials Association are opposed to this sort of model, citing the liability of the Authority Having Jurisdiction (the province and the municipality) not being absolved -or transferred- by seconding the final inspection responsibility to a third party. Inspections and inspectors are a foundational element of the health and safety system that has been developed for the built environment sector. Removing this key piece would threaten the whole codes and standards system in Canada. 


British Colombia: Recycling Regulation 
CIPH, in conjunction with the Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) in the U.S. have written a letter to the B.C. Minister of the Environment requesting an exemption from B.C. Reg. 449/2004 for professionally installed products. This action was taken in the aftermath of an Auditor General’s review of the regulation and its effectiveness. CIPH has followed up with a briefing to the medical devices, major appliances, lighting and electrical industry. 


Bi-National Harmonized Standards Pilot Project
The ANSI/UL 1201: Standard for Sensor Operated Backwater Prevention System standards development is progressing at a rapid pace. This standard is planned for release in late 2016 in both the U.S. and Canada as an American Nationals Standards Institute (ANSI) and Standards Council of Canada (SCC) accredited document. 


Department of Energy Pumps
The Department of Energy issued new efficiency standards on January 11th for commercial and industrial pumps that are based on efficiency levels negotiated by manufacturers, efficiency advocates, and other stakeholders. In addition to establishing the first-ever national efficiency standards for pumps, the final rule also provides a mechanism for energy efficiency programs to incentivize high-efficiency pump packages. The new standards apply to clean water pumps between 1 and 200 horsepower which are used for applications such as irrigation, circulation of hot and cold water in commercial buildings for heating and cooling, and pressure boosting in high-rise apartment buildings. The standards will require the least-efficient 25% of pumps in today's market to be redesigned to improve efficiency and reduce energy losses.

It is estimated that pumps meeting this new standards sold over the next 30 years will reduce electricity consumption by about 30 billion kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the annual electricity use of 2.8 million U.S. households, and will save customers upwards of $1 billion USD. The standards reflect efficiency levels that were agreed to by manufacturers, efficiency advocates, pump users, and utilities as part of a negotiated rulemaking, and are built on standards established in the European Union. The rule goes live sixty days after publishing and compliance with the new standards established for pumps in this final rule will be required in January 2020.

Webinars – “What’s going on in Canada?” and “Understanding the Amendment to Ontario's Energy Efficiency Regulation”
On January 7th, PIAC held a regulatory webinar focussing on the system, the codes, and harmonization efforts in Canada, and between the U.S. and Canada. Presenters included Ralph Suppa of CIPH, Sidney Manning of CACP and Michel Girard of SCC, and myself. There were over 170 sites participating. In addition, PIAC hosted a webinar on February 9th on Understanding the Amendment to Ontario's Energy Efficiency Regulation with Senka Krsikapa of the Ministry of Energy and Danny Hui of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Over 100 sites were in attendance. Feedback from members for both these sessions was very positive.



British Colombia: Recycling Regulation
CIPH in conjunction with HRAI and AHRI have written a letter to the B.C. Minister of the Environment requesting an exemption from BC Reg. 449/2004 for professionally installed products. Currently, member manufacturers impacted have been writing to the ministry to support the initiative.


Bi-National Harmonized Standards Pilot Project
CIPH staff attended a Canadian briefing in Washington DC on February 12th. The feedback received from ANSI was that there was some internal resistance by U.S. Standards Development Organizations on needing to harmonize U.S. and Canadian standards. CIPH is working with Plumbing Manufacturers International on managing these comments and will directly engage these SDOs in the coming months. 


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