BECS Staff  Supports Member Response to Local Television Critique of Gas-Fired Cooking.
In response to a BECS Committee member request regarding a Portland, Oregon NBC television affiliate story on natural gas cooking combustion emissions, BECS staff Ted Williams provided comments on a variety of observations from an employee of the Oregon Environmental Council on her self-measured concentrations of airborne emissions attributed to her operation of her natural gas range.  Among the issues raised by the television report are the following:
  • The measured indoor air concentrations of combustion products are not solely associated with indoor sources, regardless of the operation of windows and other consumer responses.  There was no indication that outdoor air concentrations were measures in this reporting. 
  • Measured concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) were not consistent with concentrations and related symptoms of CO2 exposure described in current U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria (  There are no U. S. standards for threshold concentrations of CO2 for indoor air quality for the general population.
  • NO2 levels were referred to in the reporting but not shown.  Also, measurement of NO2 using the simple devices used in the reporting is very unreliable.  Without accurate 100 parts per billion (ppb) time-averaged for one hour (the EPA outdoor standard), it is very problematic to presume a health or symptom-related effect. 
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) levels are important since residential cooking appliances are design certified to limit emissions (and analytically-determined room concentrations of CO).  Beyond obvious health effects, CO measurements are generally more reliable and stronger indicators of accumulation of combustion products resulting from operation of residential cooking products than NO2 or other combustion-related pollutants, yet CO concentration measurements were not reported.
In addition to issues with observations, AGA raised the issue of whether the employee’s measurements and interpretation represented her own views or those of the Oregon Environmental Council, which was not clarified by the television reporting.
AGA Sponsors the International Code Council’s Inaugural Virtual Education Event, “ICC Learn Live” Scheduled for November 9-13, 2020.
With this year’s cancellation of its fall annual meeting, the ICC has scheduled a virtual education event known as the “ICC Learn Live” and AGA is a Tech Platform sponsor for the event, that will be taking place between November 9-13, 2020. ICC reports that the event is “Featuring an all-star line-up of speakers, the virtual event will address the most pressing issues and priorities for building safety professionals”, such as training the next generation of talent, the impact of COVID-19 on building safety and the economy, adopting virtual capabilities, and an in-depth overview of the upcoming 2021 International Codes. BECS committee members are requested to review the week long program and consider signing up for sessions of specific interest especially those that provide information on changes to the 2021 series of I-Codes.  
Proposed Changes to the International Fuel Gas Code Due January 11, 2021.
As a reminder, proposed changes to the IFGC are due January 11, 2021.  The IFGC is included in the Group A I-Codes  and currently all proposed changes are schedule to be heard on April 11-21, 2021 at the Code Committee Action Hearings in Rochester NY. At the September 17, 2020 BECS Committee meeting, the committee requested a proposed change to the IFGC provisions to eliminate the provision that prohibits below grade penetrations of gas lines that has been troublesome for new construction and lacks justification. AGA BECS staff will be circulating a proposed change to that provision and is requesting all members provide any suggested proposals to the IFGC or any other I-Code that they believe needs to be added, deleted or revised. Please provide any suggested code changes to BECS staff by December 1, 2020.  
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
Effective Oct. 31, 2020 the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations will be changing as a result of NS Reg 148/20
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the adoption of the 2020 State Electrical Code. This meeting will be available remotely via phone conference by dialing (224) 501-3412 and entering Access Code: 705-035-277. Additionally, the meeting will be hosted virtually via “GoToMeeting” hyperlinked in the title.
Tentative Interim Amendments
Recent and Upcoming Code Body Meetings
Board of Building Regulations and Standards
State Building Code Council (SBCC) Meeting
Bills with Recent Activity
Bill #
Bill Title
Primary Sponsor(s)
Last Action
Last Action Date
Establishes School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program in BPU
Steve Sweeney (D) Troy Singleton (D)
In Senate; Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee
Summary: This bill establishes the School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program (program) in the Board of Public Utilities (board). “Small business” is defined in the bill as concerning women and minority-owned small businesses. The purpose of the program is to ensure that school and small business heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are upgraded to safely prepare schools and small businesses for operating during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic and to generally improve the health and safety of the school and small business environment. The program will also fund the upgrading of old, inefficient plumbing fixtures that waste water and energy. Further, this bill is intended to create jobs across the State.