Mechanical Insulation and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Insulators International Staff — Tue, Jul 5, 2022 @ 13:07 PM
In May, the Biden Administration celebrated six months of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) being enacted.
Of the $1.4 trillion promised, the BIL has released $110 billion in infrastructure funding to states, tribes, territories and local governments through over 4,300 specific projects. Resilient infrastructure must include the technologies offered by the Insulators.
Mechanical insulation is a climate mitigation tool that will help reinforce the buildings and structures that help us create the zero-carbon, energy efficient economy we need by 2050.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD has a mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Millions of Americans depend on HUD for healthy and affordable housing options.
The Insulators are meeting with the Office of Public and Indian Housing to discuss how to embed mechanical insulation and firestopping into all HUD properties insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
This will be accomplished through including mechanical insulation audits (MIEA) into the HUD FHA inspection protocol; ensuring fire protection encompasses a robust, solid and passive fire protection plan; and that the IAHFIAW and specialty contractors are included in the HUD inspection processes.
Incorporating energy audits into federal building projects
The LMCT and the Insulators Union are working closely with Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) of the House Ways and Means Committee to formulate legislation to incorporate mechanical insulation energy audits, developed and mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection, into all federal buildings and projects spearheaded by the General Services Administration and other relevant agencies. Rep. Sanchez is expected to introduce the legislation in the summer.
The Insulators Union and the LMCT have begun outreach to members of Congress and their staff to build support for the potential legislation. The goal is to have it pass the House and Senate this fall.
The LMCT and the Insulators Union are also in dialogue with the Environmental Protection Agency, who plans to actively support and encourage Congress to pass the potential legislation incorporating audits for federal buildings and projects.
The LMCT is also working with the President’s political staff in regard to the upcoming legislative effort. The Biden Administration is striving for a zero-emission federal buildings portfolio by 2045 and the Insulators Union stands ready to help the U.S. meet this goal.
Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act
On Nov. 19, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Mechanical Insulation Installation Act (H.R. 1987), which was included in the Build Back Better Act. H.R. 1987 provides a credit for up to 10 percent of the labor costs incurred by a taxpayer when installing mechanical insulation properly on pipes and equipment to lower energy costs and consumption. The Senate is expected to pass a scaled down version of the Build Back Better Act this summer that will be built around clean energy incentives.
It is expected the Mechanical Insulation tax credit contained in the House Build Back Better Act will be included in the Senate version of the bill to be voted on later this year. U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and many of his Senate colleagues are supportive of the Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act, and expect to support its inclusion in the Senate version of the Build Back Better Act.
We anticipate this legislation should pass the Senate and be signed into law by the President this summer.
Recap on the NABTU Legislative Conference
The 2022 North America’s Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference, held in Washington, D.C. offered a great opportunity for SFS to meet many of the Insulators for the first time.
Amidst the many workshops, retirement celebrations and discussions, a handful of IAHFIAW members had the opportunity to meet with the Washington, D.C. staff of their congressional representatives. Many staffers were interested in learning more about their Insulator Locals and wanted to know how they could help.
New legislation with Rep. Sanchez will create the opportunity for more congressional meetings in the future.
About State Federal Strategies: State Federal Strategies is a strategic public and government affairs team who bring a unique combination of experience and expertise in the sectors of government, politics and public affairs strategic planning. We have significant experience working with labor and allied trades.
About Richard Sullivan: Richard Sullivan is a partner with State Federal Strategies and brings 30 years of a unique combination of policy, legislative and political experience to representation of the nation’s leading National Associations before Federal and State governmental entities.