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Will Change Federal Permitting for Construction Projects
A coalition of environmental advocacy groups, including Beyond Plastics, Environmental Health Sciences, and the Plastic Pollution Coalition, released a report calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide guidance on a safe alternative to PVC for replacing lead water service lines. The coalition claims that PVC is hazardous to human health and warns that communities replacing their lead service lines with PVC would be “leaping from the frying pan into the fire.” The report, however, lacks new research to justify such regulatory action, as the groups admit “research on this topic is thin.”
On May 10, the White House released new permitting priorities to advance its climate change policy goals. The White House touched on a few reforms that AGC has previously supported, such as reducing the length of federal decision documents, reasonable decision time frames for projects, and improving federal coordination and information sharing. However, the priorities are limited to largely transmission and renewable energy projects as well as clean energy infrastructure.
An AGC-backed lawsuit has led the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota to issue a preliminary injunction of the Biden Administration’s 2023 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule in 24 states (see below) on April 12. Adding to the two-state injunction the association secured from a Texas court as well as a preliminary injunction in Kentucky (AGC of Kentucky joined the Chamber of Commerce on that case), the 2023 WOTUS rule is now temporarily blocked in over half the country: 27 states in all.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on new programs to standardize the use of environmental product declarations (EPDs) and develop a low-carbon emission construction materials program as specified by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). EPDs provide data on the environmental attributes of a product and are a tool to support “buy clean” programs that mandate the use of low-carbon materials. Buy clean programs are new and untested. On May 1, AGC provided written feedback to EPA that urges a measured approach to reduce any negative impacts on the supply chain and encourages innovation. AGC highlighted the need to control the risks that arise when deviating from traditional roles and materials on projects, as well as, the importance of incentivizing markets while safeguarding materials’ performance.
Check out learning opportunities for environmental and sustainability professionals
First place awarded to Alec Kalogeropoulos from Roger Williams University
All of the photos from the 2023 AGC of America Annual Convention are now available via our online photo portal. The photos are organized in albums based on each session and can be downloaded the photos right from the site. Thanks to everyone who attended the 2023 Annual Convention in Las Vegas, their support and engagement helped make the event a big success. We hope to see all you next year at our 2024 Annual Convention in San Diego from March 20-22, 2024!