Federal Agencies Request Feedback on Low-Carbon Construction Materials

The Inflation Reduction Act empowered the federal agencies to explore the use of construction materials that have a lower embodied carbon (lower emissions associated with their life cycle).

Pursuant to this, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) have separate requests out for public feedback. EPA requests public comment on their draft approach in developing a new carbon labeling program for construction materials. And GSA would like feedback on low-embodied carbon asphalt and concrete as well as the use of environmental product declarations (EPDs). AGC has provided feedback previously and will work with members in drafting any response to these current requests. 

If you would like AGC to incorporate your feedback in any response to the agencies, please share your insights with Melinda Tomaino at [email protected] by close of business March 8th. 

Authorized through the IRA, EPA is asking for public comment on their draft approach for a new labeling program that will help federal agencies identify and source lower embodied carbon construction materials. EPA intends to start at the production phase of identified materials/products, use a tiered threshold format for the label, and focus initially on steel construction products, asphalt mixtures, concrete mixtures, and glass products.  The Federal Register notice provides several questions for the public to consider: feedback on the approach in general, whether there should be a publicly accessible online registry of certified materials/products, and their approach for verifying data about the materials is correct. AGC met with EPA last year and shared feedback related to EPDs within construction. See here for an AGC article that links to our previous comments.

GSA is requesting feedback on their initiative verbally during a “Virtual Inflation Reduction Act Industry Exchange” on March 21. The exchange will provide an overview of the IRA and have moderated sessions covering low-embodied carbon asphalt and concrete and EPDs. AGC plans to attend the virtual exchange, which is open to the public. Registration is available on SAM.gov, and that site provides links to relevant materials information. 

For more information, please contact Melinda Tomaino at [email protected].

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