Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Electric and Gas Ranges and Microwave Ovens, Dishwashers, Dehumidifiers, and Commercial Clothes Washers: Public Meeting and Availability of the Framework Document, 15059-15061 [E6-4390]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 58 / Monday, March 27, 2006 / Proposed Rules PART 94—RINDERPEST, FOOT-ANDMOUTH DISEASE, FOWL PEST (FOWL PLAGUE), EXOTIC NEWCASTLE DISEASE, AFRICAN SWINE FEVER, CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER, AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY: PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED IMPORTATIONS 10. The authority citation for part 94 would continue to read as follows: Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701–7772, 7781– 7786, and 8301–8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4. § 94.6 [Amended] 11. In § 94.6, paragraph (b)(1) would be removed and reserved. Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of March 2006. Kevin Shea, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 06–2864 Filed 3–24–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 10 CFR Part 430 and 431 [Docket No. EE–2006–STD–0127] RIN 1904–AB49 Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Electric and Gas Ranges and Microwave Ovens, Dishwashers, Dehumidifiers, and Commercial Clothes Washers: Public Meeting and Availability of the Framework Document Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of public meeting and availability of the Framework Document. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE or Department) will hold an informal public meeting to discuss and receive comments on issues it will address in this rulemaking proceeding. The Department is also initiating the data collection process for establishing energy conservation standards for residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes washers. The Department also encourages written comments on these subjects. In addition, this effort is the result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:46 Mar 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 directive to publish a final rule to determine whether the standards established by EPACT 2005 should be amended no later than October 1, 2009, for dehumidifiers, and no later than January 1, 2010, for commercial clothes washers. To inform stakeholders and facilitate this process, DOE has prepared a Framework Document, a draft of which is available at: http:// www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ appliance_standards/. DATES: The Department will hold a public meeting on Thursday, April 27, 2006, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington, DC. Any person requesting to speak at the public meeting should submit a request to speak before 4 p.m, Thursday, April 13, 2006. The Department must receive a signed original and an electronic copy of statements to be given at the public meeting before 4 p.m., Thursday, April 13, 2006. Written comments are welcome, especially following the public meeting, and should be submitted by Thursday, May 11, 2006. ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room GE–086 (Large Auditorium), 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585– 0121. (Please note that foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to advance security screening procedures. If a foreign national wishes to participate in the workshop, please inform DOE of this fact as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at (202) 586–2945 so that the necessary procedures can be completed.) Stakeholders may submit comments, identified by docket number EE–2006– STD–0127 and/or RIN number 1904– AB49, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: home_appliance. rulemaking@ee.doe.gov. Include EE– 2006–STD–0127 and/or RIN 1904–AB49 in the subject line of the message. • Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE–2J, Framework Document for Home Appliance Products, EE–2006–STD– 0127 and/or RIN 1904–AB49, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–2945. Please submit one signed paper original. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Room 1J–018, 1000 Independence PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15059 Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585– 0121. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, a copy of the transcript of the public meeting, or comments received, go to the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 1J–018 (Resource Room of the Building Technologies Program), 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121, (202) 586– 9127, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at the above telephone number for additional information regarding visiting the Resource Room. Please note that the Department’s Freedom of Information Reading Room (formerly Room 1E–190 at the Forrestal Building) is no longer housing rulemaking materials. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies, EE–2J, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121, (202) 586– 0371. E-mail: bryan.berringer@ee.doe.gov. Thomas DePriest, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, GC–72, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121, (202) 586– 9507. E-mail: Thomas.DePriest@hq.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Part B of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq., established an energy conservation program for major household appliances, which includes residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, and dishwashers. This program authorizes the Department to establish technologically feasible, economically justified energy-efficiency regulations for certain consumer products for which such regulations would incur substantial national energy saving, and for which both natural market forces and voluntary labeling programs have been and/or are expected to be ineffective in promoting energy efficiency. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 (NECPA) amended EPCA to add Part C of Title III, 42 U.S.C. 6311 et seq., which established an energy-conservation program for certain industrial equipment. Amendments to EPCA in E:\FR\FM\27MRP1.SGM 27MRP1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS 15060 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 58 / Monday, March 27, 2006 / Proposed Rules the Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA) established prescriptive energy conservation standards for dishwashers and cooking products, as well as requirements for determining whether these standards should be amended. