WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) has been joined by 55 other members of Congress from both parties in sending a letter to General Services Administration (GSA) Acting Administrator Daniel Tangherlini, requesting the agency reconsider use of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2012 rating system for federal buildings if certain “anti-chemical provisions” are not removed.

The letter states in part:

“We are deeply concerned that the LEED rating system is becoming a tool to punish chemical companies and plastics makers and spread misinformation about materials that have been at the forefront of improving environmental performance — and even occupant safety — and in buildings. This transformation into an anti-chemical system runs counter to the government’s objectives of increasing energy efficiency and utilizes a European standard called REACH. U.S. manufacturers have no ability to participate in the development. LEED 2012 not only threatens jobs, it will almost certainly cost taxpayers money. The arbitrary chemical restrictions in the two proposed credits could affect many energy-efficient construction products, such as insulation, roofing, wiring and energy-efficient windows, putting a further strain on already tight federal budgets.”

Pompeo also released the following statement:

“The new LEED standards seem to have little to do with increasing a building’s efficiency and more to do with targeting specific companies that currently manufacture safe, affordable products. It makes no sense for GSA to support and adopt these standards knowing the danger they pose to so many sectors of our economy. I am pleased that so many of my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, have joined me in standing up for commonsense building standards that improve energy efficiency without advancing a feckless anti-chemical agenda.”

The full text of the letter is available at http://pompeo.house.gov/UploadedFiles/LEED_Letter.pdf.

Publication date: 05/28/2012