Energy & Environment

October 5, 2020

On Oct. 5, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft National Recycling Strategy for public input.  The strategy organizes high-level actions around three strategic objectives to improve the U.S. recycling system: 1) reduce contamination, 2) increase processing efficiency, and 3) improve markets.  The draft strategy is available for public comment through December 4, 2020.

October 5, 2020

Each year, AGC seeks nominations for qualified and motivated individuals from the AGC Environmental Forum to serve on the steering committee for the forum. Would you like to play a leadership role in AGC of America’s environmental advocacy, education and outreach efforts?

September 24, 2020

On September 22, AGC sent a letter of support for the

September 24, 2020

On September 21, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr expressed support of a bill to streamline the federal environmental review process for infrastructure projects. Key Republicans in the U.S.

September 1, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to reissue and modify its Nationwide Permits that provide a streamlined process for the Corps to authorize discharges of “dredged or fill material” under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the River and Harbors Act.  Nationwide (general) Permits (NWP) cover construction (and other activities) that, after adherence to identified conditions and mitigation measures, have been determined to result in minimal adverse environmental impacts to federally jurisdictional waters and wetlands (i.e., waters of the United States). The Corps is proposing modifications across the program in addition to creating new NWPs and dividing the current NWP 12 into three separate NWPs.  This article highlights the potential top impacts of these developments on the construction industry and invites member feedback to better inform the association’s response to the proposed changes.

August 31, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are proposing to add a definition of “habitat” to the regulations that implement section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The proposed definition – which would be used in the context of making critical habitat designations – comes following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that concluded “critical habitat” must first be habitat (Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. FWS, 139 S. Ct. 361 (2018)) (see AGC article).  The Act prohibits adverse modification to “critical habitat” of listed species but it currently does not define “habitat.”   A definition of habitat may help developers and contractors identify and avoid those areas, which would better inform ESA consultations during the planning and permitting process for projects.

 

August 30, 2020

On Aug. 11, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) invalidated the 2017 Department of the Interior legal opinion (M-37050) that had reversed prior policy by stating that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not prohibit incidental take.  The SDNY judge disagreed and concluded the MBTA prohibits take “by any means or in any manner.”  The court’s decision adds a new twist to ongoing efforts at the agency to finalize an AGC-supported rule intended to codify the now vacated legal opinion. 

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released new implementation tools for the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that went into effect earlier this summer.  These tools are available online for the public to view and include educational resources, new forms, and “implementation memos” to provide greater clarity and consistency implementing the rule across the country.

July 16, 2020

AGC Supports Streamlined Environmental Review Procedures, Analyses and Transparency Measures

July 15, 2020

Administration’s Final Reforms to the Federal Environmental Review Process Fix Problems with Prior Process, Maintain Environmental Rigor, and Accelerate Needed Infrastructure Improvements

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the release today of the Administration’s final rule reforming the National Environmental Policy Act Permitting Process:

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