House Passes Sweeping Regulatory Reform Legislation
On Jan. 11,
the House of Representatives passed an AGC-backed,
comprehensive regulatory reform package. The Regulatory
Accountability Act, H.R. 5, would help ensure that regulations undergo
thorough economic analysis, are based in sound science and/or substantial
empirical data, and are transparent with clear and feasible methods and goals.
Five Democrats—Reps. Jim Costa (Calf.), Henry Cuellar (Tex.), Patrick Murphy
(Fla.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Kurt Schrader (Ore.)—joined Republicans to
pass the measure.
The House last
week passed other AGC-supported regulatory reform legislation that
would help roll back Obama administration midnight rules and require Congress
to approve major regulations before they take effect. AGC will continue
to press for passage of this sensible and needed regulatory reform legislation
in the Senate.
regulatory plan for the Trump Administration, click
For more information, contact Jimmy
Christianson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-837-5325.
Return to Top
AGC WebED: The 2017 Regulatory Road Ahead: What Construction Contractors Need to Know
Thursday, Jan. 19 / 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM ET
The Obama administration may be on its way out, but much of its
regulatory legacy could remain intact. What pending or new regulations should
be high on your construction company’s radar screen in the new year? What are
the chances of President-elect Trump rolling back the last eight years of
today for AGC’s webinar
detailing what construction contractors need to know—complimentary for AGC
members, $49 for non-members.
During this webinar, AGC’s Regulatory Counsel Jimmy Christianson and Peckar
& Abramson construction law attorney Michael Branca will address these questions for construction
contractors across the industry—whether private building, transportation,
utility or federal contractors. The webinar will provide an overview of and
outlook for the 2017 regulatory landscape, touching on:
- The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration’s Silica Rule and Injury and Illness Record Keeping Rule
(Impacting Employer Drug Testing Procedures);
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule;
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule and Construction General Permit for
- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Local
Hiring Rule, Buy America Rules, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program;
- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s
Mentor-Protégé Program and Lower Tier Small Business Subcontractor Counting
- The Project Labor Agreement Executive Order;
- The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting)
Executive Order; and
- The Paid Sick Leave Executive Order
here. For more information,
contact Jimmy Christianson at email@example.com or 703-837-5325.
Return to Top
AGC Contributes to Timely Reissuance of Workable Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits
Corps Refrains from Adding More Restrictions, Limits on Use of General Permits
In a notable
victory for the business community, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
last week published its final nationwide permit
(NWP) rule. This rule reissues the 50 existing Clean Water Act (CWA)
permits that are set to expire on March 18, and adds two new permits and one
new general condition. The timely reissuance of an efficient and
streamlined general permit process was informed by extensive feedback from AGC
and its industry allies. AGC’s effective advocacy work – including a 14-page comment letter and a
meeting with the regulator leading the permit reissuance effort – had a
positive impact on the final 2017 NWP package.
AGC was concerned when the Corps’ proposal considered changes in the impact
limits and notification requirements for certain nationwide permits. The
Corps also sought comment on the relationship between the nationwide permit
program and the 2015 revisions to the definition of ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (which
dictates the scope of the federal control and CWA permitting
responsibility). Also high on AGC’s radar, were possible changes in how
compensatory mitigation is conducted and changes in the Corps’ use of waiver
provisions. Despite a strong push from the environmentalist community to reduce
the acreage limits, making less projects eligible for nationwide permits and
forcing them into the much more arduous individual permit category, the Corps
held the limits steady. The Corps also removed references to the 2015 changes to the definition of Waters of
the US, which is currently stayed nationwide by order of a District
court while the many lawsuits over this rule proceed.
permits are valid for five years; however, if your project is currently under
construction, or is under contract to commence prior to March 18, 2017, you can
obtain a one-year extension to complete the project under the existing permit
authorization. If that is not the case, you will need to request
authorization under a new permit (i.e., renew the nationwide permit during
construction or secure individual permit coverage). Next, AGC Chapters
and members may wish to engage in the regional conditioning process that is
currently underway at the Corps district level. For more information, look here.
For more information, contact Scott Berry firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5321.
Return to Top
EPA Scales Back Near-Road Emissions Monitoring Requirements
particularly its highway contractors, may breathe a sigh of relief when
learning that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule to relax a mandate
for smaller cities to install near-road nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions
monitoring stations. Indeed, it would
not have been easy to administer a comprehensive monitoring network near
roadways and obtain results that can be easily understood. Bad data could have pushed more areas into
“nonattainment,” which puts highway/transit funding and new construction in
jeopardy. AGC was also concerned about
the increased use of roadway concentration data in future standard-setting
processes or to inform transportation planning and decision making. (For
instance, AGC recently responded unfavorably
to a U.S. Department of Transportation proposal that contemplates measuring
greenhouse gas emissions from on-road mobile sources as a way of evaluating
AGC had urged EPA to avoid imposing
costly and unsubstantiated requirements on states to monitor and measure NO2
levels near roadways. EPA chose to
finalize a wide-ranging monitoring provision in early 2010, despite AGC’s
objections. Now, EPA is scaling back
For more information, contact Leah Pilconis email@example.com
or (703) 837-5332.
