Letter to the Editor: New energy rules in Maine have an environmental cost

I would like to share a few thoughts on the recent front page article entitled “New Energy Efficiency Regulations Will Affect Construction in Maine” (June 16). And above all: are we really reducing emissions with these new building regulations? We may save heating costs, but at what cost to the environment?

The foam insulation board required to change the current code for external wall insulation to R-25 is a polystyrene product made from petroleum products and plastics in most cases. Isn’t that going to require us to refine more oil to make more plastic for this product? Doesn’t that contribute to the greenhouse gases? And the processing of this product into 1-inch rigid foam – isn’t energy required for this?

Then there is the shipping and transportation of this insulation board to distributors, wholesalers, retailers and construction sites. Doesn’t this require the burning of fuel, which causes greenhouse gases? And who makes this product and are they environmentally conscious? In addition, the installation process when cutting this product creates “eternal” waste particles that end up in the air, water and soil.

Add to this the unhealthy air in these new houses, which need a ventilation system or an air exchanger (need electricity to run) and ask themselves: are we really solving a problem or are we just feeling good that we are leaving the pollution to others?

Maria DiMillo

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