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For the past two decades, the Colorado River—which supplies 90 percent of Southern Nevada’s water—has been mired in a drought of historical severity. While anyone who has been to Lake Mead can attest to the visual impact, the “bathtub ring” alone doesn’t convey the seriousness of the situation. Since 2000, reservoir storage along the river, primarily in Lakes Mead and Powell, has diminished by approximately nine trillion gallons and is now at about one-third capacity.
Recognizing this potential crisis early, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), the not-for-profit regional agency responsible for managing the community’s water supply, began enacting measures to both safeguard supply and reduce consumptive use. The key word here is “consumptive.” The Las Vegas Valley is unique in its ability to capture and recover indoor water; in fact, approximately 99 percent of indoor water is reclaimed, treated and returned to the Colorado River system. Every gallon returned allows SNWA to take another gallon out of the lake, sustainably extending the community’s water supply
For this reason, the SNWA has consistently focused on reducing outdoor uses, which cannot be recaptured. Beginning in 2003, SNWA implemented a comprehensive conservation program, including limitations on installing grass in new developments, golf course water budgets and seasonal watering restrictions to prevent overirrigation. The SNWA has also paid out more than $200 million in incentives for residents and businesses to replace thirsty lawns with drip-irrigated landscapes that provide equal or superior aesthetic value while using about 75 percent less water.
As a result, the Las Vegas Valley used about 26 billion gallons less water last year than it did back in 2002, despite the influx of thousands of new businesses and nearly a million new residents during that span. Curiously, there is a stark disparity in support for water conservation between businesses and the residents that represent their customer and employee base. Over the past two decades, residents have removed about two-thirds of their non-functional grass. Businesses, on the other hand, have replaced less than 30 percent of theirs, despite it having no business or recreational value whatsoever.
This inaction also holds true for evaporative cooling. For approximately 20 years SNWA has offered generous incentives for businesses to convert water-guzzling evaporative cooling systems to mechanical air conditioning systems. Over those many years, fewer than 100 properties have chosen to participate.
Unlike grass, evaporative cooling is an invisible water supply drain that represents the second-largest consumptive use of water in Southern Nevada. Evaporative cooling comes in two forms: cooling towers, like those found on some of the region’s largest buildings, and direct evaporative (swamp) coolers, which dot the rooftops of the vast majority of warehouse/industrial buildings and virtually every restaurant in the valley.
Late last year, the SNWA Board of Directors passed a resolution proposing a moratorium on evaporative cooling systems in Southern Nevada, applying only to new construction. Existing systems would not be subject to mandatory retrofits, although the SNWA offers an incentive of up to 50 percent of the replacement system cost for those who choose to do so. Numerous business groups have provided input on this proposed restriction, and their comments are welcomed and valuable. It’s recognized that mechanically cooled structures are subject to insulation requirements that don’t apply to evaporatively cooled buildings, and that dry-cooled systems use more electricity than their wet-cooled counterparts.
Industry professionals with expertise in this area are encouraged to share their perspective, which will help inform policy decisions. It is important to the SNWA to arrive at a solution that protects our community’s water supply while minimizing impacts to commercial interests. However, residents have been bearing the burden for nearly two decades and it’s time for the business sector to share the load and include water conservation into their decision-making process.
The SNWA invested more than $1 billion in a Low Lake Level Intake and Pumping Station at Lake Mead to safeguard our community’s critical water needs, even under severe drought conditions. As a result, Southern Nevada is the most water-secure community in the desert Southwest. Our ability to continue to expand economically is limited only by the consumptive uses of new homes and businesses; therefore, extending Southern Nevada’s water supply serves the interests of all. By embedding water efficiency in new construction through non-evaporative cooling technologies, Southern Nevada’s commercial sectors are investing in their own future.
To submit comments related to the proposed evaporative cooling moratorium for new construction or learn more about the SNWA’s cooling-related cash incentives, email email@example.com.
GUIDANCE FOR NEVADAN BUSINESSES RELATED TO THE HEAT ILLNESS NATIONAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM
On April 12, 2022, Federal OSHA announced the launch of a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries. Nevada OSHA is adopting the NEP in a modified form to reflect local factors. It will be effective on June 15, 2022, to give businesses time to prepare. Nevada OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries prescribed by Federal OSHA and additional industries identified by Nevada OSHA.
