A bill opposing the use of LEED has been filed in the South Carolina House, co-sponsored by Representative William E. “Bill” Sandifer, III (District 2 – Oconee & Pickens Counties) and Representative Dwight A. Loftis (District 19 – Greenville County). Filed on February 21st, H.3592 proposes to delete the use of LEED from the Energy Independence and Sustainable Construction Act of 2007, the current statute that requires certain state-funded building projects to achieve LEED Silver (or two Green Globes), unless “not economically feasible.”
The bill has been referred to the Public Utility Subcommittee of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. At the Subcommittee’s first meeting on H.3592, held March 7th, both the American Chemistry Council and the South Carolina Forestry Association spoke in support of the bill, claiming that LEED discriminates against South Carolina building materials. Speaking in opposition were USGBC SC Chapter members John Brandon, Keith Sanders, Dennis Knight, and Executive Director Melissa Le Roy. I submitted written comments for lack of time.
The Public Utility Subcommittee adjourned debate on H.3592 without a date certain, which means that it will taken up by the Subcommittee again at a future meeting. Their staff tell us that this may be in mid-April. Meanwhile, the Chapter is receiving advocacy advice from Jeremy Sigmon and Matt Pearce at USGBC headquarters, in the form of issue research, policy briefs, talking points, etc. They also included verbal comments from Melissa Le Roy during their March 12th National Advocacy Call. The Conservation Voters of South Carolina have added H.3592 to their “Hotlist” of bills to oppose.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Contact one or more of the Representatives on the House Public Utility Subcommittee to exchange views on H.3592, especially if you are a constituent:
P. Michael “Mike” Forrester, Chairman – District 34 – Spartanburg County
William K. “Bill” Bowers – District 122 – Beaufort, Hampton & Jasper Counties
Grady A. Brown – District 50 – Kershaw, Lee & Sumter Counties
Phillip D. Lowe – District 60 – Darlington & Florence Counties
Dennis C. Moss – District 29 – Cherokee, Chester & York Counties
William E. “Bill” Sandifer, III – District 2 – Oconee & Pickens Counties
You can use the “Find Your Legislators” search, online at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php, to identify and link to your own federal and state elected officials. H.3592 is online at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess120_2013-2014/bills/3592.htm.
As a LEED project team member, e-mail me your project submittal templates for Regional Materials credit that list South Carolina sources for LEED certified projects.
E-mail me your voter registration address (Address, City, and Zip Code) to add to the Chapter membership database, for identifying elected officials with constituents in our Chapter.
Michael P. Criss, AICP, LEED AP