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Notice

Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Publication of the Petition for Waiver and Notice of Granting the Application for Interim Waiver of Miele, Inc. From the Department of Energy Residential Clothes Dryer Test Procedure

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AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

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ACTION:

Notice of Petition for Waiver, Notice of Granting Application for Interim Waiver, and Request for Public Comments.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces receipt of and publishes the Miele, Inc. (Miele) petition for waiver (hereafter, “petition”) from specified portions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure for determining the energy consumption of residential clothes dryers. The waiver request pertains to Miele's specified models of condensing residential clothes dryers. The existing test procedure does not apply to condensing clothes dryers. In addition, today's notice grants Miele an interim waiver from the DOE test procedures applicable to residential clothes dryers. DOE solicits comments, data, and information concerning Miele's petition.

DATES:

DOE will accept comments, data, and information with respect to Miele's Petition until March 3, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by case number CD-005, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: AS_Waiver_Requests@ee.doe.gov. Include the case number [Case No. CD-005] in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Petition for Waiver Case No. CD-005, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Please submit one signed original paper copy.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed original paper copy.

Docket: For access to the docket to review the background documents relevant to this matter, you may visit the U.S. Department of Energy, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, SW. (Resource Room of the Building Technologies Program), Washington, DC 20024; (202) 586-2945, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Available documents include the following items: (1) This notice; (2) public comments received; (3) the petition for waiver and application for interim waiver; and (4) prior DOE rulemakings regarding similar clothes dryers. Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards at the above telephone number for additional information regarding visiting the Resource Room.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Michael G. Raymond, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mail Stop EE-2J, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-9611. E-mail: Michael.Raymond@ee.doe.gov.

Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, Mail Stop GC-71, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585-0103. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. E-mail: Elizabeth.Kohl@hq.doe.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Authority

Title III, Part B of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA”), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation Program for “Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles,” a program covering most major household appliances, which includes the clothes dryers that are the focus of this notice.[1] Part B includes definitions, test procedures, labeling provisions, energy conservation standards, and the authority to require information and reports from manufacturers. Further, Part B authorizes the Secretary of Energy to prescribe test procedures that are reasonably designed to produce results which measure energy efficiency, energy use, or estimated operating costs, and that are not unduly burdensome to conduct (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)). The test procedure for clothes dryers is contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D.

The regulations set forth in 10 CFR 430.27 contain provisions that enable a person to seek a waiver from the test procedure requirements for covered consumer products. A waiver will be granted by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Assistant Secretary) if it is determined that the basic model for which the petition for waiver was submitted contains one or more design characteristics that prevents testing of the basic model according to the prescribed test procedures, or if the prescribed test procedures may evaluate the basic model in a manner so unrepresentative of its true energy consumption characteristics as to provide materially inaccurate comparative data. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Petitioners must include in their petition any alternate test procedures known to the petitioner evaluate the basic model in a manner representative of its energy consumption. 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iii). The Assistant Secretary may grant the waiver subject to conditions, including adherence to alternate test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(l). Waivers remain in effect pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 430.27(m).

The waiver process also allows the Assistant Secretary to grant an interim waiver from test procedure requirements to manufacturers that have petitioned DOE for a waiver of such prescribed test procedures. 10 CFR 430.27(a)(2); 430.27(g). An interim waiver remains in effect for a period of 180 days or until DOE issues its determination on the petition for waiver, whichever is sooner, and may be extended for an additional 180 days, if necessary. 10 CFR 430.27(h).

II. Petition for Waiver of Test Procedure

On November 3, 2010, Miele filed a petition for waiver and an application for interim waiver from the test procedure applicable to residential clothes dryers set forth in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix D. Miele seeks a waiver from the applicable test procedures for its T8000 and T9000 product models because, Miele asserts, design characteristics of these models prevent testing according to the currently prescribed test procedures, as described in more detail in the following paragraph. DOE previously granted Miele a waiver from test procedures for two similar condenser clothes dryer models (T1565CA and T1570C). 60 FR 9330 (Feb. 17, 1995). DOE also granted waivers for the same type of clothes dryer to LG Electronics (73 FR 66641, Nov. 10, 2008), Whirlpool Corporation (74 FR 66334, Dec. 15, 2009) and General Electric (75 FR 13122, Mar. 18, 2010). Miele claims that its condenser clothes dryers cannot be tested pursuant to the DOE procedure and requests that the same waiver granted itself and to other manufacturers be granted for Miele's T8000 and T9000 models.

