This story was originally published by AGC of California.

On Feb. 12, AGC of America filed a coalition amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting a water utility sector’s request for the Court to clarify whether the Clean Water Act allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or authorized states to enforce generic prohibitions in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. These generic prohibitions subject permitholders to enforcement for exceeding water quality standards without telling permittees how to comply with the permit.

ConsensusDocs is about to publish an updated standard ConsensusDocs 235 Owner/Constructor Standard Agreement. The ConsensusDocs 235 provides a short form standard prime contract. Construction work payment is based upon cost-of-the-work plus a fee. This type of “cost/plus” contract increased in popularity amid the post-pandemic breakout price uncertainty that led to price escalation and supply chain disruptions that were highlighted in this article. The ConsensusDocs 235 cost/plus agreement does not include a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) (as compared to the ConsensusDocs 230). The ConsensusDocs 235 is a great choice for projects that want greater collaboration and transparency by avoiding the potential hard edge of a GMP.

Tell President Biden and your members of Congress to block the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) greenhouse gas (GHG) rule that will force states to spend their highway funds, meant for road and bridge construction, to pay for non-construction initiatives like the procurement of more buses, Amtrak trains, and electric vehicle charging stations.

On February 7, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the primary annual air quality standard by 25 percent for fine particulate matter or PM2.5 (from 12 ug/m3 to 9 ug/m3). States and counties now need to evaluate whether they meet the new standard, and if not, set up plans to come into compliance. These plans take years to establish and can place an enormous burden on industry, leading to restrictions on equipment use, delays in the permitting process, and the potential loss of Federal highway funding— jeopardizing close to one million jobs. The potential impact on construction and the supply chain is great even if not immediate, as AGC explained throughout 2023 via individual and coalition comments here and here. At the same time, more than 84 percent of PM2.5 emissions are attributable to non-point sources such as wildfires and unpaved roads.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is hosting a two-part webinar on the employer requirement to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data using the Injury Tracking Application. You can register for either free event here and Spanish and Portuguese translation will be available for both.

Progressive Design Build (PDB) differs from traditional design-build and has grown in popularity, especially for bigger projects. PDB allows an Owner to quickly select a design-builder based upon qualifications or best value. Design plans progress to completion after award selection. Consequently, the cost for design-builders to compete is significantly less. The project price is fixed when more uncertainties become known. Also, predetermined contractual off-ramps potentially allow the parties to exit the project. This webinar will help you decide if PDB helps balance risk, increase transparency, and reduce budget busts.

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