FALLS CHURCH, VA — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) announced that it intends to be involved in the new mold bill proposed by Representative John Conyers (D-MI), the “United States Toxic Mold Safety and Protection Act of 2002” (HR 5040), both to protect contractors and customers.

“We appreciate that Rep. Conyers has called attention in Congress to the mold issue,” said PHCC president Bill Trombly. “PHCC will be extremely active and involved as Congress debates this issue. We are very interested in seeing that contractors’ interests are protected in this mold legislation. Our contractors are looking for answers, not just to protect themselves, but also to protect their customers.”

Even though it has not taken a formal position on the bill, the association is encouraged by some components of the bill that would provide new research and public education programs.

“Consumers and contractors alike are finding the growing mold issue to be complex and often controversial,” Trombly said. “Additional research and public education will provide a reasoned approach to this issue.”

However, PHCC also has concerns with aspects of the legislation that direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish national standards for toxic mold inspectors and for the “design, manufacture, and installation of air conditioning systems and units regarding sizing and capacity of systems and units, maintenance, prevention of water leaks, and other variables that may affect mold levels in buildings.”

“Standards for toxic mold inspectors are needed, but I am not convinced the EPA is best suited to establish them,” said D.L. “Ike” Casey, PHCC executive vice president.

Seventeen members of the House have joined Conyers in co-sponsoring the legislation, which has been referred to four House committees: Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, and Judiciary.

Publication date: 07/08/2002