Major AGC-Backed Water Infrastructure Bill Passes Senate
Authorizes Billions of Dollars for Corps, Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects
On October 10, the Senate passed—on a
vote of 99-1—an AGC- supported water resources development bill that helps the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) maintain much of our nation’s water resources
infrastructure. The president is expected to sign the bill into law
While not a funding bill, this
legislation allows Congress to eventually approve billions of dollars in
funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including
navigation (dredging, locks), flood control (levees), hydropower (dams),
recreation (parks), and water supply. In addition, the bill reauthorizes
the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for $50 million
annually in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and provides a new authorization,
championed by AGC, for the funding of State Revolving Funds with WIFIA
dollars—which can be used for drinking water and wastewater facility projects.
Other notable provisions in the bill
- Reaffirming a federal commitment
to State Revolving Funds;
- Authorization of capital grants
for State Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Funds;
- Establishing an innovative water
infrastructure workforce development program;
- Authorization of feasibility
studies and critical projects;
- Making publicly available USACE
real estate assets as a means to help avoid sometimes lengthy Rivers and
Harbors Act Section 408 approval processes, which delay Clean Water Act
Section 404 permit issuance; and
- Rehabilitation of USACE
additional information, please contact Sean O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (202) 547-8992.
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AGC Asks for Construction Exemption from Trucker HOS Rules
submitted comments this week, individually
and as part of a construction coalition,
to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requesting that
construction industry drivers be exempted from hours of service (HOS) rules.
comments pointed out that the type of driving undertaken by industry drivers
does not create the same demands or fatigue concerns as long haul drivers.
Because of the seasonal nature of construction and demands on contractors to
complete projects under tight time limits the HOS restrictions have significant
negative and unnecessary impacts on construction. Congress and FMCSA have
acknowledged this problem by providing a variety of exemptions from HOS
requirements for some construction operations and materials. However, these
limited exemptions, while somewhat helpful, create confusion in implementation
FMCSA decide to not offer a broad exemption, the comments made a numbers of
specific recommendations that would make the current rules less onerous,
including: expanding the short haul exemption to 150 miles and making it
uniform, eliminating the return to work location requirement, allowing for
additional driving hours when adverse weather conditions occur, and allowing
for flexibility in use of sleeper berths to meet off-duty requirements. The
comments pointed out that these recommendations can be implemented without
undermining driving safety.
solicited input as it considers a rule making to address the growing number of
criticisms of the existing rules from drivers in many impacted industries. AGC
and eleven of our construction industry allies jointly filed comments to
demonstrate a strong unified voice in calling for reform of the rules. AGC’s
individual comments added additional information and background in support of
the coalition’s position.
information, contact Brian Deery at email@example.com or (703) 837-5319.
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AGC Continues to Push for Fix for “Retail Glitch”
9, AGC joined industry allies in urging
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to have the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) issue interim guidance to correct a drafting error from the Tax Cuts and
Jobs Act (TCJA) that accidentally changed the depreciation period for certain
commercial real estate improvements to 39 years, instead of 15 years—or even
the drafting of TCJA, the tax writers consolidated the restaurant, retail, and
leasehold improvements (essentially the interior improvements to commercial
property) depreciation schedule into a new category, now called qualified
improvement property (QIP). Unfortunately, in doing so, they
cross-referenced the incorrect section of the tax code that changed the
depreciation schedule from 15-years (and eligible for temporary 100 percent
bonus depreciation) to 39 years. This was clearly a drafting error that
would normally qualify as a “technical correction” but a political stalemate
has prevented passing a technical corrections bill.
result, those industries and companies affected by this glitch, including the
construction industry, have called for Treasury to issue interim guidance to
correct the problem while Congress fixes the statutory language. In
August, AGC co-signed a letter to Treasury requesting action from Secretary
Mnuchin on this issue, and on Tuesday followed up with issuing formal
regulatory comments for a Treasury’s proposed for bonus depreciation.
For further information, please contact Matthew
Turkstra at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (202) 547-4733.
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AGC Releases Paper on the Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in the Construction Industry
report, The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in the Construction Industry, outlines six reasons why diversity and
inclusion are strategically valuable in generating corporate/industry innovation,
increasing profitability, and ensuring a positive and sustaining legacy of
progress for your firm.
understanding of diversity has evolved over time. What started as a focus on
compliance of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action requirements
has moved into a critical and necessary part of doing business as a way to
achieve greater financial success. As the population of the U.S. becomes more
diverse, construction companies will need to reflect the changing demographics
in order to find workers and remain competitive. The arguments for a company
including diversity and inclusion as a key business strategy go beyond the
moral imperative of “doing the right thing” and focus on the measurable
financial results that can be achieved.
For additional information, contact Brynn
Huneke at Brynn.email@example.com or (703) 837-5376.
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AGC Holds Reverse Industry Session for the U.S. Army Corps
Oct. 9, AGC members met with leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE) Headquarters and field offices from across the country for the agency’s
first ever interactive training session with the construction industry in
members explained the importance of early communication by USACE, gave incites
on the type of information that industry seeks in order to qualify an
opportunity, and the value associated with certain types of USACE engagements
(e.g. RFIs, one-on-ones, partnering, industry days).
members spoke about how different factors might influence the decision towards
either bidding or not bidding (e.g., costs of competition, risks, acquisition
strategy, past acquisition practices of customer, competitive analysis,
etc.). AGC frequently engages in
training sessions with federal agencies and remains dedicated to further
educating federal agencies on construction process.
For additional information,
contact Jordan Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 837-5368.
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Your Time is Now: JLT Build America Awards Applications due October 24, 2018
deadline to apply for an JLT Build America Award is quickly approaching, but it’s not too
late! These awards honor AGC members who build the nation's most impressive
construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation,
utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy divisions.
that sounds like you, we encourage you to apply online for some much-deserved recognition for your
outstanding projects. As an added bonus, all entry fees are donated to the AGC
Education and Research Foundation to impact young constructors across the
country. Apply by October 24, 2018, for full consideration. Learn more about
AGC of America's awards programs at www.agc.org/awards.
additional information, please contact Nahee Rissi at email@example.com, or 703-837-5348.
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