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Bush signs energy bill that includes CAFE boost

November 3, 2010
 

By Ray Scarpelli Sr., Metro Chicago NADA Director

President Bush, with strong support from Congress, signed an energy bill late last month that increases Corporate Average Fuel Economy by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years.

David Regan of the NADA attended the bill signing and said the fuel economy increase is "challenging, but provides sufficient flexibility for automakers to continue to meet consumer demand." The new law increases fuel economy to a fleet-wide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 and permits automakers to trade credits among their own fleets to offset less-efficient vehicles.

Dealers were instrumental in ensuring separate, attribute-based car and truck fuel economy standards to best protect product mix—a top NADA priority. The NADA also was involved in improving unworkable CAFE increases for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

The final bill does not determine which government agency—the EPA or the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration—has primary jurisdiction to regulate fuel economy and emissions. The NADA supported a provision to identify the NHTSA as the lead agency. The Bush administration was expected to address the issue in late December, with Congress likely to hold oversight hearings sometime this year to examine the administration’s approach.

 

In NADA news . . .

For those who missed the Dec. 21 advance registration deadline for the 2008 NADA convention, housing is still available through the NADA’s housing bureau, Experient. Visit www.nada.org/convention for more. More than 650 exhibitors, including some 150 new ones, will be on hand during the convention, Feb. 9-12 in San Francisco.

Detailed information about the new Babson College executive education program for automobile and truck dealer executives, is now online at www.nada.org/ExecEd. The program, which the NADA and Babson College will start in March, focuses on building the leadership, management and business capabilities of senior-level executives. The site offers information about the program, Babson College, and how to apply. 

A 10-page disaster preparedness guide that instructs business owners on how to develop an effective plan to protect employees and customers in a disaster is now available from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Key preparedness strategies help small businesses identify potential hazards, create plans to remain in operation if the office is unusable, and understand the limitations of their insurance coverage.

An electronic version of the guide is online at www.sba.gov. For emergency preparedness specific to dealerships, read the NADA’s "A Dealer Guide to Creating an Emergency Response Plan," online at www.nada.org.  

 

In regulatory news . . .

Taking aim at hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) containing cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a tough area source rule covering body shops. The rule, which mandates full compliance by December 2010, requires body shops to:

  • Paint only inside filtered, ventilated paint booths or prep stations.
  • Use high-transfer efficiency application equipment.
  • Clean guns with nonhazardous solvents, in gun-enclosing washers, or use a method that does not involve atomized spraying to the open air. 
  • Have painters trained and certified every five years.
  • Make a one-time facility compliance notification to EPA or the state by December 2009. 

A proposed annual reporting requirement, objected to by the NADA, was eliminated. Basic records demonstrating compliance must be kept. NADA Regulatory Affairs staff is reviewing the final rule with input from a number of body shop managers with the aim of preparing a compliance bulletin early this year. Questions on the new rule may be directed to NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org, or 703.821.7040.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a rule clarifying employer and employee responsibilities for the payment for personal protective equipment (PPE). The rule:

  • Mandates that dealerships pay for most PPE required by OSHA’s standards and creates a clear and consistent policy to reduce confusion regarding what dealerships need not pay for.
  • Creates no new requirements regarding what PPE dealerships must provide to employees. Dealerships need not pay for uniforms, items worn for cleanliness, and other items that are not PPE. They also need not pay for most safety-toe footwear, prescription safety eyewear, everyday clothing, and weather-related gear.
  • Says that though dealerships cannot require employees to provide their own PPE, employees who do so are not entitled to reimbursement. On the other hand, dealerships must ensure the adequacy of any employee-provided PPE to protect against workplace hazards.
  • Indicates that dealerships need not pay to replace lost or intentionally damaged PPE.
  • Takes effect Feb. 13, 2008, and requires compliance by May 15.
 

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