CDC Revises Guidance After IBWA and Congressional Outreach
Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised guidance to businesses reopening offices regarding proper safety measures to consider as employees return to work. In May, the CDC had originally stated that water coolers, along with other high touch items such as coffee pots and bulk snacks, should be replaced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic. At the same time, CDC said that water fountains, which are arguably less sanitary that water coolers, could simply be sanitized at some regular interval.

IBWA pushed back with two letters sent to CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and invited Members of Congress to weigh in with concerns as well. Due to industry and congressional outreach, CDC recently revised the guidance and removed any reference to water coolers. Click HERE for more information on this issue. 

IBWA Opposes House of Representatives Proposal That Targets Bottled Water in Groundwater Withdrawal Study
In late July, IBWA urged the House of Representatives in a letter to focus on all water users and not just target the bottled water industry when studying the impact of groundwater withdrawals on the environment. The House recently passed several appropriations bills, one of which includes language initiating “research that examines the hydrologic impact of extraction of water for bottling on water tables, on concentrations of contaminants, on saltwater intrusion into the groundwater, and to better understand water availability.” In the letter, IBWA points out that this unjustifiably focuses only on the impact of the bottled water industry, which uses a very small percentage of groundwater in the United States. Click HERE to read more…

IBWA Continues Dialogue with EPA as Regarding New ENERGY STAR 3.0 Specifications
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with new energy-reduction specifications for water coolers, known as Energy Star 3.0. EPA recently released draft Energy Star 3.0 specifications relating to water coolers.

Notable changes from Energy Star 2.0 include:

  • Reduced energy consumption for hot/cold and hot, cook and cold conditioned storage units from 0.87 kWh/day (Energy Star 2.0 specification) to 0.70 kWh/day.
  • New reporting requirements for on mode with water draw.
  • Requires reporting of the type of charge and type of refrigerant used.

With input from members of the IBWA Energy Star 3.0 Working Group, IBWA submitted comments arguing to EPA that the proposed energy consumption of 0.70 Kwh/day is too low and will exclude several high performing and in-demand coolers that customers enjoy. Instead, IBWA suggested that EPA look to adopt a specification of 0.80 Kwh/day, as this would meet the goal of the EPA ENERGY STAR program and continue to provide coolers that satisfy consumer preferences. IBWA also recently held a call with EPA staff to review industry comments and discuss the next draft of the specifications. Click HERE to read more…

How COVID-19 Is Reshaping State Legislator Agendas
By JP Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations
Only a few months ago, most states had just opened their 2020 sessions, and legislators were considering a ton of issues. Topics of interest to the bottled water industry included recycled content mandates, groundwater management, taxes, extended producer responsibility, and plastic restrictions. All of those concerns were poised to come up for debate, and IBWA was closely monitoring and constructing our legislative strategies when, well, we all know what happened. Click HERE to read more…


As a member of BIPAC, IBWA is happy to share “The Rundown” Blog to its members to use as a resource on polls and expert commentary regarding the upcoming elections. Click HERE to read election new from political experts Jim Ellis and Terri Bogart, BIPAC’s crack team of political operatives.

For more information on IBWA advocacy issues, please contact Cory Martin, IBWA Vice President of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4618 or [email protected], or JP Toner, IBWA Director of Government Relations, at (703) 647-4616 or [email protected].

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