Sign Industry Alert - EPA Reconsiders On-premise Rulemaking - The Online Magazine for the Sign Trade.
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ISA officials have been informed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program that Energy Star will abandon all general efforts to establish standards for the illuminated sign industry.

International Sign Association (ISA) President and CEO Lori Anderson said, “The EPA’s decision to not pursue these regulations is an enormous victory for the sign industry. This study could have led to an additional layer of inconsistent regulations for states and major municipalities. Moreover, because the EPA was approaching these regulations from the wrong perspective, litigation would have been virtually assured.”

In 2004, ISA discovered that Energy Star was studying the on-premise sign industry for possible regulations. After numerous requests, the EPA’s Energy Star program made the preliminary report available for ISA’s inspection. The draft report was fundamentally flawed and seriously mischaracterized the industry.

“ISA swiftly moved to inform the EPA of the proper methodology to utilize in viewing the sign industry,” said Anderson.

Upon receipt and review of ISA’s information, Energy Star Labeling Branch Chief Ann Bailey stated, “Based on the results of this market research, we have decided not to pursue an Energy Star label for commercial signs.”

In its critique of the preliminary report, ISA addressed industry concerns and shared those concerns with ISA’s allies on Capitol Hill. ISA delivered a comprehensive rebuttal to the EPA stating that signage is not simply an activity and Energy Star’s approach is problematic because signs are speech, not merely technology.

Though EPA’s Energy Star guidelines present themselves as voluntary, they form the basis for a host of regulations that states adopt and manufacturers must conform to. Unfortunately, the ultimate regulations based on Energy Star are not always consistent from state to state, or even county to county.

For more information about this or ISA’s other legislative programs, contact Lori Anderson at 703-836-4012 or visit

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