Return to Top
AGC to Host Roundtable Discussions for In-House Environmental Managers
If you work
on environmental issues at a construction firm, please consider joining your
peers in a day of roundtable discussions on March 9 at the Bellagio Hotel and
Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The AGC In-House Environmental Managers (IHEM)
Meeting creates a forum for environmental professionals at construction
firms to have greater peer-to-peer learning and interaction. The meeting
features a series of moderated roundtable discussions without formal
presentations or guest speakers. Meeting participants choose the topics
in advance and then spend the day sharing first-hand experiences and discussing
solutions to the challenges on their to-do lists. To ensure active
discussion, space is limited. More information and a link to registration
March 9 environmental managers meeting will coincide with the dates/location of
AGC’s 98th Annual
Convention and CONEXPO-CON/AGG-2017, scheduled for March
7-9. We hope that you will maximize your stay in Las Vegas and join us
for multiple AGC events.
If you have any questions about the meeting,
please contact Leah Pilconis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return to Top
Federal Highway Administration Includes Climate Change Calculations in New Performance Rules
DOT Issues Environmental Review Document
In an effort to impose new environmental constraints on transportation infrastructure development prior to the start of the new administration on Jan. 20, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued final rules on performance measures for congestion and freight movement that include requirements for states to measure and report CO2 (Greenhouse Gas- GHG) emissions from on-road vehicles for projects receiving federal funding. AGC, along with numerous other groups and Members of Congress, had advised U.S. DOT in formal comments that it lacked authority to expand into CO2 emissions; however the Department did not agree. In one victory for AGC, the performance measures do not require measuring emissions from off-road construction vehicles and equipment as had been suggested by DOT and opposed by AGC.
highway authorization legislation, MAP-21, directed the Department to establish
performance measures on a variety of different factors to determine if federal
investment in infrastructure was achieving its goals and how to target future
investments. However, MAP-21 specifically limited the items that the
Transportation Department was to include in these measures and did not include
GHGs. AGC will urge the new administration to reconsider this rule once the new
transportation secretary is confirmed.
separate action, the Transportation Department released updated implementation
procedures for states to use to comply with the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA). Not only did the Department rush these procedures out for
publication with limited (21 days) opportunity for public comment, the document
adds a new level of oversight to the environmental review process. This
undermines efforts by Congress in the past three transportation authorization
bills and previous administrations to streamline environmental review and
shrink the time it takes for project approval.
the document limits the use of “categorical exclusions” which provide an
expedited review process for the everyday transportation projects expected to
have limited environmental impact. The new procedures also expand requirement
for states to consider climate change as part of the review process. U.S. DOT
also references in the document that it will be developing additional guidance
documents but chose to not wait until these were completed so as to gather
additional public comment. AGC provided
written comments on these proposed procedures but believes that more
informed comments could have been submitted if the normal 60 day comment period
was provided as is called for in an Executive Order issued by President Obama.
For more information, contact Brian Deery email@example.com or (703) 837-53149.
Return to Top
Confirmation Hearing Held for Trumpís Pick for Transportation Secretary
Signals Support for Federal Spending and Addressing the Highway Trust Fund
Commerce Committee held a confirmation hearing this week for President-elect
Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Transportation, Elaine Chao. Ms. Chao – who previously served as the
Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush and the Deputy Secretary of
Transportation in President George H.W. Bush’s Administration – is expected to
help shape an infrastructure plan that has been promised by President-elect
Trump. Her confirmation to the position
is all but guaranteed and is likely to occur soon after Trump takes office on
Chao offered no specifics of what a Trump infrastructure plan would include but
she did acknowledge that the challenges with any plan lie in how it is paid
for. During the hearing she expressed the belief that both direct federal
spending and private financing will be a part of the incoming administration’s
proposal. She went on the say that
seeing a patch for the Highway Trust Fund – which will be facing insolvency in
2020 – will be a “top priority” for the Department. Additionally, Chao said one of her first
orders of business will be to create an infrastructure task force.
hearing was short on specifics, Secretary Chao made it clear she plans on
working closely with Congress as the Secretary of Transportation. AGC supports
Secretary Chao’s nomination and looks forward to working with her to promote a
pro-construction agenda at the Department of Transportation.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 547-8892.
Return to Top
AGC Fights Against Government Mandated Project Labor Agreements
Urges Trump Administration to Repeal and Replace
AGC, and others, urged President-elect Trump’s
administration to repeal President Obama’s executive order that
encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on
federal construction projects exceeding $25 million, and replace it with a
policy that prevents agencies from forcing contractors to enter into a labor
agreement as a condition for winning a federal construction contract. Last year, AGC requested this PLA reform when
it shared its federal agency regulatory, compliance and
enforcement plan with members of the Trump Presidential
AGC neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on
government projects, but strongly opposes any government mandate for
contractors’ use of PLAs. AGC strongly
believes that the choice of whether to adopt a collective bargaining agreement
should be left to the contractor-employers and their employees. Such a choice should not be imposed as a
condition to competing for, or performing on, a publicly funded project.
To view more details on AGC’s Regulatory Road ahead, click here.
To view more details on AGC efforts opposing government mandated PLAs, click here.
For more information,
contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.
Return to Top
Donít Miss a Chance to Save on Registration for the Federal Contractors Conference
Early-Bird Rate Expires Feb. 1
Register by February 1 for the 2017 AGC Federal Contractors Conference (FEDCON) and save $50 off
the registration fee. FEDCON is the premier conference for federal construction
contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues
facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center,
General Services Administration, Small Business Administration Department of
Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
and Bureau of Reclamation.
to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees
will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that will
impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue
with federal agencies after the conference. Leading federal construction
attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and
Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to
know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC
member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue
and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
For more information and to register, go to http://meetings.agc.org/fedcon/registration/.
Return to Top