NEW YORK A bill
supporting the use of certain green building regulations in
North Carolina government projects passed both houses of the
states legislature June 20, a boost for North
Carolina-based Nucor Corp. that could have a far-reaching
impact on the domestic steel industry.
In its original form,
House Bill 628 would have effectively prohibited in state
projects the use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) building guidelines, which promote the use of
locally produced and recyclable construction products like
steel. But the North Carolina senate amended the bill after
Nucor, concrete mixers and other lobbyists protested the bill
because it might have discouraged the use of locally produced
steel and other construction products.
If LEED were
prohibited in state projects, advocates of the amendment said
that local producers would have lost their advantage over
out-of-state or foreign producers.
"The original version
would have eliminated LEED as an option for public projects in
North Carolina," state Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R., 104th District)
told AMM. "If we had said you cant use LEED
anymore it would have disadvantaged Nucor ... Nucor is
headquartered in my district, so when I realized thats
what it was going to do, we tried to change it."
supports the LEED certification and is a member of the U.S.
Green Building Council (USGBC), the group that publishes the
"Nucor supports the
current version of the bill as amended in the Senate," a
spokeswoman for Nucor told AMM. "The amended version
maintains the option to seek LEED certification in new state
construction projects if desired. As such, it encourages the
use of all materials manufactured or harvested in North
Carolina while not favoring one industry at the expense of
Lobbyists have sought
to weaken LEED in other states, as well as at the federal level
amm.com, May 28) , and Samuelson said that the
decision could influence other states that are debating LEED
Steel produced in
countries outside the United States could replace locally made
product without widespread adherence to LEED. Domestic steel
giants like Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America,
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics Inc. and other companies
are members of the USGBC, in addition to Nucor. The American
Iron and Steel Institute supports LEED as well.
The bill prohibiting
the use of LEED guidelines passed the house 70-43 May 13, then
was amended by the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural
Resources Committee to permit LEED guidelines June 11. The
amended bill passed the Senate 45-1 June 17, and unanimously
passed its return to the House June 20 with 105 votes.
governor Pat McCrory will almost certainly sign the bill within
the next 10 days, Samuelson said.