The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Western District of Washington’s decision in BIAW et al. v. Washington State Building Code Council, allowing disputed amendments to the state’s energy efficiency code to take effect under the building code exception to federal preemption in EPCA.
Tag Archives | federal preemption doctrine
On the heels of the lawsuit filed at the LEED Gold-hopeful Riverhouse here in New York City comes another green building-related litigation, this time on the West Coast and filed on May 25 by the Building Industry Association of Washington against the pending enactment of certain amendments to Washington’s State Energy Code.
Back in early October, Chief District Judge Martha Vazquez of United States District Court for the District of New Mexico granted a preliminary injunction in favor of a number of HVAC industry plaintiffs who are challenging the legality of certain Energy Conservation Codes in the city of Albuquerque. The suit alleges that applicable federal legislation already exists for the same equipment that the Codes purport to regulate, thereby preempting the proposed codes. Over at gbNYC, we frequently discuss the problems with green building regulatory schemes, many of which have been crafted quickly and without consideration of broader legal ramifications. Judge Vazquez’ opinion, in fact, noted this very issue, pointing out that “the drafters of the code were unaware of the long-standing federal statutes governing the energy efficiency of certain HVAC and water heating products and expressly preempting state regulation of these products when the code was drafted and, as a result, the code, as enacted, infringes on an area preempted by federal law.”