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In response to requests and meetings from Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) and its members, as well as from other supporters of the EPA’s WaterSense program, the Senate Interior/EPA Appropriations Subcommittee included report language rejecting the proposed elimination of the program in its long-awaited fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget.
The language included in the subcommittee’s report reads: “The Committee rejects the proposed elimination of the WaterSense program, and provides not less than the fiscal year 2017 level.” Similar report language, supported by PMI, was also included in the House Interior Appropriations measure this summer.
PMI applauds Appropriations Committee members, led by Interior/EPA Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Tom Udall (D-N.M.), for rejecting calls to eliminate the WaterSense program, as well as Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Earlier this year, the Trump Administration had targeted 50 EPA programs, including the WaterSense program. For months, PMI and its members, along with a number of trade associations and nongovernmental organizations, have met with dozens of congressional representatives to promote the continued funding and operation of the program. WaterSense is a voluntary program that identifies water-efficient, high-performing plumbing products.
Plumbing manufacturers have developed more than 21,000 WaterSense-labeled product models for use in kitchens and bathrooms, including showerheads, toilets, faucets, faucet accessories, flushing urinals and flushometer-valve toilets found in commercial and institutional facilities, as well as pre-rinse spray valves for commercial kitchens.
More than 1,900 organizations and government officials nationwide have partnered with the WaterSense program.