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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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June 4, 2012
AGC Submitted comments on a proposed rule issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that addressed federal enforcement of state damage prevention laws. This proposed rule establishes the criteria for determining the adequacy of state enforcement of pipeline damage prevention laws and proposes a process for federal enforcement under the authority of the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Safety, and Enforcement (PIPES) Act of 2006.
April 5, 2012
The long-awaited proposed rule from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on state damage prevention programs was published on Monday, April 2. The 2006 Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act (PIPES Act) requires PHMSA to enforce damage prevention laws where a state damage prevention program is deemed inadequate to do so. This proposed rule is designed to lay out the criteria PHMSA will use to judge whether a state damage prevention program is adequate and what actions the federal government will take once a state has been deemed inadequate.
March 31, 2012
Senators Barrasso (R-Wy.), Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heller (R-Nev.) and Sessions (R-Ala.), along with 26 of their colleagues, introduced legislation to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from implementing its guidance on Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
March 24, 2012
This week, the construction industry has been hit with good news on the issue of federal jurisdiction over wetlands in the Clean Water Act. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous March 21 ruling, said that an Idaho couple could legally challenge an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance order that told them to restore wetlands on their property.
March 2, 2012
The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, chaired by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), held a hearing to review innovative approaches for financing community water infrastructure projects. The subcommittee focused on potential financing tools, including many AGC priorities in the water infrastructure sector. The chairman’s opening statement acknowledged the substantial water infrastructure needs and the unfortunate results of deferred investment. Witnesses pointed out that local governments continue to be concerned about the impacts unfunded federal mandates have on their ability to meet compliance obligations, especially given municipalities' dwindling revenues in the current economic climate.
February 10, 2012
During the markup of the Senate Finance Committee’s portion of the Surface Transportation bill, Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) offered a version of the AGC-supported legislation exempting water and wastewater infrastructure from the private activity bond volume cap as an amendment. The amendment was accepted on a voice vote, because it wasn’t controversial enough to require a roll call vote and AGC is hopeful that the bill will pass.
January 21, 2012
As AGC reported previously, a company called LightSquared is planning to build a national mobile internet network to compete with the data signal offered by major cell phone companies. Early reports indicated that the spectrum they planned to use was too close to the signal band used by the Global Positioning System, causing signal bleed and interference, particularly for the sensitive GPS receivers aboard agricultural and construction equipment.
January 3, 2012
A last minute legislative compromise to avert a government shutdown saw Democrats and Republicans come together on the nine outstanding appropriations bills. Among them is the Interior/Environment appropriations bill, which contains the funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs). The compromise would fund the Clean Water SRF at $1.469 billion, down from $1.525 billion in FY 2011. The bill also funds the Drinking Water SRF at $919 million, down from $965 million in FY 2011. This represents total cuts to the SRFs of slightly more than $100 million.
December 17, 2011
On Dec.13, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife held a hearing entitled "Our Nation’s Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Opportunities." The hearing featured testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Jim Hanlon, who is the Director for the Office of Wastewater management – with jurisdiction over the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Representatives from the engineering community were also there to discuss their latest report on water infrastructure.
December 16, 2011
The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2845) final language was agreed on last week and the bipartisan, bicameral work of the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction resulted in swift house passage Monday. The legislation authorizes funding for programs of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through FY 2015. 


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