Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 1, 2016
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On the Inside
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Federal Contractors Face Additional Sanctions under Final Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation - Webinar Wednesday
Complimentary WebED: Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Members of the House Asking for a Vote on Water Infrastructure Bill in Bipartisan Letter
SAFETY
AGC CEO Challenges Controversial Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy During Meeting with Head of OSHA
TRANSPORTATION
FHWA Announces Grants to States for New Highway Funding Testing
Former DOT Secretary Peters to Address Highway and Transportation Construction Conference
LABOR/HR
Construction HR & Training Professionals Gear Up for Industry Conference
ENVIRONMENT
EPA Clarifies When Facilities Need Controls for Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Build, Expand or Operate
Attend AGC Contractors Environmental Conference
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Federal Contractors Face Additional Sanctions under Final Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation - Webinar Wednesday
TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Block Application of this EO
 

AGC has compiled a detailed analysis of the more than 850 pages of final regulations the Obama Administration issued last week to implement the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order and will host a complementary webinar for AGC members on September 7. AGC members are encouraged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators to support AGC legislative efforts to block the implementing regulations for this Executive Order from coming into effect as soon as Oct. 25, 2016.

As it stands, AGC-backed provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act—a bill passed 54 consecutively years that helps fund the Department of Defense (DOD)—would generally prohibit application of the Executive Order and its implementing regulations on DOD contracts and most DOD contractors. AGC and its industry coalition allies are working to extend that restriction to all federal contracts and contractors government-wide. AGC is also part of an employer-wide coalition that is currently reviewing possible legal options to blocking implementation of this rule. 

While AGC will continue its efforts to combat this Order on the legislative and legal fronts, AGC members must plan accordingly in the event these regulations come into effect. AGC will post updates and analysis of this rule at our website: http://www.agc.org/blacklisting.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org

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Complimentary WebED: Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order
Wednesday, Sept. 7 | 2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
 

Register now for a complimentary webinar for AGC members to learn about how your company can begin to prepare for the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” (Blacklisting) Executive Order 13673. Please join AGC’s Regulatory Counsel Jimmy Christianson and Smith Currie federal construction attorneys Doug Tabeling and Brian Wood for an in-depth presentation on this executive order covering:

  • AGC's efforts to fight this Executive Order through legislative, regulatory and legal means
  • Prime Contractor and Subcontractor Labor Violation Reporting Requirements
  • The Possibility for Defacto Debarment through “Responsibility” Determinations
  • Risks of Entering Labor Compliance Agreements with Enforcement Agencies
  • Paycheck Transparency Mandate
  • Changes to Worker Arbitration Agreements, and more

For more information or to register, click here or contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325. Return to Top

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WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Members of the House Asking for a Vote on Water Infrastructure Bill in Bipartisan Letter
Urge Your Rep. to Sign On to the Letter
 

House and Senate committees passed water infrastructure bills – known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) – earlier this year that would collectively invest billions of dollars in municipal drinking water and wastewater projects and Army Corps of Engineers’ projects, including flood control and levees, locks, dams, harbor maintenance dredging and environmental restoration throughout the nation. However, the bills have not yet been brought to the chambers’ floors for a vote, endangering their success in this election year. There is currently a bipartisan letter circulating in the House seeking a vote on WRDA before the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30).  Contact your U.S. Representative and tell them why it is important to pass WRDA and ask them to sign the bipartisan letter.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892. Return to Top

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SAFETY
AGC CEO Challenges Controversial Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy During Meeting with Head of OSHA
 

On Aug. 30, AGC met with the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several of his key deputies on the agency’s new recordkeeping regulation. That regulation has become the subject of much discussion and great concern as OSHA has expressed its intention to promulgate enforcement policies that go well beyond the plain language of the rule itself, and specifically to interpret the rule to prohibit mandatory post-incident alcohol and drug testing.  AGC recommended that the agency take the time to collect more information on these programs and how they actually work before jumping to any conclusions. Notably absent from the agency’s rulemaking was any request for such information.  AGC will submit a follow-up letter to OSHA, restating AGC’s position.

During the meeting, AGC also underscored that its members have many legitimate interests in such alcohol and drug testing and that the proposed guidance could have a distinctly negative impact on safety and health in the construction industry. Indeed, it could disrupt many of the drug-free workplace programs that have served the industry well, including programs negotiated with organized labor and incorporated into collective bargaining agreements. AGC explained that these programs are neither intended nor likely to have the effect of deterring construction workers from reporting injuries and illnesses. Rather, their legitimate intent and effect are to deter drugs and alcohol abuse, and thereby protect construction workers and the general public.

