AGA Participates in California Energy Commission (CEC) Pre-Rulemaking Hearing and Panel Discussion Indoor Cooking, Ventilation, and Indoor Air Quality.
The hearing, also described as a workshop, was held online this past Wednesday to gather information on natural gas cooking appliance emissions, health effects, ventilation, and range hood performance to prepare proposed modifications to the California Energy Standard, Title 24.  The event was arranged around presentations of advocacy organizations opposed to natural gas cooking based upon indoor air quality (IAQ) claims and climate change advocates seeking discontinuation of the direct use of natural gas in California.  AGA’s Ted Williams participated at the request of SoCalGas and was asked to focus comments on IAQ issues from a national perspective, on which AGA commented on the focus of the Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ).  In comments during the public comment period at the end of the event, AGA pointed out that CIAQ has not highlighted gas cooking appliance emissions as an area of focus among its various points of emphasis, which include asthma in children and sensitive populations and other respiratory issues in disadvantaged communities. AGA’s comments followed SoCalGas’s comments addressing specific issues and recommended actions in the State of California.  While most of the technical discussion during the hearing focused upon kitchen range hoods, the pretext of most of the IAQ advocacy organizations was the work of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and its emissions measurements and modeling of exposures associated with gas range use.  This work, discussed in prior “Friday Letters” disseminated since LBNL’s public statements of its work first appeared in 2014, claims that emission rates of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from natural gas burners develop concentrations in homes that exceed outdoor national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for NO2.  This claim and use of the LBNL exposure data and modeling estimates provided the basis for most of the IAQ advocate claims against natural gas cooking up to and including deaths that could be avoided by eliminating gas cooking appliances as part of total electrification of California residences.  However, it appears that the data presented at the hearing by LBNL and in its published papers does not sufficiently support the claim regarding NAAQS exceedance for NO2.  This and other issues may be incorporated in AGA’s recommendations to SoCalGas for its public comments on the hearing, due October 16th.   AGA does not plan to file comments independently in holding to the IAQ Strategy of the AGA BECS Committee to support member company interactions with state and local authorities rather than taking a lead role in interacting within these jurisdictions unless requested by member companies.
AHRI Releases July 2020 Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data.
For those interested in shipment trends for residential and commercial gas and electric storage type water heaters, residential gas and oil furnaces, electric heat pumps and air-conditioners, click here for the September 11,  2020 Air-Conditioning Heating, & Refrigeration (AHRI) Press Release that provides the July 2020 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data. You may also wish to share this information with other groups or individuals within your organization that would be interested in water heater and HVAC equipment shipment trends.  
State Codes Activity Update
[This is a weekly feature of the “Friday Update” covering state code calendar activities as presented by the online utility “Fiscal Note,” which is sponsored by APGA and AGA Code and Standards.]
Recent Activity Alerts
CBSC’s publishes their Summer/Fall edition of CALCode Quarterly.
Recent Code Body Meetings
Board of County Commissioners’ Hearing
Bills with Recent Activity
Bill #
Bill Title
Primary Sponsor(s)
Last Action
Last Action Date
Building Codes
Joe Jefferson (D) Russell Ott (D) Josiah Magnuson (R) Bill Chumley (R) Mike Burns (R)
In Senate; Ratified R 179
Summary: This bill adds Section 6-9-67. Structures without a commercial kitchen used in agritourism activity as defined by Section 46-53-10 shall fall under the group A-3 classification as defined in the 2015 International Building Code. Such structures may accommodate up to three hundred guests without installing a sprinkler system.
relative to municipal authority regarding the state building code.
Sharon Carson (R)
Failed; Died on Table
Summary: This bill requires the building code review board to review and approve local amendments to the state building code and requires the board to maintain and publish a catalog of local amendments. The bill requires the fire marshal to review and approve local fire safety codes and ordinances and requires the fire marshal, with the assistance of the board of fire control, to maintain and publish a catalog of local fire safety codes and ordinances. The bill also prohibits municipalities from imposing a fee to appeal the decision of a code compliance official.