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g) and (h)) The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT 1992), Public Law 102–486, included amendments to EPCA that expanded Title III to include certain commercial equipment. The recent Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005), Public Law 109–58, updated several existing standards and test procedures, prescribed definitions, standards, and test procedures for certain new consumer products and commercial equipment, and mandated that the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) commence rulemakings to develop test procedures and standards for certain other new consumer products and commercial equipment, including dehumidifiers and commercial clothes washers. The prescriptive standards for dishwashers in EPCA, as amended, require that they be equipped with an option to dry without heat, and EPCA further requires that DOE conduct two cycles of rulemakings to determine if more stringent standards are justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g)(1), (4)) On May 14, 1991, DOE issued a final rule establishing the first set of performance standards for dishwashers; the new standards became effective on May 14, 1994. 56 FR 22250. The Department initiated a second standards rulemaking for dishwashers by issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR) on November 14, 1994. 59 FR 56423. As a result of the priority-setting process outlined in the July 15, 1996, Procedures for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products (the ‘‘Process Rule’’), 61 FR 36974, 10 CFR part 430, Subpart C, Appendix A, DOE suspended the standards rulemaking for dishwashers. The prescriptive standards for gas cooking products in EPCA, as amended, require units with an electrical supply cord not to be equipped with constant burning pilots. EPCA, as amended, also directs DOE to conduct two cycles of rulemakings to determine if more stringent standards are justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(h)) The Department initially analyzed standards for cooking products as part of an eight-product standards rulemaking. It issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on March 4, 1994, proposing performance standards for gas and electric residential cooking products, including microwave ovens. 59 FR 10464. In accordance with VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:28 Mar 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 the 1996 Process Rule, DOE refined its standards analysis of cooking products. With regard to gas cooking products, DOE focused on the economic justification for eliminating standing pilots. Partially due to the difficulty of conclusively demonstrating that elimination of standing pilots was economically justified, DOE issued a final rule on September 8, 1998, that covered only electric cooking products, including microwave ovens. 63 FR 48038. The final rule found that no standards were feasible for electric cooking products. The Department never completed its standards rulemaking for gas cooking products. Commercial clothes washers and dehumidifiers are new products covered by the EPACT 2005 legislation. Commercial clothes washers are defined in EPACT 2005 as soft-mount, frontloading or soft-mount, top-loading washers that have a clothes container compartment that is not more than 3.5 cubic feet for horizontal-axis clothes washers and not more than 4.0 cubic feet for vertical-axis clothes washers. (EPACT 2005, section 136(a)(4)) EPACT 2005 also defines commercial clothes washers as products designed for applications in which the occupants of more than one household will be using the clothes washer, such as multi-family housing common areas, coin laundries, or other commercial applications. (Id.) EPACT 2005 established standards for commercial clothes washers, which will become effective on January 1, 2007. (EPACT 2005, section 136(e)) EPACT 2005 also requires that DOE issue a final rule by January 1, 2010, to determine whether these standards should be amended. (Id.) In EPACT 2005, dehumidifiers are defined as self-contained, electrically operated, and mechanically encased assemblies consisting of: (1) A refrigerated surface (evaporator) that condenses moisture from the atmosphere; (2) a refrigerating system, including an electric motor; (3) an aircirculating fan; and (4) a means for collecting or disposing of the condensate. (EPACT 2005, section 135(a)(3)) EPACT 2005 established standards for dehumidifiers that will become effective on October 1, 2007. (Section 135(c)(4)) EPACT 2005 also requires that DOE issue a final rule by October 1, 2009, to determine whether these standards should be amended. (Id.) If amended standards are justified, EPACT 2005 requires them to become effective by October 1, 2012. (Id.) In the event that DOE fails to publish a final rule, EPACT 2005 specifies a new set of amended standards with an effective date of October 1, 2012. (Id.) PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 To begin the required rulemaking process, the Department prepared the Framework Document to explain the issues, analyses, and process it is considering for the development of energy efficiency standards for residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes washers. The focus of the public meeting will be to discuss the analyses and issues contained in various sections of the Framework Document. For each item listed, the Department will make a presentation with discussion to follow. In addition, the Department will also make a brief presentation on the rulemaking process for these products. The Department encourages those who wish to participate in the public meeting to obtain the Framework Document and be prepared to discuss its contents. A copy of the draft Framework Document is available at: http:// www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ appliance_standards/. However, public meeting participants need not limit their discussions to the topics in the Framework Document. The Department is also interested in receiving views concerning other relevant issues that participants