Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org July 12, 2018
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On the Inside
SAFETY
AGC Responds to OSHA’s Proposed Rule on Cranes & Derricks
2018 AGC Summer Safety & Health Conference
Advanced Safety Management Training Course
LABOR/HR
AGC Urges Swift Passage of Senate Career and Technical Education Legislation
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
USACE Announces AGC-Supported Disaster Relief Projects
INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Committee Defends AGC-Supported Water Infrastructure Bill
ENVIRONMENT
EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler Commits to ‘Reining in Federal Regulatory Overreach’
Regulatory Outlook: Federal Agencies Take Steps on Key Environmental Issues
Learn about Environmental Risks throughout the Project Lifecycle at AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference
SAFETY
AGC Responds to OSHA’s Proposed Rule on Cranes & Derricks
 

On July 5, AGC of America commented on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule to update its existing cranes rule.  The proposal attempts to clarify the existing training requirements and to incorporate an employer evaluation provision into the standard. AGC called on the agency to further clarify: what satisfies the ongoing training requirement for crane operators (e.g., tool box talks, pre-lift meetings, job safety analysis reviews, etc.); whether or not such training must be job-specific; and how the ongoing training requirement changes as an operator’s experience expands, among other things.

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

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2018 AGC Summer Safety & Health Conference
July 25-27 in Indianapolis, IN
 

There is still time to join us in Indianapolis, Indiana July 25-27, 2018, for the AGC Safety & Health Conference. Hear the latest on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement of existing regulations, like the silica rule, and potential changes to the cranes and derricks in construction rule, among others. Other highlights include a discussion on safety from Rudy Ruettiger of Notre Dame Football lore, the latest trends in safety management from Dodge Data and Analytics and how video game apps can help supplement safety training to help drive behavioral change. Full details on the Conference and links to registration and the hotel room block can be found hereReturn to Top

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Advanced Safety Management Training Course
October 17-19 in Arlington, VA, 18 Seats Left!
 

This unique three–day course provides construction safety and health professionals with the next–level knowledge required to successfully manage a company–wide safety program. Moving beyond the basics of Focus Four training, AGC’s Advanced Safety Management Training Program will give participants a more holistic view of safety’s role in project and company success, as well as advanced tactics and best practices for managing all aspects of a corporate safety program. Participants will also focus on the importance of "selling" safety throughout the organization and methods to generate buy–in from different audiences. Full details on the course and links to registration can be found here. Return to Top

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LABOR/HR
AGC Urges Swift Passage of Senate Career and Technical Education Legislation
 

The Senate HELP Committee passed legislation to reform and reauthorize the Perkins Act, which is the primary legislation authorizing federal career and technical education funding. The House has passed AGC-supported legislation twice in as many years to only have it stall in the Senate.

The legislation under consideration gives employers more opportunities to provide input to states that are planning career education to ensure it’s focused on in-demand skills and on work-based learning. The Jobs and Careers Coalition – of which AGC is a member – wrote to Senate leaders this week urging  them to ensure that final legislation focus on employment outcomes and provide greater flexibility to states to allow them to better adapt to local needs.

AGC remains hopeful that the Senate will simply adopt the House-passed legislation and have it signed into law to help combat the skills shortage in the industry and the greater economy.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

FEDERAL CONTRACTING
USACE Announces AGC-Supported Disaster Relief Projects
Billions in Construction Projects
 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released its long-awaited workplan to use the $17.4 billion that Congress allocated for recovery projects in the areas affected by last year’s natural disasters.  These areas include Texas, Florida, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The disaster recovery funds are spread across six Army Corps appropriations accounts. The largest account by far, the construction account, will fund 60 flood and storm damage reduction projects in 16 states and Puerto Rico at a total cost of $13.9 billion. 

Although no date has been set for when and how these projects will be issued, it is expected to take a few weeks.  Some of the USACE’s districts that were impacted will need to lean on non-impacted districts for assistance due to the influx of work.  It is not a mistake if you see a non-impacted district soliciting for work in an impacted district.  For example, you may see the Albuquerque District advertising work that is in the Galveston district.  Members should make sure to keep an eye out for where the work is to be performed.   

