AGC Helps Lead Industry Push for Congress to Vote on WRDA Legislation
Tell Your Members of Congress to Demand Floor Action Now
joined several industry, local government, and water groups in urging its
members to contact their members of
Congress and urge them to demand floor action on the pending Water
Resources Development Act legislation. As
previously reported, AGC sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell (R-Ky.) asking for the Senate to take up and pass the Water Resources
and Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 before the Senate adjourns in July for their
summer recess. Additionally, the AGC co-chaired Water Infrastructure Network
(WIN) sent a similar letter, and we joined 86 other associations in a separate
letter further reiterating our desire for the Senate to take action. The WIN
was also among leaders pressing Republican Senators to sign on to a letter asking
Sen. McConnell to bring WRDA to the floor, which now has 30 signatories.
out of both House and Senate Committees by large, bipartisan majorities, the
WRDA bill authorizes Army Corps of Engineers construction projects. The Senate
version also includes other provisions such as creation of a Clean Water Trust
Fund—a longtime AGC priority. Other provisions of note include State Revolving
Fund and Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act funding for cities
with declared lead in water emergencies (like Flint, Mich.), reauthorizing
sewer overflow control grants, new funding for technical assistance to small
treatment plants, Safe Drinking Water Act compliance assistance for small
disadvantaged communities, reauthorizing funding for desalination, and
assistance for low-income residents when replacing lead service lines to homes.
more information, please contact Sean O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 547-8892.
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Army Corps of Engineers Seeks Public Comments on Proposal to Renew, Revise Nationwide Permits
If Your Projects Use These Permits, Be Sure to Take a Look at the Proposed Changes
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) recently published a proposal
to reissue and modify the nationwide permits (NWPs). The Corps issues these permits to authorize a
variety of construction operations in “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) that have
minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. AGC invites members to provide their feedback
on the proposed permits to AGC by Friday, July 8 using AGC’s NWP Discussion Document
(MS Office Word document download).
are general permits issued by the Corps under Clean Water Act Section 404 and
are intended to allow certain activities to proceed with little delay or
paperwork. They authorize (on a
nationwide basis) discharges of dredged or fill material into WOTUS, including
activities associated with road crossings, utility lines, stormwater management,
wetland and stream restoration, coal mining and renewable energy
generation. Based on recent data, the
Corps authorizes roughly 30,000 projects through the NWP program each year.
the Corps’ Nationwide Permits
or the Corp’s Regulatory Programs and Permits
Web pages for more information. Also,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a web page that provides a chronology of nationwide
permits issued to date and related materials.
If you have additional questions, please contact
Leah Pilconis at email@example.com.
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AGC Comments to Treasury on Overreaching Regulations
On Tuesday, AGC sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and IRS
policy staff requesting additional time to analyze the effects of the proposed
385 regulations on small and large contractors. AGC specifically asked for an
extension of the public comment period to October 5 (90-days); and that the
Administration dedicate adequate time and resources for a comprehensive review
and analysis of the public comments on the proposal rather than finalize the
regulations on an arbitrary timeline. Visit AGC’s Action Center and urge your
members of Congress to oppose the 385 regulations in their current form. IRS has scheduled a July 14 public hearing on
the proposed 385 regulations, and AGC plans to provide further comments and
examples of how the regulations would affect construction firms.
On the same
day, Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to
Secretary Lew outlining the negative economic consequences of the
Administration's proposed 385 regulations. Committee Democrats had previously written
to Secretary Lew asking for a meeting about the proposed regulations. It is yet
to be seen how Senate Democrats will respond to alter the regulations. A concerted
effort to have several Senate Finance Committee Democratic members weigh in
with a letter to Treasury is underway.
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Chairman
Kevin Brady (R-Texas) are summoning Treasury's top policy advisers to Capitol
Hill to answer lawmakers' concerns about the broad-based rules.
more information, please contact Brian Lenihan at firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 547-8892.
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AGC-Supported Bill Providing Relief for Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Passes Congress
Wednesday, Congress passed legislation to provide relief for Puerto Rico’s debt
crisis. The AGC-backed bill (known as PROMESA) would
create a debt-restructuring process, empower a federal oversight board to
supervise the territory’s fiscal affairs and create a redevelopment authority
—with no taxpayer dollars used for a bailout— that will help rebuild Puerto
Rico’s infrastructure. The bill is now on its way to the president’s desk, who
has signaled that he will sign the bill into law.
of borrowing to cover operating costs, the territory racked up $70 billion in
debt, with Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla stating that despite
the bill, Puerto Rico “will default on more than $1 billion on bonds” on
Friday, July 1. While U.S. States are
afforded bankruptcy protection through the tax code, territories are not
covered under the same provisions. As it stands, many Puerto Rican government
entities are unable to pay contractors for work completed on government
construction projects and the public and private construction markets there
remain on life support.
For more information, please contact Jimmy
Christianson at email@example.com or
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