The following is a letter written to the Department of Energy from Senator Scott Brown regarding the growing showerhead debate.

The following is a letter written to the Department of Energy from Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts on behalf of Steven Conneen, showroom manager at Snow and Jones Co., as well as the industry and the U.S. consumer in regards to the growing showerhead debate.  

Department of Energy
Elizabeth Nolan
Forrestal Building Rm. 7B138
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington D.C. 20585

July 21, 2010

Re: Steven Conneen

Dear Ms. Nolan:

I am writing on behalf of Steven Conneen, a constituent of mine from Weymouth, Massachusetts. Mr. Conneen has been in contact with my office regarding the redefinition of the term shower head (Docket #EERE-2010-BT-NOA-0016).

In May, the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy solicited comments on the agency’s drafter rule to amend the definition of the term “showerhead” (Federal Register-5/19/10-Volume 75, Number 96, Page 27926). Mr. Conneen has researched the DOE proposal and is an experienced manager in the plumbing industry.

This DOE proposal would significantly impact the use of various types of showering systems in homes across America, including hand-held showers, body sprays, and shower systems. Such systems are even used in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Placing restrictions on these shower systems would severely damage plumbing manufacturers, contractors, installers, retailers, and consumers across the country.

What concerns Mr. Conneen most is the process being used to implement this proposal. A change of this magnitude should not be exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act as the Department of Energy has asserted. Holding only a brief 30-day comment period, DOE’s proposed “interpretive” rule would negate the standard definition of a showerhead that has existed for years.

Finally, this proposal may eliminate the ability of consumers to choose which type of shower system they would like to purchase. While I understand that the efficient and sustainable use of water is an issue of the utmost importance, I ask you to consider the impact this current proposal will have on the American public and reexamine your decision to redefine the showerhead rule.

Any assistance or consideration you are able to render would be greatly appreciated.

Please keep me informed of the progress of this case. For additional information questions, please do not hesitate to contact my aide, Erika Paulhus.
Thank you again for your attention in this matter.

Scott P. Brown
United States Senator

2400 John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Government Center
Boston, Massachusetts 02203