WASHINGTON -- The sponsor of an effort to repeal the federal law requiring low-flow toilets plans to push ahead with the proposal, despite a House panel's one-vote rejection of the idea.
''The fight's not over,'' said John Akouri, spokesman for Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich.
A House Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday rejected Knollenberg's bill to eliminate 1992 federal water conservation regulations for toilets, urinals, shower heads and faucets.
Current standards require toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush instead of the 3.5 gallons that was the previous norm. Supporters say the rules save some 600 million gallons of water a day and avoid a 50-state patchwork of commode regulations.
''I would suggest that there is one thing more asinine than federal regulation of plumbing supplies, and that's 50 different state standards,'' said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. ''Such an outcome could have a severe constipating effect on interstate commerce.''
Critics of the federal standards contend low-powered potties often take two or three flushes to clear all the waste, eliminating their conservation benefits. They say consumers should get a choice.
''The American people are being forced to use toilets and showers that simply don't work,'' said Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga. ''Privacy and freedom are the only things that are being flushed away.''
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