The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first opportunities for public input on new programs focused on lower carbon construction materials made possible by a $350 million investment from President Joseph Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
The agency will hold three public webinars and will accept written feedback on establishing new grant and technical assistance programs, and a carbon labeling program for construction materials with substantially lower levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Inflation Reduction Act represents a historic commitment to build a new clean energy economy, powered by American workers and manufacturers in partnership with states, Tribes, communities and organizations," says Jennie Romer, the EPA’s office of chemical safety and pollution prevention deputy assistant administrator for pollution prevention. "These actions will immediately influence Federal procurement, drive significant emissions reductions over the next decade, and lay the groundwork for long-term decarbonization of manufacturing sectors.”
EPA’s new programs will provide grants, technical assistance and tools to help states and Tribal Nations, manufacturers, institutional buyers, real estate developers, builders and others measure, report and substantially lower the levels of embodied carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of construction materials.
These programs, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, will build upon EPA’s work in the Energy Star Industrial Program and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, among others, to protect human health and the planet.
The EPA will hold three public engagement webinars to solicit feedback from experts and stakeholders, including institutional buyers, developers, builders, manufacturers and representatives from states, Tribal Nations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations and others.
Through these webinars, the EPA will look for feedback on how to prioritize construction materials and products and how to improve data on embodied greenhouse gas emissions through measurement, standardization, transparency and reporting criteria. They’ll also seek feedback on new grant and technical assistance programs to help businesses calculate and report the greenhouse gas emissions data for construction materials and products through Environmental Product Declarations. The final webinar will ask for feedback on the creation of a carbon labeling program.
Additionally, the EPA will issue a Request for Information to solicit written comments on the design of these new programs. The EPA will use the public input received during the webinars and in writing to guide the development and implementation of its programs.
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