On February 15 and 27, respectively, AGC along with its partners on the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) met with representatives from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to further discuss the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) proposal to update its existing standards to better protect miners against occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) proposal to expand who can serve as the employee representative during the walkaround portion of enforcement inspections. The review of the rules by OIRA signals the final step in the rulemaking process before each will be published in the Federal Register. AGC and its coalition partners used the meetings as an opportunity to reiterate concerns raised in our comments on both the MSHA silica rule and the OSHA worker walkaround rule, while also expressing concerns at the speed of which the rules are being promulgated. AGC will continue to track each rule as it moves through the process and provide updates as they occur.

Join us on March 6, 1PM – 2PM EST for the next quarterly town hall. The purpose of these meetings is to communicate key safety and health issues and challenges, as well as discuss enforcement, regulatory, and outreach activities at the national and local levels.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the Commission will meet on Wednesday, March 6 to vote on its proposed rule for public companies to disclose climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports. Multiple news sources have reported that the final version may not be as expansive as the SEC proposed in 2022. The SEC originally proposed expanding disclosure requirements to include direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as the emissions related to the supply chain (so-called “Scope 3 emissions”), if material. The supply chain provision- reportedly absent from the final rule- would have caused many more project owners to require climate-related documentation from general contractors and suppliers. AGC provided preliminary feedback in 2021 and commented on the proposal in 2022. If the reports are accurate that mandatory supply chain climate-related disclosures are absent from the final rule, this would be a considerable improvement over the original proposal, and in line with AGC’s recommendations.

Join AGC, NCCER and Ambition Theory on Monday, March 4 at 12pm EST for a Women in Construction Week Webinar, From Insights to Action Plan: A Toolkit for Advancing Women in Construction. During the webinar, we will share a new actionable toolkit - based off the findings from the 2023 "Building Better: Women in Construction Report" and following a discussion with construction firms during AGC's Construction HR & Workforce Conference - designed to help companies move beyond recruitment and pave the way for more women to move into leadership positions.

Printed with Permission from Troutman PepperWritten by: Andrea Wortzel, Viktoriia De Las Casas, and Morgan Gerard

New Proposal Would Add Requirements Under RCRA

The Inflation Reduction Act empowered the federal agencies to explore the use of construction materials that have a lower embodied carbon (lower emissions associated with their life cycle). Pursuant to this, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) have separate requests out for public feedback. EPA requests public comment on their draft approach in developing a new carbon labeling program for construction materials. And GSA would like feedback on low-embodied carbon asphalt and concrete as well as the use of environmental product declarations (EPDs). AGC has provided feedback previously and will work with members in drafting any response to these current requests.

On February 20, AGC and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) jointly filed amicus briefs in support of the 22 states challenging the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) greenhouse gas performance (GHG) measure rule. AGC has long held that the Biden administration lacks the statutory authority to issue this rule, as Congress repeatedly debated and rejected the effort.

On January 30, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council proposed a rule that would require significant changes to pay transparency and applicant hiring to federal prime contractors and its subcontractors. Among the new requirements, the proposed rule would require federal prime contractors and subcontractors to disclose the compensation to be offered to the hired applicant in job announcements for certain positions. The proposed rule broadly defines this as, “all advertisements for job openings involving work on or in connection with a government contract placed by or on behalf of the contractor or subcontractor, the compensation to be offered to the hired applicant, for any position to perform work on or in connection with the contract.” It would also prohibit contractors and subcontractors from seeking and considering information about job applicants' compensation history when making employment decisions for certain positions. The FAR Council is accepting comments until April 1, 2024.

AGC of America’s 2024 Annual Convention is right around the corner, March 19-22, 2024, in San Diego, CA. Among the many valuable sessions and networking opportunities are some impactful sessions of particular interest to Human Resource & Labor News subscribers.