Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org December 13, 2018
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On the Inside
Environment
EPA/Corps Release New Clean Water Rule Proposal
Transportation
US DOT Announces BUILD Grant Awards
Events
AGC Financial Issues Committee Winter Meeting Registration Open
Safety Management Training Course | February 11-13, 2019 | Omaha, NE
2019 AGC Winter Safety & Health Conference | January 16-18, 2019 | Miami, FL
Environment
EPA/Corps Release New Clean Water Rule Proposal
 


EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler speaks after signing the proposed rule with the Army Corps’ R.D. James. AGC COO Jeff Shoaf witnesses the event on stage (seated behind the secretaries of agriculture and energy). Photo courtesy of EPA.
 
On December 11, AGC attended the official unveiling of a newly proposed joint U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clean water rule that will ultimately replace the controversial 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. AGC has been advocating for a new clean water rule that provides contractors and project sponsors with a clear understanding of when a federal permit is needed without hiring a team of consultants; and one that excludes ditches and other stormwater control features from federal jurisdiction.  For more details on the rule, click here 
 
The 2015 WOTUS rule is undergoing legal challenges and is on hold in 28 states, creating a patchwork of regulations. The new proposal is intended to correct the regulatory overreach of the old rule while continuing to protect federal waters.
 
One of President Trump’s initial executive actions on taking office was to direct the agencies to review and revise the 2015 WOTUS rule for (1) regulatory uncertainty, (2) “due regard” to state roles, and (3) in consideration of the plurality opinion in a related 2006 Supreme Court decision. AGC is supportive of President Trump’s initiative; and expects the new clean water proposal to address these concerns.  

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at tomainom@agc.org or (703) 837-5415.
 
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Transportation
US DOT Announces BUILD Grant Awards
 
This week Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, joined by the Chairs and Ranking Democrats on the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, announced the winners of the first round of Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grants. The awards for FY 2018 totaled $1.475 billion and provided funding for 91 individual project grants in 49 states and the District of Columbia with 69 per cent going to rural projects. Overall, applicants in 2018 requested more than $10.9 billion in funding. 
 
The BUILD grants replace the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, which started 10 years ago as part of the ARRA recovery act legislation. The program has proven very popular with states and local agencies, with 851 applications submitted. The maximum grant award is $25 million for a single project, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state. The grants can be used for highway, bridge, rail, transit, port and multimodal projects. Sec. Chao said that 59% of this year’s funding has been directed to road projects, a record high for the program. 
 
FY 2018 funding was at the highest level since the program’s start in 2009 and was almost triple last year’s $487 million. Funding for FY 2019 is expected to drop somewhat as both the House ($740 million) and Senate ($1 billion) versions of the DOT appropriations bills are below this year’s level.  
 
For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319.
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Events
AGC Financial Issues Committee Winter Meeting Registration Open
 
The AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) winter meeting will be held January 10-11 at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort in Miami, Florida. Visit the meeting site to register and book your stay!
 
Member company CFOs, controllers, tax directors, sureties, and other senior accounting professionals who seek an opportunity to learn about and discuss financial issues facing the construction industry as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters for the association should attend. Meetings center around discussions with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), practitioners, and financial officer breakout groups on topics including internal controls, project performance reviews, and cybersecurity solutions. Attendees also have an opportunity to network and discuss matters like audit issues, executive and congressional action on federal tax policy, and best practices for industry professionals.
 
At the committee’s earlier meeting this summer in Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) addressed attendees and provided them with a legislative update. He also addressed the recently passed tax reform legislation and discussed how it impacts the construction industry and industry priorities. The group was also privy to a presentation on the new “Opportunity Zones,” created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from Shay Hawkins, tax counsel to U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), received an update on the implementation of new accounting standards, and heard from AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson about the economic outlook for construction.
 
For more information, contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733.
 
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Safety Management Training Course | February 11-13, 2019 | Omaha, NE
 
The AGC Safety Management Training Course (SMTC) provides attendees with three days of training on the basic skills needed to manage a company safety program in the construction industry. The SMTC program builds on Focus Four training and prepares attendees to manage key safety issues on the job site and provides techniques for delivering basic safety training to field personnel. Participants will receive intensive instruction and training that will allow them to return to their firms with readily applicable new skills to positively impact their company’s safety and health program. Visit the Safety Management Training Course page page for more information.
 
For more information, contact Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org.  
 
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2019 AGC Winter Safety & Health Conference | January 16-18, 2019 | Miami, FL
 
Join more than 250 industry professionals and participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity on both a national and local level; assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products; and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts. Full details on the Conference and links to registration and the hotel room block can be found here
 
For more information, contact Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org.  
 
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