[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 163 (Tuesday, August 23, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52644-52646]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21494]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-NOA-0053]


Faucets, Showerheads, Water Closets and Urinals

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

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SUMMARY: On December 15, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or 
the Department) published a final rule waiving Federal preemption for 
energy conservation standards under 42 U.S.C. 6297(c) with respect to 
any State regulation concerning the water use or water efficiency of 
faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals that is: (1) More 
stringent than Federal regulation concerning the water use or water 
efficiency for that same type or class of product; and (2) applicable 
to any sale or installation of all products in that particular type or 
class. In today's notice, DOE requests information from interested 
parties regarding: State activity with respect to efficiency standards 
for these products undertaken as a result of the December 15, 2010 
final rule; market data; and any new or emerging water-efficient 
product designs or technologies for faucets, showerheads, water closets 
and urinals. DOE also requests information regarding any recent actions 
taken by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)/American 
National Standards Institute (ANSI) toward amending its water 
efficiency standards for these products. Additional input and 
suggestions relevant to these products are also welcome.

DATES: Written comments and information are requested by October 24, 
2011.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit comments in writing, 
identified by docket number EERE-2011-BT-NOA-0053, by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include 
EERE-2011-BT-NOA-0053 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Request for Information 
for Faucets, Showerheads, Water Closets and Urinals, EERE-2011-BT-NOA-
0053,

[[Page 52645]]

1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Phone: (202) 
586-2945. Please submit one signed paper original.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant 
Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit 
one signed paper original.
     Instructions: All submissions received must include the 
agency name and docket number.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, visit the U.S. Department of Energy, Resource Room 
of the Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 
600, Washington, DC 20024, (202) 586-2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please call Ms. Brenda 
Edwards at the above telephone number for additional information 
regarding visiting the Resource Room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Lucas Adin, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Program, EE-2J, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 600, 
Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1317. E-mail: 
[email protected].
    In the Office of the General Counsel, Ms. Jennifer Tiedeman, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 
287-6111. E-mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority and Background

    Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 
Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the 
Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than 
Automobiles, which includes the faucets, showerheads, water closets and 
urinals that are the subjects of today's notice.\1\ National standards 
for these products are based on the ASME/ANSI standards A112.18.1M, for 
showerheads and faucets, and A112.19.6, for water closets and urinals. 
42 U.S.C. 6295(j), (k).
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    \1\ For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, 
Part B was re-designated Part A.
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    42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3)(C) and 6295(k)(3)(C) require that, not later 
than six months after the conclusion of a five-year period during which 
the ASME/ANSI has not amended these faucet, showerhead, water closet or 
urinal standards to improve water efficiency, DOE must waive preemption 
for Federal standards under 42 U.S.C. 6297(c) with respect to any State 
regulation concerning the water use or water efficiency of such type or 
class of showerhead, faucet, water closet or urinal if such State 
regulation meets the following two conditions. First, the State 
regulation concerning water use or water efficiency for a particular 
type or class of showerhead, faucet, water closet or urinal must be 
more stringent than the Federal regulation concerning water use or 
water efficiency for that same type or class of showerhead, faucet, 
water closet or urinal. 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3)(C)(i), 6295(k)(3)(C)(i). 
Second, the State regulation concerning the water use or water 
efficiency for a particular type or class of showerhead, faucet, water 
closet or urinal must be applicable to any sale or installation of all 
products in that particular type or class. 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3)(C)(ii), 
6295(k)(3)(C)(ii).
    ASME/ANSI last made a substantive amendment to its standards 
regarding the water efficiency requirements for showerheads and faucets 
on May 29, 1996 (ASME/ANSI A112.18.1M-1996), and for water closets and 
urinals on April 19, 1996 (ASME/ANSI A112.19.6-1995). Both of these 
standards were incorporated by reference into the Code of Federal 
Regulations in a final rule issued by DOE on March 18, 1998. 63 FR 
13308. Because more than five years passed since ASME/ANSI last amended 
the water efficiency requirements in either of these standards, on 
December 15, 2010, DOE issued a final rule waiving 42 U.S.C. 6297(c) 
with respect to any State regulation concerning the water use or water 
efficiency of a particular type or class of showerhead, faucet, water 
closet or urinal that is both more stringent than the relevant Federal 
regulation and is applicable to any sale or installation or all 
products in that particular type or class, effective December 22, 2010.
    In view of the above, DOE welcomes information from interested 
parties regarding activity since the issuance of the December 2010 
final rule, and particularly, with respect to any State efficiency 
standards that are newly applicable or under development, market data 
regarding the prevalence of models that exceed the current Federal 
standards, and new or emerging water-efficient product designs or 
technologies for faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals. DOE 
also requests information regarding any recent actions taken by the 
ASME/ANSI in furtherance of amending its water efficiency standards for 
these products. Additional input and suggestions relevant to these 
products are also welcome.

Public Participation

A. Submission of Information

    DOE will accept information and data in response to this Request 
for Information as provided in the DATES section above. Information 
submitted to the Department by e-mail should be provided in 
WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or text file format. Those responding 
should avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption, 
and wherever possible, comments should include the electronic signature 
of the author. Comments submitted to the Department by mail or hand 
delivery/courier should include one signed original paper copy. No 
telefacsimiles will be accepted. Comments submitted in response to this 
notice will become a matter of public record and will be made publicly 
available.

B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Information

    DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments from 
interested parties on the following issues:
    (1) The development or establishment of water conservation 
standards for showerheads, faucets, water closets or urinals by States 
or their political subdivisions since DOE published the December 2010 
final rule waiving Federal preemption for these products;
    (2) Information regarding available models and sales of 
showerheads, faucets, water closets or urinals that exceed Federal 
energy conservation standards, and the amounts by which such models 
exceed the Federal standards;
    (3) The existence and availability of new or emerging designs or 
technologies that (are expected to) improve the water efficiency of 
showerheads, faucets, water closets or urinals, and whether these 
designs or technologies (are expected to) have any impact on consumer 
utility and cost;
    (4) Any recent actions that ASME/ANSI has taken in furtherance of 
amending its faucet, showerhead, water closet or urinal standards in 
order to improve the products' water efficiency;
    (5) Assistance and resources available from stakeholders, States, 
local jurisdictions, and others.


[[Page 52646]]


    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 16, 2011.
Timothy Unruh,
Program Manager, Federal Energy Management Program, Energy Efficiency 
and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2011-21494 Filed 8-22-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P