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P2 and State Implementation Plans for Ozone

Is any state or local agency involved with incorporating building code
requirements which promote energy conservation as part of a state's air
State Implementation Plan? The idea is that building code upgrades
at the state or local level could be included in the State
Implementation Plan for the Control of Ozone Air Pollution as a
way to help meet Clean Air Act obligations. This item was
submitted by a member of our state P2 Advisory Committee for

What is the mechanism for including something like this in the SIP? Are
there any examples or case studies in this area?

Texas does not currently have a statewide building code and the local
building codes in most Texas cities do not promote reliance on readily
available energy efficiency measures.  At the same time, the state is
experiencing a boom in single and multi-family residential construction.
Texas ranked first in new home construction in 1998.  There were
36,000 housing starts in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex alone, more than
in at least a dozen entire states. The housing boom continues into the
present and is expected to continue into the future.  This housing boom
means that even modest improvements in energy building codes in Texas
at the state or local level could pay big environmental and economic

>From an environmental standpoint, energy efficient building codes
reduces emissions resulting from electricity generation or natural gas
consumption by reducing energy use in new buildings (residential,
commercial, and industrial).  For this reason, building code
upgrades at the state or local level should be included in the
Texas State Implementation Plan for the Control of Ozone Air
Pollution as a way to help meet Clean Air Act obligations.  Such
upgraded building codes would  incorporate state-of-the-art energy
efficiency measures to provide emissions reductions at low cost and
inconvenience compared to many other strategies under consideration
(limiting the use construction equipment to noon to midnight, e.g.) .

Energy efficient building codes would also save consumers hundreds of
dollars in energy bills.  A recent study by the Alliance to Save Energy
showed that the Model Energy Code (MEC) of the International Code
Council would save homeowners more than $80 million per year in 31
states.  More importantly, these savings can be achieved
cost-effectively.  Each dollar of energy savings costs less than a dollar
in added mortgage payments, so these homes actually cost less to own
and operate.

Texas Waste Reduction Advisory Committee's (WRAC) Link  -  Because
it is an approach rooted in prevention, energy efficiency is a potential
issue for the WRAC.  Improvements in energy efficiency promote
environmental quality by reducing the generation of electricity and the
consumption of natural gas, both of which contribute directly to urban air
pollution and the buildup of greenhouse gases.

Juna Z. Snow
List Manager
IL. Waste Management 
& Research Center