Energy & Environment

May 14, 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new "Renovation, Repair, and Painting" program requires contractors who work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities to be certified and to follow specific lead-safe work practices by April 2010.  The agency recently announced that it has begun to review and accredit training providers to conduct the courses that contractors covered by the lead rules are required to complete.  Such contractors should start planning now in order to meet the upcoming compliance dates; EPA expects training opportunities to begin in summer 2009.
May 14, 2009
Industry Would Voluntarily Contribute Additional $20M to Support Retrofit Effort In an unprecedented nationwide effort to reduce emissions from construction equipment, 15 AGC Chapters have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for more than $31 million in grant funding to clean up approximately 1,000 diesel machines that are currently in use on AGC-members' jobsites.  These AGC Chapters - representing 9 out of 10 EPA Regions - have leveraged an additional $20 million plus in matching funds and "in-kind" contributions by pulling together an impressive array of project partners.  The current grant competition is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  If AGC's collective effort is fully funded, it would create and/or preserve more than 1,000 jobs.
May 1, 2009
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to consider a bill in early May that would expand federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.  The bill, S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act, would create a new legislative definition of "waters of the United States" that would essentially be limitless and would greatly increase the circumstances under which contractors would be required to obtain and be regulated by federal Clean Water Act permits (e.g., section 404 permits).
May 1, 2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a proposed finding that current concentrations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere endanger public health and welfare and that new motor vehicles (and engines) contribute to this endangerment. The proposal does not include any specific rules, yet it opens the door for EPA to control these emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  Such regulations would be developed in a subsequent rulemaking proceeding unless U.S. Congress moves ahead with legislation addressing climate change. EPA's so-called "endangerment finding" implements the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2007 decision, which held that EPA has the authority to regulate GHGs.
April 30, 2009
On April 10, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would require reporting of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a wide range of sources, including all facilities that produce cement and manufacture lime. The agency is seeking public comment on the proposed threshold for reporting and whether to include monitoring and reporting requirements for in-use fleets, as well as other provisions in the proposed rule. Comments are due June 9, 2009.
April 30, 2009
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to consider a bill next Thursday that would expand federal jurisdiction over waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.  The bill, S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act, would create a new legislative definition of "waters of the United States" that would essentially be limitless and would greatly increase the circumstances under which contractors would be required to obtain and be regulated by federal Clean Water Act permits (e.g., section 404 permits).
April 23, 2009
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are on the forefront of environment and energy discussions in the news and in state and federal policymaking. This Earth Day, AGC looks at the GHG emissions associated with the construction industry and challenges members to take a common sense approach to reduce emissions from their equipment. See press release.
April 23, 2009
According to a new analysis of data from the EPA, the construction industry accounts for less than one percent of all U.S. green house gas emissions. In addition to the findings, contractors around the country are taking steps to further reduce their emissions while also building infrastructure for a greener environment.
April 23, 2009
On Earth Day, AGC announced that the construction industry emits less than one percent of all U.S. green house gas emissions, according to a new analysis of federal environmental data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The newly released data shows the relative efficiency of a construction industry that currently accounts for more than five percent of the U.S. work force and 800,000 small businesses.
April 23, 2009
AGC's analysis of climate change legislation shows a significant impact on construction in the form of higher energy prices, higher raw materials prices, potential EPA regulation of land use (including local planning decisions) and transportation planning due to the proposed cap and trade program that would create a market for emissions allowances.

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