Industry teamwork helps fix legislation

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12/09/2010

I just learned that the security industry teamed up with environmental groups in a successful “no-nonsense” effort to address a flaw in an important piece of federal legislation.

The effort seems like a good example of how consensus building can work for everyone.

Yesterday, according to the Security Industry Association, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to enact a fix in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act—one that SIA has long been seeking.

As SIA explains, the act requires electronic devices to meet certain efficiency standards while in “no-load” mode. However, SIA said, those requirements also apply to security and life safety devices, including video surveillance and access control systems, even though they are always in an “active” mode.

SIA, a trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security industry, considers that a “nonsensical” requirement, so formed a coalition that it said contained both industry and environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, to draft language for a fix.

SIA said that H.R. 5470, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., which passed Dec. 8, contains the new language, which would provide an exemption from the “no-load” requirements for security and life safety products and retain the act’s “active” mode efficiency standards for those products.

“This is an important vote for the security industry,” SIA research director Mark Visbal said. “Members of Congress—like the environmental groups that support this bill—clearly recognize the need to correct this legislative glitch. We thank Congressman Pallone for his efforts to enact this important correction.”

SIA also added that “multiple Senate proposals introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., include the security and life safety exemption, while Pallone’s proposal is a stand-alone measure.”