Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 21, 2017
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On the Inside
SAFETY
OSHA Announces 30-Day Enforcement Policy for the Silica Standard in Construction
INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC/TCC Weigh In on Effort to Repeal California Gas Tax Increase
TAX
Tax Reform Plan
ENVIRONMENTAL
AGC Environmental Conference Addressed Key Environmental Uncertainties on Jobsites
SAFETY
OSHA Announces 30-Day Enforcement Policy for the Silica Standard in Construction
 

On Tuesday, September 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators announcing how the Agency will handle enforcement of the new silica standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017. 

The memorandum states that during the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to contractors who are putting forth good faith efforts in their attempt to comply with the new standard. For those contractors attempting to comply, OSHA will offer compliance assistance and outreach with a focus on full and proper implementation of the controls listed in Table 1. However, during an inspection, if it appears that a contractor is not making any effort to comply with the requirements of the silica standard, OSHA’s inspection will include air monitoring for exposures, and the contractors may also be considered for citations.  During this time period, any proposed citations are required to be reviewed by the National Office. 

The memorandum also notes that OSHA has developed interim inspection and citation guidance to be released prior to the termination of the memorandum, and that a compliance directive will be issued at a later date.  AGC encourages contractors who have operations in State Plan States and are covered by the silica standard, to contact their Administrators to find out if the September 20 memorandum will be acknowledged. 

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org.  

 

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INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC/TCC Weigh In on Effort to Repeal California Gas Tax Increase
 

On April 28, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, a 10-year, $52.4 billion transportation investment bill financed partially by the first statewide gas tax increase in 23 years. The legislation increases the state gas tax by 12 cents-per-gallon and the diesel tax by 20 cents-per-gallon, with an additional 4 percent increase in the diesel sales tax, beginning Nov. 1, 2017. The act also creates a Transportation Improvement Fee based on a vehicle’s market value and implements a Zero-Emission Vehicle Fee of $100 for electric vehicles beginning in 2020.  

There is an effort by some in California to repeal SB 1 and they are calling for the issue to be on the ballot in November 2018. Members of the California Republican Congressional delegation are considering formally supporting the repeal effort in hopes of increasing voter turnout and thereby, hopefully protecting all incumbent Republicans and increasing the number of Republicans in the House as well as other elected bodies. 

AGC and the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) have joined with AGC of California, the San Diego Chapter of AGC and other transportation improvement allies in opposing this repeal effort. In letters to the California’s Congressional delegation, TCC expressed strong opposition to such an effort and encouraged individual members of the delegation to also oppose it. The letter points out that our nation’s transportation funding challenges are well documented and the only way to address them is to increase funding at all levels of government while also encouraging greater private investment where appropriate. The letter also says, “Repeal of SB 1 is ill advised and ignores the transportation infrastructure needs of California.” 

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

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TAX
Tax Reform Plan
 

Last week, Paul Ryan announced that an outline of the Republican tax reform plan is expected to be released by the so-called “Big 6” group of negotiators the week of September 25th.  The group, represented by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and NEC Director Gary Cohn of the Trump Administration, Speaker Paul Ryan, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady in the House of Representatives, Majority Leader McConnell, and Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in the Senate, have been meeting regularly to form a consensus Republican tax reform plan. 

After the plan is released, it is expected to go through regular order in Congress, with the tax committees taking a lead in drafting the specific language of the tax reform bill.  AGC will closely examine the plan released next week, and engage the committees to ensure the tax reform proposal includes AGC's tax reform priorities

For more information, please contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. 

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ENVIRONMENTAL
AGC Environmental Conference Addressed Key Environmental Uncertainties on Jobsites
Join Us Again Next Year on September 12-13, 2018, in Crystal City, Virginia!
 

Save the date now for AGC’s 2018 Construction Environmental Conference on September 12-13 in Crystal City, Virginia.  

In today’s uncertain regulatory climate, AGC’s 2017 Construction Environmental Conference (CEC) went back to the basics to help the nearly 100 people who attended this year's program ensure that their jobsites are ready to handle changing regulations and site conditions.  Approximately 20 government representatives and a handful of organizations focused on sustainability were in attendance to address questions one-on-one during a unique compliance assistance hour.  During the educational sessions, participants learned the management solutions, tools and best practices to plan for and meet environmental responsibilities during all phases of a project. In addition, they explored how environmental concerns fit in with estimating, permitting, acquiring and closing out properties, common pitfalls during operations, and more. 

AGC appreciates the time and talent of the expert speakers at the 2017 CEC and would also like to thank the sponsors: Angler Environmental a RES Company, Cianbro, EMSL Analytical, Hanes Geo Components, The Lane Construction Corp, ORR Safety, Profile, RP Alliance, and Zurich.  

For more information, please visit http://meetings.agc.org/cec/ or contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5415.  

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