believe would affect energy conservation standards for these products. The Department also welcomes all interested parties, whether or not they participate in the public meeting, to submit in writing by Thursday, May 11, 2006, comments and information on the matters addressed in the Framework Document and on other matters relevant to consideration of standards for residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes washers. The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference style. A court reporter will be present to record the minutes of the meeting. There shall be no discussion of proprietary information, costs or prices, market shares, or other commercial matters regulated by the U.S. antitrust laws. After the public meeting and the expiration of the period for submitting written statements, the Department will begin collecting data, conducting the analyses as discussed at the public meeting, and reviewing the comments received. Anyone who would like to participate in the public meeting, receive meeting materials, or be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information regarding residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes E:\FR\FM\27MRP1.SGM 27MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 58 / Monday, March 27, 2006 / Proposed Rules washers, should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at (202) 586–2945. Issued in Washington, DC, on March 21, 2006. Douglas L. Faulkner, Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [FR Doc. E6–4390 Filed 3–24–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2006–24018; Directorate Identifier 2006–CE–15–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd. Model 750XL Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). sroberts on PROD1PC70 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd. Model 750XL airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the condition of the insulation of the wiring adjacent to the electrical plugs mounted in the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides of the forward end of the cockpit center console for signs of abrasion and arcing. If you find evidence of abrasion or arcing, this proposed AD would require you to replace the affected wire(s) and secure the wires away from the back shells of the electrical plugs. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for New Zealand. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct damaged wires on the LH and RH sides of the forward end of the cockpit center console, which could result in short-circuiting of the related wiring. This could lead to electrical failure of affected systems and potential fire in the cockpit. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 24, 2006. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to comment on this proposed AD: • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http:// dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov VerDate Aug<31>2005 20:46 Mar 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590– 0001. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd., Hamilton Airport, Private Bag HN 3027, Hamilton, New Zealand; telephone: 011 (64) 7– 843–6144; fax: 011 (64) 7–843–6134. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4146; facsimile: (816) 329–4090. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed airworthiness directive (AD). Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number, ‘‘FAA–2006–24018; Directorate Identifier 2006–CE–15–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive concerning this proposed AD. Discussion The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for New Zealand, notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd. (Pacific Aerospace) Model 750XL airplanes. The CAA reports an incident in which short-circuiting of the wiring in the cockpit center console occurred. Abrasion of the wiring insulation caused by the fasteners of the electrical plug back-shells located in the cockpit center console resulted in the shortcircuit. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 15061 This condition, if not corrected, could result in short-circuiting of the related wiring in the forward end of the cockpit center console. This could lead to electrical failure of affected systems and potential fire in the cockpit. Relevant Service Information We have reviewed Pacific Aerospace Corporation Mandatory Service Bulletin No. PACSB/XL/016, Issue 1, Date Issued: September 23, 2005. The service information describes procedures for: • Inspecting the condition of the insulation of the wiring adjacent to the electrical plugs mounted in the lefthand (LH) and (RH) right-hand sides of the forward end of the cockpit center console for signs of abrasion and arcing; • Replacing the affected wire(s) if any evidence of abrasion or arcing is found; and • Securing the wires away from the back shells of the electrical plugs. Foreign Airworthiness Authority Information The CAA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued New Zealand AD Number DCA/750XL/6, Effective Date: December 1, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in New Zealand. These Pacific Aerospace Model 750XL airplanes are manufactured in New Zealand and are type-certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Under this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CAA has kept us informed of the situation described above. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD We are proposing this AD because we have examined the CAA’s findings, evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design that are certificated for operation in the United States. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the condition of the insulation of the wiring adjacent to the electrical plugs mounted in the LH and RH sides of the forward end of the cockpit center console for signs of abrasion and arcing. If any evidence of abrasion or arcing is found, this proposed AD would require you to replace the affected wire(s) and secure the wires away from the back shells of the electrical plugs. E:\FR\FM\27MRP1.SGM 27MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 58 (Monday, March 27, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15059-15061]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-4390]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