In support of its petition, Miele claims that the current clothes dryer test procedure applies only to vented clothes dryers because the test procedure requires the use of an exhaust restrictor on the exhaust port of the clothes dryer during testing. Because condenser clothes dryers operate by blowing air through the wet clothes, condensing the water vapor in the airstream, and pumping the collected water into either a drain line or an in-unit container, these products do not use an exhaust port like a vented dryer does. Miele plans to market a Start Printed Page 5569condensing clothes dryer for situations in which a conventional vented clothes dryer cannot be used, such as high-rise apartments and condominiums; the construction of these types of buildings does not permit the use of external venting.

The Miele Petition requests that DOE grant a waiver from existing test procedures to allow the sale of two models (T8000 and T9000) until DOE prescribes final test procedures and minimum energy conservation standards appropriate to condenser clothes dryers. Similar to the other manufacturers, Miele did not include an alternate test procedure in its petition.

III. Application for Interim Waiver

Miele also requests an interim waiver from the existing DOE test procedure. Under 10 CFR 430.27(b)(2) each application for interim waiver “shall demonstrate likely success of the Petition for Waiver and shall address what economic hardship and/or competitive disadvantage is likely to result absent a favorable determination on the Application for Interim Waiver.” An interim waiver may be granted if it is determined that the applicant will experience economic hardship if the application for interim waiver is denied, if it appears likely that the petition for waiver will be granted, and/or the Assistant Secretary determines that it would be desirable for public policy reasons to grant immediate relief pending a determination of the petition for waiver. 10 CFR 430.27(g).

DOE determined that Miele's application for interim waiver does not provide sufficient market, equipment price, shipments, and other manufacturer impact information to permit DOE to evaluate the economic hardship Miele might experience absent a favorable determination on its application for interim waiver. DOE understands, however, that the Miele condensing clothes dryers have a feature that prevents testing them according to the existing DOE test procedure. In addition, as stated in the previous section, DOE has previously granted waivers to Miele for its T1565CA and T1570C models, LG, Whirlpool and GE for similar products.

For the reasons stated above, DOE grants Miele's application for interim waiver from testing of its condensing clothes dryer product line. Therefore, it is ordered that:

The application for interim waiver filed by Miele is hereby granted for Miele's T8000 and T9000 condensing clothes dryers. Miele shall not be required to test its T8000 and T9000 condensing clothes dryers on the basis of the test procedure under 10 CFR part 430 subpart B, appendix D.

DOE makes decisions on waivers and interim waivers for only those models specifically set out in the petition, not future models that may or may not be manufactured by the petitioner. Miele may submit a new or amended petition for waiver and request for grant of interim waiver, as appropriate, for additional models of clothes dryers for which it seeks a waiver from the DOE test procedure. In addition, DOE notes that grant of an interim waiver or waiver does not release a petitioner from the certification requirements set forth at 10 CFR 430.62.

Further, this interim waiver is conditioned upon the presumed validity of statements, representations, and documents provided by the petitioner. DOE may revoke or modify this interim waiver at any time upon a determination that the factual basis underlying the petition for waiver is incorrect, or upon a determination that the results from the alternate test procedure are unrepresentative of the basic models' true energy consumption characteristics.

IV. Summary and Request for Comments

Through today's notice, DOE grants Miele an interim waiver from the specified portions of the test procedure applicable to Miele's T8000 and T9000 condensing clothes dryers and announces receipt of Miele's petition for waiver from those same portions of the test procedure. DOE publishes Miele's petition for waiver in its entirety pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv). The petition contains no confidential information.

DOE solicits comments from interested parties on all aspects of the petition. Pursuant to 10 CFR 430.27(b)(1)(iv), any person submitting written comments to DOE must also send a copy of such comments to the petitioner. The contact information for the petitioner is: Mr. Steve Polinski, Senior Manager for Regulatory Affairs, Miele, Inc., 9 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. All submissions received must include the agency name and case number for this proceeding. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Portable Document Format (PDF), or text (American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)) file format and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Wherever possible, include the electronic signature of the author. DOE does not accept telefacsimiles (faxes).

According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit two copies to DOE: One copy of the document including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document with the information believed to be confidential deleted. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

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Issued in Washington, DC on January 24, 2011.

Cathy Zoi,

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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Footnotes

1.  For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

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BILLING CODE 6450-01-P

[FR Doc. 2011-2158 Filed 1-31-11; 8:45 am]

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