January 10, 2008
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Highway & Transportation
Commission to Release Report to Congress on Future Surface Transportation Policy
Federal & Heavy
AGC and Army Corps to Discuss WRDA Implementation
AGC and Army Corps Partner on Safety
On Congress
House Expected to Consider AGC-Opposed Legislation Next Week
AGC News
AGC Launches New Web Site

  Commission to Release Report to Congress on Future Surface Transportation Policy

The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission created under SAFETEA-LU to advise Congress on the future direction of surface transportation policy is anticipated next week to release its final report to Congress.

The Commission is expected to call for a strong federal role in surface transportation policy, including recommendations to reform the program to focus on those areas of clear national interest.  The Commission is also expected to propose to Congress a significant increase in federal funding, including an increase in the federal motor fuels user fee and other revenues in addition to expanding the use of tolling, congestion pricing, and public-private partnerships.  To recommend specific user fee increases to Congress, the Commission is expected to call for the creation of an independent commission, similar to the commission that currently sets postal rates.  AGC presented the idea to the commission in testimony in 2006 and 2007 as a way to to guide and de-politicize federal funding decisions.  

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will conduct a hearing on the Commission’s report next Thursday; the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will conduct a similar hearing the following week.  AGC will review the contents of the report and work with Congress to shape the upcoming surface transportation authorization.

For more information, please contact Karen Bachman at (202) 547-4733 or bachmank@agc.org or Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org.

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  AGC and Army Corps to Discuss WRDA Implementation
The enactment of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA) was an important achievement for water resources infrastructure advocates. The law authorizes a record $23 billion for water resources projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the task of implementing the new law is only beginning.

WRDA 2007 offers the Congress and the Administration the opportunity to select from a wide variety of authorized projects for the next several years for one of the federal government's largest infrastructure programs.

Accordingly, AGC will meet with the Corps next week to hear the agency’s plan for implementation. In addition to the many projects authorized by WRDA, there are also several important measures reforming how Civil Works projects will be developed and approved. It is critical for contractors to know how those changes may affect contractors.

Although the enactment of WRDA was an important step forward for the nation’s Civil Works program, there is much work still to be done. AGC will focus its efforts working to ensure that the Congress appropriates the maximum amount of annual funding authorized each year in WRDA.

For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or giamberm@agc.org. [ return to top ]

  AGC and Army Corps Partner on Safety

AGC recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Army Corps Safety officials and other firms in the business of Marine Construction to discuss the formation of a coalition designed to improve the safety culture in marine construction based on best practices and lessons learned.

For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325.

 

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  House Expected to Consider AGC-Opposed Legislation Next Week

Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Supplemental Mine Improvement Act.  This legislation would require the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to forward all Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) for air contaminants to the Secretary of Labor. The Secretary must then require the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to adopt the same exposure limits as enforceable health standards.

The bill raises numerous concerns for AGC and others in the business community. It creates an unacceptable precedent by circumventing the comment and rulemaking process and preventing the right of regulated industries to comment on proposed rulemakings that affect their businesses. It ignores the Administrative Procedures Act as well as the Regulatory Flexibility Act, thus preventing the development of scientifically sound, economically feasible safety and health standards as well as purposely avoiding any studies to determine the affects on small business. Finally, It would also thrust NIOSH into a regulatory and policy making role, for which the organization was never intended.

Despite opposition from AGC and other business groups, this legislation is expected to pass the House along party lines.  

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at knottk@agc.org or (202) 547-4685.

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  AGC Launches New Web Site

If you’ve visited the AGC home page (www.agc.org) lately, you will know that we have launched a completely redesigned Web site. The new site was created based on feedback from members, chapter staff, organizational leaders, and technology experts.

AGC is proud to deliver this new, innovative and professional site to our chapters and members. You will find information on all of the legislative and regulatory issues AGC tracks on the redesigned Web site under "Advocacy."

  • Legislative Action Center (www.agc.org/LAC) – AGC continues to encourage members to click on any of the issue alerts and contact Congress.  Detailed information on the over 90 legislative issues AGC tracks has been improved.
  • Election Resource Center (www.agc.org/VOTE) – AGC continues to provide the tools to register to vote, find a polling location, apply for an absentee ballot and research candidates.
  • Regulatory Issues – The redesigned Web site has added a regulatory calendar allowing you to submit comments directly to federal agencies or to AGC staff to be submitted.  The calendar will provide the most pertinent regulatory issues to the industry.

As with any major technology upgrade, there may be some glitches at the beginning, so please bear with us if you encounter any and rest assured that our staff will be diligently working on them.

We hope you enjoy the new site!

For more information, please contact James Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org.

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