Infrastructure

December 10, 2011
Legislation that that enhances pipeline safety and reliability in transporting our nation’s utility resources had previously passed two committees in the House. Now, newly agreed upon language to amend the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2845), will reauthorize federal pipeline safety programs through fiscal year 2015. Pipeline safety and the prevention of underground facility damages has been a top priority for AGC and this legislation is a significant step forward in the process to provide greater regulatory certainty and predictability for construction contractors.
December 9, 2011
The leading Democrats on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee proposed legislation instituting tough new ‘Buy American’ requirements for construction projects. The bill, “Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011” (H.R. 3533), will require all steel, iron and manufactured goods used in the covered construction categories to be produced in the U.S. Covered categories include federal-aid highway, rail, public transit, Amtrak, aviation, wastewater and FEMA mitigation projects. Many of these categories have pre-existing requirements that would be superseded by this bill’s more stringent requirements. Other programs have little experience with Buy American requirements outside of Recovery Act projects.
October 22, 2011
On Oct. 17, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, S. 275, the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011.  The legislation would authorize more federal safety inspectors, increase penalties for violations and require pipeline companies verify their records on pipelines’ physical and operational characteristics and establish maximum operating pressures based on the verified information.
October 16, 2011
The House and Senate both approved three bilateral free trade agreements with the countries of Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. AGC supported approval to increase demand for construction services and keep costs low for components, materials, and manufactured goods.
October 15, 2011
On Tuesday, Congressman Rahall (D-W.V.), Congressman Bishop (D-N.Y.), Congressman LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Congressman Petri (R-Wisc.) introduced the “Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act” (HR 3145). The bill includes Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) reauthorization with language similar to many of the reauthorization bills of the last few Congresses.
October 10, 2011
AGC joined several other industry and trade groups in the business community calling on Congressional leaders to oppose the expansion of Buy American provisions in the president’s jobs bill, the American Jobs Act of 2011. These provisions, while similar to language in the Recovery Act passed in 2009, are expanded to cover programs that have never been covered before.
October 6, 2011
Register today for AGC’s 2011 Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Meeting to be held in Indian Wells, California, Nov. 10-12, 2011.
October 6, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released three new guidance products to educate workers and employers about the hazards workers face in trenching operations. The new information products, which are available on OSHA's Publications page, include: "Trenching and Excavation" fact sheet – an overview of the hazards that can occur while performing trenching operations and the safety measures required to protect workers; "Working Safely in Trenches" QuickCard – an easy-to-use guide to trenching hazards and safety measures with graphics; and "Do Not Enter an Unprotected Trench!" poster – a resource for construction workplaces informing workers what steps must be taken to ensure trench safety, along with the warning "An Unprotected Trench is an Early Grave."
October 2, 2011
This week, AGC met with staff from the National Economic Council, which is primarily responsible for taking ideas and initiatives and translating them into policy for the administration. The primary focus of the meeting was the proposed National Clean Water Trust Fund (CWTF) and the potential role it could play in the administration’s upcoming policy for the Join Select Deficit Reduction Committee’s work to reduce the deficit.
September 11, 2011
On Sept. 7, Representative Bill Shuster (R-Penn.) introduced the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. This bill would reauthorize the previous pipelines law, the 2006 Pipeline Integrity, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act, which expired on Sept. 30, 2010. The bill would strengthen pipeline safety programs, improve the nation’s pipeline network, and ensure the regulatory certainty in pipelines transportation necessary to create jobs.

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