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Congressional Concerns Mounting About USGBC's Flawed LEED Program, Despite Delayed Balloting


Contact: Marie Francis (202) 249-6514  
Email: Marie_Francis@americanchemistry.com

Dooley Recognizes Decision to Delay LEED Balloting But Calls for Immediate Removal of Arbitrary Chemistry Restrictions and Process Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2012)The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week that it will delay the balloting of LEED 2012—now called LEED v4—until June 2013. American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO Cal Dooley is applauding the organization’s decision to halt the flawed process. Dooley notes, however, that delay alone will not resolve the significant problems in the proposed draft and he is calling on USGBC to comprehensively change its process and respond to Congressional concerns, including those expressed by key senators in a letter to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

“I’m pleased that USGBC is acknowledging the many concerns from Members of Congress, governors, state legislators and other stakeholders about the considerable problems with the current draft of LEED. Postponing the balloting is a good first step to rectifying these problems, as it provides time for USGBC to improve LEED v4. However, the necessary improvement will only be made if USGBC embraces a true consensus process. So understandably, I am dismayed by comments USGBC already made that it intends to steadfastly retain ill-conceived measures to force builders and architects away from proven building products,” said Dooley.

“ACC and its members have considerable technical and practical expertise, and we are prepared to engage constructively to help USGBC develop science- and consensus-based performance standards that will advance the energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings. However, as long as USGBC pushes for provisions designed to restrict certain chemistry materials, including those used in products that enhance energy efficiency, water conservation and building safety, I and others will continue to call for the removal of these arbitrary and counterproductive measures. In the interest of energy efficiency and good building science, I hope USGBC opens up the process to truly consider the expertise of key stakeholders, addresses the ongoing concerns reiterated today by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, and discards its punitive approach that limits building and construction products and hurts American manufacturing,” Dooley concluded.

The letter to GSA was signed by a bipartisan group of 18 senators and was led by Louisiana Senators Mary Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R). Chief among the senators’ concerns were the proposed credits to avoid or disclose certain chemical products, and they asked GSA to discontinue the use of LEED if those measures are not removed.

“While I have been and remain a strong supporter of the LEED standard’s goal to increase building efficiency, I do not believe that the LEED standard is an appropriate way to regulate chemicals used in energy-efficient buildings. I led the letter to GSA because I believe that the LEED standard should remain focused on increasing efficiency,” said Landrieu.

“The proposed LEED 2012 rating system could significantly undermine the goal of improving energy efficiency, and ultimately could undermine our economy. The U.S. Green Building Council really needs to reconsider their policies in determining what makes both economic and environmental sense,” said Vitter.

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