Last year, AGC urged Congress to fund efforts to rebuild impacted communities and restore the critical infrastructure necessary to return a sense of normalcy for millions of people.  Congress included the disaster funding in the AGC-supported bipartisan budget bill for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.  AGC will continue to work with Congress and USACE and will keep our members informed on the recovery progress.

For more information, please contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

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INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Committee Defends AGC-Supported Water Infrastructure Bill
 

On July 11, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing in which both Republicans and Democrats expressed support infrastructure improvements.  Senators heard testimony from witnesses about the benefits of the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) programs – both of which provide long-term, low-cost financing to regionally and nationally significant transportation and water projects respectively. Of particular interest is the overwhelming support from senators and stakeholders in regards to the “Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act,” which AGC worked to get included in the committee-passed “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018”.  

The SRF WIN Act provides a streamlined path for Drinking and Clean Water State Revolving Funds to access the low-interest funding offered through WIFIA, resulting in states having a more efficient and economically-attractive alternative to the private bond market and, subsequently, allow the SRFs to fund more projects. 

The SRF WIN has received unfounded criticism from some private water utility groups but, if this hearing is any indication, the bill enjoys broad bipartisan support. The Senate has not identified when the “America’s Water Infrastructure Act” will be considered. In the meantime, AGC continues to work to ensure SRF WIN remains in the bill.

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

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ENVIRONMENT
EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler Commits to ‘Reining in Federal Regulatory Overreach’
 

Following Scott Pruitt’s resignation late last week, Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler assumed the role of acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on July 9.  In his first address to EPA staff, Wheeler indicated that he would continue President Trump’s goals for the agency to reign in federal regulatory overreach and refocus EPA on its core responsibilities. AGC supported Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation as deputy administrator in a letter to the senate earlier this year.

Mr. Wheeler is experienced and well-qualified on environmental matters.  During his tenure as a congressional aide, Mr. Wheeler served as majority staff director, minority staff director, and chief counsel at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  In addition, he worked at EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

The administration has not yet announced its plans for Pruitt’s replacement. AGC will continue our positive working relationship with EPA as we strive to meet our policy and stewardship goals in the environmental area.

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

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Regulatory Outlook: Federal Agencies Take Steps on Key Environmental Issues
 

Federal agencies recently have initiated action on several key environmental issues of importance to AGC of America’s contractor members ranging from water policy and lead-dust to environmental reviews.  This summer, AGC will prepare written responses to the agencies on five proposals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ):

In May, AGC provided members with a preview of these anticipated actions, and others, based on the Federal Government’s Spring Unified Agenda.

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

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Learn about Environmental Risks throughout the Project Lifecycle at AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference
Join us on September 12-13 in Crystal City, Virginia
 

AGC’s 2018 Construction Environmental Conference (CEC) homes in on the most critical environmental compliance and risk issues impacting the business of construction.  Whether your goal is to maintain an excellent compliance record, keep abreast of key developments, or increase your understanding of how environmental risks affect your projects — AGC’s CEC is the conference for you. 

Explore these environmental risk sessions at AGC’s 2018 CEC:

  • Identifying, Avoiding, Mitigating, and Insuring Environmental Risk in Construction - Panel speakers will present risk assessment and identification from a jobsite perspective, risk allocation such as contract shifting clauses and management strategies, risk transfer such as avoidance of pollution liability and insurance products available.
  • Environmental Compliance for Hazardous Materials on a Public Private Partnership Project: CDOT Central 70 - Using the Colorado Department of Transportation Central 70 project as a backdrop, this panel will share owner and contractor perspectives related to management of hazardous materials during the procurement, kickoff, and construction phases of the project. 
  • Examine Redevelopment Opportunities and Risk – Learn about recent changes to policy related to Superfund/Brownfields sites as well as the potential hazards in the reuse and redevelopment of those sites, such as vapor intrusion.
  • Tips on How to Avoid Environmental Enforcement Actions - Hear from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an attorney and a general contractor about “true story” construction related enforcement cases and best practices on how to avoid them. Learn about US EPA’s Audit Policy and eDisclosure portal.

Check out more sessions online and reserve your seat today for AGC's 2018 Construction Environmental Conference! Return to Top

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