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October 2020  

Greetings

Hello, and thanks for checking out the October issue of the MNASHRAE Newsletter! There are a lot of events happening this month starting with the City of St. Paul - Climate Action and Resilience Plan tomorrow and the daily events for the Region VI CRC.

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Upcoming Events

City of St. Paul - Climate Action and Resilience Plan

Join MN-ASHRAE and City of St. Paul's Chief Resilience Officer, Russ Stark, for a free presentation on St. Paul's new Climate Action and Resilience Plan. Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 20th 11:30-1:00 pm.

The presentation will dive into the city's water and energy benchmarking, energy efficiency loan funds, building decarbonization targets, and sustainable building policies.

This presentation will be of specific interest to building owners and operators, climate policy makers, engineers and commissioning agents. However, all are welcome.

Register Here

 

Region VI Chapters Regional Conference (CRC)

Along with many other conferences contending with the continued unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Vision 2020" Region VI CRC has been reenvisioned to become a fully virtual event starting this week. Rather than 2.5 glorious days spent basking in the beauty of Peoria, Illinois, conference attendees will have the opportunity to pick and choose from workshops and webinars spread across 2.5 weeks from the comfort of their own desks (kitchen tables, couches, etc.)! As a fully virtual event the 2020 Region VI CRC is able to present conference attendees with the unique opportunity to pick and choose from workshops and webinars. There are no event overlaps, so there's no need to coin flip between track A and track B, you can attend any or all of the sessions, and still make it to the business meetings!

 

Check out the schedule here

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Announcements

Each year the Chapter President identifies individuals who have gone above and beyond their duty for their respective position and provides them with an award.  Please join us in congratulating Brian Jennissen and Lauren Sweeney for recognition of their service and exemplary performance on behalf of the MN Chapter of ASHRAE!

 

Are you interested in joining the Chapter leadership team?  There are several committees that are looking for volunteers, so if you want to be more involved in ASHRAE, please send an email to the Chapter President, Eric Johansen, at [email protected]

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Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Corner

Minnesota Senate passes a $1.87 Billion Bonding Bill with a 100-34 vote.

 

On October 6, Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced H.R. 8547, the Incentivize Energy-Saving Improvements Act, which would make the Section 179D tax deduction permanent. The 179D tax deduction sets incentives for building owners that reduce their building's total energy and power cost by 50% or more in comparison to past versions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1. 179D needs to be reauthorized by Congress annually and is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020. To learn more about 179D, click here

 

CDC Adds Back Guidance Regarding Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its website to acknowledge possible airborne transmission of the coronavirus, especially in enclosed spaces. This information was published after similar guidance was initially removed a few weeks ago since the language was not yet finalized. To read the updated guidance from the CDC, click here. ASHRAE’s position on possible airborne spread of the coronavirus can be found here

 

Rising Water Levels in the Great Lakes Pose Threat to Buildings on Shoreline

Over the past five years, the Great Lakes region, which includes eight states, has seen record amounts of rainfall. Even before that surge, the basin had a 10% increase in precipitation since 1900. Officials at every level along the 4,500 miles of coastline are currently working to save structures from the rising water and competing for scarce state and federal dollars, as well as approving an unprecedented number of permits to build private seawalls. The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed city and state revenue, making the necessary investments less likely, even as state and federal regulators have recently seen an unusual surge in shoreline protection permits from residents who want to build seawalls. In just 30 relatively small communities in Michigan, $70 million is currently needed in repairs. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a coalition of 131 mayors in the region, has released an estimate of costs to local governments in the U.S. and Canada. These cities are spending more than $450 million on short-term fixes, with another $865 million needed for future planning and mitigation.  

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