Bid to require water-efficient clothes washers revived

A federal appeals court in San Francisco gave the California Energy Commission another chance today to establish a statewide rule requiring water-saving clothes-washing machines.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision in which the U.S. Department of Energy in 2006 refused to allow California to establish its own water efficiency standards for residential clothes washers.

Circuit Judge William Canby wrote, “California is experiencing a severe water crisis, and that crisis is worsening.”

Canby and two other judges on a three-judge panel agreed that the state had offered good reasons for establishing water efficiency standards.

In 2002, the state Legislature ordered the energy commission to come up with standards for residential clothes-washing machines.

The commission did so and said its proposed standards would save the state as much water annually as the city of San Diego uses in one year.

But under federal law, the U.S. Energy Department must give a state a waiver to set its own standards. The department refused, saying California hadn't shown “unusual and compelling” water interests as required for a waiver under the U.S. Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

The appeals court said, however, that the department hadn't adequately considered the data and analysis provided by California to support its claim of compelling circumstances.

But the court stopped short of ordering the California regulations into effect.

Instead, it sent the case back to the Department of Energy for further consideration.

Bay Area Newsclothes washerslaundryLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation intended to help California schools reopen. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Newsom signs $6.6 billion school reopening legislative package

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Gov. Gavin Newsom and state… Continue reading

Most Read