EPA Drafts High-Efficiency Urinal Specs
With toilets already regulated, how far behind could urinals be? Not far, it turns out. WaterSense, the Environmental Protection Agency's water-efficiency counterpart to Energy Star, has drafted a set of specifications for high-efficiency-flushing urinals.
The specs cover two types of urinalsfixtures with a trap seal that use gravity drainage systems, and pressurized devices that deliver water to urinal fixtures. Neither type can exceed 0.5 gal. per flush to qualify as a high-efficiency urinal. The fixtures also have to conform to other requirements.
The draft specs are available for review at www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/urinal_spec.htm. The EPA is accepting comments on the draft until March 9 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.A. To Certify Green Restaurants
Even if you don't have a LEED-certified facility, you'll soon be able to go green in Los Angeles. The city's Environmental Affairs Department recently got funding from the Water & Power department to put out a request for proposal for an organization to run the program.
City spokesfolks said the program will help businesses like restaurants market themselves to consumers as environmentally friendly. Certification criteria are not in place yet, but officials said standards will likely be similar to the Bay Area Green Businesses program in northern California. To be certified in that program, restaurants have to focus on energy and water conservation, waste reduction through recycling and reuse, and preventing pollution. (To see a checklist of standards, visit www.greenbiz.ca.gov/BGrestaurants.html.)
City councilman Luis Alarcón, a sponsor of the L.A. program, says it could be up and running within six months. For more information on being green in L.A., go to www.environmentla.org.
Nashville A Step Closer To Menu Labeling
Nashville, Tenn.'s Metro Board of Health got a legal opinion in December that favors its proposal to require chains to list calorie information on menus.
The health board had asked the city's legal department to weigh in on the proposed ordinance to make sure it's constitutional and within the board's purview. The answer came back yes.
The ordinance, if ratified, would require chains with 15 or more stores to post calorie counts on menus. Restaurants objected at public hearings, prompting the board to ask for the legal review.
With the way now clear, the board said the ordinance likely would be approved in February.
ICC Listing Program Gets ANSI Nod
An International Code Council Evaluation Service listing program for plumbing, mechanical and fuel-gas code compliance has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The PMG listing program evaluates plumbing, mechanical and fuel-gas products for compliance with ICC standards and model codes.
ANSI's accreditation certifies the PMG program operates under ISO/IEC Guide 65, "General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems." ICC's evaluation program for building and related products, including plumbing, has been accredited by ANSI since 2003.
To find out more about the program, visit www.icc-es-pmg.org.