10 CFR Part 430 and 431

[Docket No. EE-2006-STD-0127]
RIN 1904-AB49


Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Electric and Gas 
Ranges and Microwave Ovens, Dishwashers, Dehumidifiers, and Commercial 
Clothes Washers: Public Meeting and Availability of the Framework 
Document

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and availability of the Framework 
Document.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE or Department) will hold an 
informal public meeting to discuss and receive comments on issues it 
will address in this rulemaking proceeding. The Department is also 
initiating the data collection process for establishing energy 
conservation standards for residential electric and gas ranges and 
ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial 
clothes washers. The Department also encourages written comments on 
these subjects. In addition, this effort is the result of the Energy 
Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) directive to publish a final rule to 
determine whether the standards established by EPACT 2005 should be 
amended no later than October 1, 2009, for dehumidifiers, and no later 
than January 1, 2010, for commercial clothes washers. To inform 
stakeholders and facilitate this process, DOE has prepared a Framework 
Document, a draft of which is available at: http://www.eere.energy.
gov/buildings/appliance_ standards/.

DATES: The Department will hold a public meeting on Thursday, April 27, 
2006, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington, DC. Any person requesting to 
speak at the public meeting should submit a request to speak before 4 
p.m, Thursday, April 13, 2006. The Department must receive a signed 
original and an electronic copy of statements to be given at the public 
meeting before 4 p.m., Thursday, April 13, 2006. Written comments are 
welcome, especially following the public meeting, and should be 
submitted by Thursday, May 11, 2006.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Department of 
Energy, Forrestal Building, Room GE-086 (Large Auditorium), 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. (Please note that 
foreign nationals participating in the public meeting are subject to 
advance security screening procedures. If a foreign national wishes to 
participate in the workshop, please inform DOE of this fact as soon as 
possible by contacting Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at (202) 586-2945 so 
that the necessary procedures can be completed.)
    Stakeholders may submit comments, identified by docket number EE-
2006-STD-0127 and/or RIN number 1904-AB49, by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: home--appliance. rulemaking@ee.doe.gov. Include 
EE-2006-STD-0127 and/or RIN 1904-AB49 in the subject line of the 
message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Framework Document for 
Home Appliance Products, EE-2006-STD-0127 and/or RIN 1904-AB49, 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 
586-2945. Please submit one signed paper original.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Room 1J-018, 1000 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, a 
copy of the transcript of the public meeting, or comments received, go 
to the U.S. Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 1J-018 
(Resource Room of the Building Technologies Program), 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, (202) 586-9127, between 9 a.m. 
and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Please call 
Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at the above telephone number for additional 
information regarding visiting the Resource Room. Please note that the 
Department's Freedom of Information Reading Room (formerly Room 1E-190 
at the Forrestal Building) is no longer housing rulemaking materials.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies, EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 
20585-0121, (202) 586-0371. E-mail: bryan.berringer@ee.doe.gov. Thomas 
DePriest, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, GC-72, 
1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, (202) 586-
9507. E-mail: Thomas.DePriest@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Part B of Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq., established an 
energy conservation program for major household appliances, which 
includes residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave 
ovens, and dishwashers. This program authorizes the Department to 
establish technologically feasible, economically justified energy-
efficiency regulations for certain consumer products for which such 
regulations would incur substantial national energy saving, and for 
which both natural market forces and voluntary labeling programs have 
been and/or are expected to be ineffective in promoting energy 
efficiency. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 (NECPA) 
amended EPCA to add Part C of Title III, 42 U.S.C. 6311 et seq., which 
established an energy-conservation program for certain industrial 
equipment. Amendments to EPCA in

[[Page 15060]]

the Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA) established prescriptive 
energy conservation standards for dishwashers and cooking products, as 
well as requirements for determining whether these standards should be 
amended. (42 U.S.C. 6295(g) and (h)) The Energy Policy Act of 1992 
(EPACT 1992), Public Law 102-486, included amendments to EPCA that 
expanded Title III to include certain commercial equipment. The recent 
Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005), Public Law 109-58, updated 
several existing standards and test procedures, prescribed definitions, 
standards, and test procedures for certain new consumer products and 
commercial equipment, and mandated that the Secretary of Energy (the 
Secretary) commence rulemakings to develop test procedures and 
standards for certain other new consumer products and commercial 
equipment, including dehumidifiers and commercial clothes washers.
    The prescriptive standards for dishwashers in EPCA, as amended, 
require that they be equipped with an option to dry without heat, and 
EPCA further requires that DOE conduct two cycles of rulemakings to 
determine if more stringent standards are justified. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(g)(1), (4)) On May 14, 1991, DOE issued a final rule establishing 
the first set of performance standards for dishwashers; the new 
standards became effective on May 14, 1994. 56 FR 22250. The Department 
initiated a second standards rulemaking for dishwashers by issuing an 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR) on November 14, 1994. 59 
FR 56423. As a result of the priority-setting process outlined in the 
July 15, 1996, Procedures for Consideration of New or Revised Energy 
Conservation Standards for Consumer Products (the ``Process Rule''), 61 
FR 36974, 10 CFR part 430, Subpart C, Appendix A, DOE suspended the 
standards rulemaking for dishwashers.
    The prescriptive standards for gas cooking products in EPCA, as 
amended, require units with an electrical supply cord not to be 
equipped with constant burning pilots. EPCA, as amended, also directs 
DOE to conduct two cycles of rulemakings to determine if more stringent 
standards are justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(h)) The Department initially 
analyzed standards for cooking products as part of an eight-product 
standards rulemaking. It issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) 
on March 4, 1994, proposing performance standards for gas and electric 
residential cooking products, including microwave ovens. 59 FR 10464. 
In accordance with the 1996 Process Rule, DOE refined its standards 
analysis of cooking products. With regard to gas cooking products, DOE 
focused on the economic justification for eliminating standing pilots. 
Partially due to the difficulty of conclusively demonstrating that 
elimination of standing pilots was economically justified, DOE issued a 
final rule on September 8, 1998, that covered only electric cooking 
products, including microwave ovens. 63 FR 48038. The final rule found 
that no standards were feasible for electric cooking products. The 
Department never completed its standards rulemaking for gas cooking 
products.
    Commercial clothes washers and dehumidifiers are new products 
covered by the EPACT 2005 legislation. Commercial clothes washers are 
defined in EPACT 2005 as soft-mount, front-loading or soft-mount, top-
loading washers that have a clothes container compartment that is not 
more than 3.5 cubic feet for horizontal-axis clothes washers and not 
more than 4.0 cubic feet for vertical-axis clothes washers. (EPACT 
2005, section 136(a)(4)) EPACT 2005 also defines commercial clothes 
washers as products designed for applications in which the occupants of 
more than one household will be using the clothes washer, such as 
multi-family housing common areas, coin laundries, or other commercial 
applications. (Id.) EPACT 2005 established standards for commercial 
clothes washers, which will become effective on January 1, 2007. (EPACT 
2005, section 136(e)) EPACT 2005 also requires that DOE issue a final 
rule by January 1, 2010, to determine whether these standards should be 
amended. (Id.)
    In EPACT 2005, dehumidifiers are defined as self-contained, 
electrically operated, and mechanically encased assemblies consisting 
of: (1) A refrigerated surface (evaporator) that condenses moisture 
from the atmosphere; (2) a refrigerating system, including an electric 
motor; (3) an air-circulating fan; and (4) a means for collecting or 
disposing of the condensate. (EPACT 2005, section 135(a)(3)) EPACT 2005 
established standards for dehumidifiers that will become effective on 
October 1, 2007. (Section 135(c)(4)) EPACT 2005 also requires that DOE 
issue a final rule by October 1, 2009, to determine whether these 
standards should be amended. (Id.) If amended standards are justified, 
EPACT 2005 requires them to become effective by October 1, 2012. (Id.) 
In the event that DOE fails to publish a final rule, EPACT 2005 
specifies a new set of amended standards with an effective date of 
October 1, 2012. (Id.)
    To begin the required rulemaking process, the Department prepared 
the Framework Document to explain the issues, analyses, and process it 
is considering for the development of energy efficiency standards for 
residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, 
dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes washers. The focus 
of the public meeting will be to discuss the analyses and issues 
contained in various sections of the Framework Document. For each item 
listed, the Department will make a presentation with discussion to 
follow. In addition, the Department will also make a brief presentation 
on the rulemaking process for these products. The Department encourages 
those who wish to participate in the public meeting to obtain the 
Framework Document and be prepared to discuss its contents. A copy of 
the draft Framework Document is available at: http://
www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/. However, public 
meeting participants need not limit their discussions to the topics in 
the Framework Document. The Department is also interested in receiving 
views concerning other relevant issues that participants believe would 
affect energy conservation standards for these products. The Department 
also welcomes all interested parties, whether or not they participate 
in the public meeting, to submit in writing by Thursday, May 11, 2006, 
comments and information on the matters addressed in the Framework 
Document and on other matters relevant to consideration of standards 
for residential electric and gas ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, 
dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and commercial clothes washers.
    The public meeting will be conducted in an informal, conference 
style. A court reporter will be present to record the minutes of the 
meeting. There shall be no discussion of proprietary information, costs 
or prices, market shares, or other commercial matters regulated by the 
U.S. antitrust laws.
    After the public meeting and the expiration of the period for 
submitting written statements, the Department will begin collecting 
data, conducting the analyses as discussed at the public meeting, and 
reviewing the comments received.
    Anyone who would like to participate in the public meeting, receive 
meeting materials, or be added to the DOE mailing list to receive 
future notices and information regarding residential electric and gas 
ranges and ovens and microwave ovens, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and 
commercial clothes

[[Page 15061]]

washers, should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards-Jones at (202) 586-2945.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 21, 2006.
Douglas L. Faulkner,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
 [FR Doc. E6-4390 Filed 3-24-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P