For more information on the new recordkeeping regulation, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org Return to Top

TRANSPORTATION
FHWA Announces Grants to States for New Highway Funding Testing
 

Today the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced that eight projects in seven states will receive $14.2 million in grants to explore alternative funding mechanisms to help sustain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.  AGC and our colleagues in the Mileage Based User Fee Alliance have been closely monitoring the application process for this program and are encouraged that this program is focused on addressing barriers to implementing user-based fees such as public acceptance, privacy concerns, equity and geographic diversity.  

California, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and Oregon were chosen to receive the funding through the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives program which was included as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The projects will pilot a variety of options to raise transportation revenue, including on-board vehicle technologies to charge drivers based on miles traveled and multi-state or regional approaches to road user charges.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at oneills@agc.org or (202) 547-8892. Return to Top

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Former DOT Secretary Peters to Address Highway and Transportation Construction Conference
November 3-5 | JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort | Phoenix, Arizona
 

Mary Peters, Secretary of Transportation under the Bush Administration, is one of many outstanding speakers who will address the 2016 Highway and Transportation Construction Conference (formerly the Highway Contractors Conference). Secretary Peters will discuss “Transportation Future:  Where is Transportation Heading, How will the Infrastructure be Funded” which will lead to a discussion about how the federal Highway Trust Fund should be fixed moving forward.

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319. Return to Top

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LABOR/HR
Construction HR & Training Professionals Gear Up for Industry Conference
 

Each October, construction industry professionals in HR, training and workforce development gear up for the industry’s premier learning and networking event, AGC’s Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference, and this year is no different.  The 2016 event will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.  For those seeking to earn professional credentials at the event, Conference attendees who hold a PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification and attend the entire conference and workshop will earn 13.25 general recertification credits through the HR Certification Institute.  Sessions may also qualify for SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification.  

This year’s Conference will kick-off on the afternoon of Oct. 5 with a pre-conference Federal Construction HR Workshop.  Designed to help staff responsible for compliance on federal and federally assisted projects, the workshop provides practical information and best-practice advice from experts and peers experienced in the area.  During the Conference, sessions for training professionals will cover the most cutting-edge techniques in training and development currently in use and envisioned for the future of the industry while the HR-related sessions will help HR professionals in the industry remain up to date and compliant with employment laws and best practices.

For complete session descriptions, schedule, registration, and hotel information, visit www.agc.org/HR_TED or contact Tamika Carter at cartert@agc.org or (703) 837-5382. Return to Top

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ENVIRONMENT
EPA Clarifies When Facilities Need Controls for Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Build, Expand or Operate
 

On Aug. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly released a proposal to clarify when facilities will need to set controls for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to obtain necessary air permits prior to construction or operation.  With these changes, EPA seeks to align its permitting programs with a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down elements of EPA’s “Tailoring Rule” related to the inclusion of GHG emissions in permits for stationary sources or facilities.  The proposed changes would affect facilities that emit “conventional” pollutants (e.g., ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, etc.) and are already required to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permitting program or Title V operating permits program for those pollutants under the Clean Air Act. 

In 2014, AGC reported on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that the emission of GHGs alone do not trigger the facility permitting programs and associated controls; however, if a facility already qualifies for those CAA permitting programs to reduce emissions of conventional pollutants, then EPA also can require controls for GHG emissions.  AGC also commented on the Tailoring Rule when EPA first proposed it and other efforts over the years to regulate GHG emissions through the CAA.  AGC will review the proposal and prepare an appropriate response.

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5415 Return to Top

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Attend AGC Contractors Environmental Conference
October 5-6 | Washington, DC
 

With penalties for environmental violations just increased to $51,570per day for Clean Water Act permit programs and even higher for certain federal waste/air programs, you can't afford to miss this year's AGC Contractors Environmental Conference. On Oct. 5-6 in the nation's capital, AGC's 2016 CEC is your chance to hear directly from the regulators and ask your questions. The conference will bring together government officials to discuss compliance issues that will impact construction work in every state.

For more information, please contact Melinda Tomanio at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5415. Return to Top

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