SCATS can review and make recommendations on best practices and implementation of an employer’s heat illness protocols. If your business has questions or needs onsite training or consultation, please call 877-472- 3368 or submit a consultation request at https://www.4safenv.state.nv.us/contact/.
To view the full guidance, visit the link below.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL GUIDANCE
Wildfire smoke is known to regularly blanket broad regions of Nevada. The presence of smoke from wildfires directly impacts both indoor and outdoor air quality in regions where smoke is present. Wildfire smoke is composed of small particles suspended in the air that present a health hazard for workers exposed to it. Businesses can take proactive steps to mitigate the effects of wildfire smoke and meet their general duty to protect their employees.
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Please note that the information I sent yesterday about hearings for Division of Industrial Regulations has been revised. Both hearings will now occur on March 30, 2022. See the details below.
The Division of Industrial Relations will be holding a hearing to adopt a proposed regulation on heat illness on March 30, 2022 at 10AM. The meeting notice, WebEx meeting information, and copy of the proposed text can be found here: Notice of Intent LCB File No. R053-20 (nv.gov)Pursuant to NRS 233B.060 .1(a)(2), 3 days-notice is required since this is a subsequent adoption hearing.
The Division will also be holding a hearing to adopt a proposed regulation on OSHA penalty reduction factors and other issues on March 30, 2022 at 1PM.
The meeting notice, WebEx meeting information, and copy of the proposed text can be found here: Notice of Intent to Act on Proposed Regulations and Hearing Agenda (nv.gov)
PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to be on our mailing list for future communications from Nevada OSHA, please be sure to subscribe to the SCATS newsletter by clicking on the following link and scrolling to the bottom where it says Sign Up For Our Newsletter: Nevada SCATS: Safety Consultation and Training Section (state.nv.us) For future communications, you will need to be subscribed to the SCATS newsletter to receive these communications.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or comments.
Victoria CarreónAdministratorDepartment of Business and IndustryDivision of Industrial RelationsLas Vegas: (702) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Division of Industrial Relations will be holding a hearing to adopt a proposed regulation on heat illness on March 28, 2022 at 10AM.
The meeting notice, WebEx meeting information, and copy of the proposed text can be found here: Notice of Intent LCB File No. R053-20 (nv.gov)
Pursuant to NRS 233B.060 .1(a)(2), 3 days-notice is required since this is a subsequent adoption hearing.
Please see the attached Notice to Industry regarding the Residential Construction Tax.
Please contact this office if you need any additional information.
Administrative SecretaryClark County Building Department
4701 West Russell Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89118
Please click here to read the official letter
Please see the attached Notice to Industry regarding Building Department in-person transactions for the afternoon of March 16, 2022.
Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Administrative SecretaryClark County Building Department
4701 West Russell Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89118
Please click here to see the attached letter
The Division of Industrial Relations held two informal stakeholder meetings on a draft regulation on heat illness on January 7th and February 2nd. We greatly appreciate the input we received and have made revisions based on the comments. A memo answering questions raised at the February 2nd stakeholder meeting, along with the latest draft of the regulation, can be found below. This document will also be posted on the OSHA website at: OSHA Home (nv.gov). The draft regulation will be submitted to the Legislative Counsel Bureau for final drafting. Once the LCB draft is completed, an Adoption Hearing will be scheduled with 30 days-notice to the public.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MEMO
February 16, 2022
NOTICE TO INDUSTRY
Greetings and Salutations:
Just over five years ago, I assumed the position of the Director for the Clark County Department of Building & Fire Prevention and ultimately the Clark County Building Official. Although it has been an honor and privilege to serve the community in these roles, I am retiring effective April 4, 2022, and am, quite literally, moving to the beach.
The Department's accomplishments, during this period, could not be accomplished without you, the stakeholders. I want to personally thank you, for your patience, suggestions, and your support of me and the Department. By working together, we have been able to accomplish much in the community.
Click here to read the full message from Jerome A Stueve, P.E.
Please see the Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Nevada Businesses.
This guidance supersedes previous Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) COVID-19 guidance released on January 14, 2022 and January 25, 2022.
If you have questions about this guidance, please call SCATS at 702-486-9140 (south) or 775-688-3730 (north).
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NPFMA-Nevada Professional Facility Managers AssociationP.O. Box 97993Las Vegas, NV 89193-7993