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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda Unveils Priorities of Federal Labor Agencies

October 18, 2018

On October 17, 2018, the Trump Administration unveiled its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions mapping out federal agency priorities for the coming months.  This bi-annual publication informs the public of regulations under consideration or planned by federal agencies. The present agenda includes several submissions by labor agencies.

The Fall Unified Agenda Continues to Advance Multiple Environmental Policy Terms

October 18, 2018

Over the last year and a half, the Federal Government has initiated a fast-paced agenda for reviewing and revising environmental policies.  AGC has tracked and responded to relevant changes through the pre-proposal and proposal processes.  The Fall Unified Agenda, released this week, signals that the agencies have no plans to slow their pace.

White House Launches Performance, Accountability System to Track Environmental Approvals for Major Infrastructure Projects

October 18, 2018

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a new memorandum (Memorandum M-18-25), in coordination with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, establishing a brand new “accountability system” to track and score federal agencies performance in meeting the President Trump’s two-year timeline for completing environmental reviews and authorization decisions on “major infrastructure projects.” The memo requires, and outlines the procedures by which, all agencies that have a role in environmental approvals for infrastructure must regularly track and measure their performance in meeting a list of goals that aim to expedite and improve infrastructure permitting.  Agencies must submit tracking information to OMB and the Federal Agency Portal of the “Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard.” OMB will score each agency’s performance, issue reports, and “consider each agency's performance during budget formulation and determine whether appropriate penalties... must or should be imposed.”

AGC Asks for Construction Exemption from Trucker HOS Rules

October 15, 2018

AGC 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.

Construction Material Costs Increase 7.4 Percent, As Contractors Continue to be Squeezed by Tariffs and Rising Fuel Prices

October 10, 2018

The cost of many products used in construction climbed 7.4 percent over the past year due to double digit increases in commonly-used construction materials, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of new Labor Department data.

Construction Employment Rises by 23,000 Jobs in September and 315,000 for the Year; Hourly Pay Exceeds $30 in an Increasingly Tight Labor Market

October 5, 2018

Construction employment increased by 23,000 jobs in September and by 315,000 jobs over the past year, reaching a 10-year high, while the industry’s unemployment rate decreased more than half-a-percentage point to 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Saxonburg, Penn.-Based Brayman Construction Named The Most Innovative Company in the Construction Industry

October 2, 2018

Saxonburg, Penn.-based Brayman Construction and its affiliate, Advanced Construction Robotics, were named as among the most innovative construction firms in the country for creating an autonomous rebar-tying robot for bridge construction projects. Brayman Construction is a member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and along with Sundt Construction and the AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter, was recognized as the first ever first-place winner of the AGC-Autodesk Innovation Awards announced today during the AGC Centennial Celebration.

Construction Spending Extends Year-to-Date Gains in August in Most Public and Private Segments Even as Contractors Struggle to Find Craft Workers

October 1, 2018

Construction spending increased 0.1 percent from July to August and 5.3 percent for eight months of 2018 combined, with continued year-to-date gains for major public and private categories, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America.

AGC Joins Stakeholders in Letter to Congressional Pension Committee Outlining Priorities for Reform

October 5, 2018

The Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans (JSC) is working on a legislative framework for addressing the multiemployer pension crisis. The committee has concluded its scheduled public hearings and submissions for public stakeholder input ended earlier this week. The committee has spent considerable time focusing on the solvency of large distressed plans and the financial solvency of the Pension Benefit Corporation.

AGC Comments on Significant Reforms to Regulations that Implement the Endangered Species Act

October 1, 2018


On Sept. 24, AGC commented on three proposed rules that would significantly affect the applicability and implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed revisions pertain to regulations governing the listing and delisting of species and plants, the designation of critical habitat and the interagency consultations that are part of the approval process for projects that involve federal permits or funding.  AGC’s comment letters (one, two and three) offered examples of why the current process is unpredictable and adds delay and cost to the permitting and construction of infrastructure projects nationwide.

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