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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Environment

April 13, 2018

Recent meetings and calls for action at the federal level indicate that the Trump Administration is mounting a coordinated and collaborative approach to target all sources of lead exposure.  There are a slew of regulatory developments focused primarily on re-evaluating, clarifying, and potentially expanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current program that addresses lead paint hazards – the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) program.  In addition, federal agencies are considering other sources of lead exposure, including drinking water and soil.  Following is an update on federal activities related to lead pipes, paint, and dust.

April 13, 2018

A draft U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) directive would encourage the agency to concurrently process two related permitting reviews when a project needs them—Section 408 permissions under the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 dredge and fill permits—a priority among a number of AGC’s environmental review and permitting reform recommendations. RHA Section 408 requires USACE to evaluate and grant permission for any construction projects that alter existing USACE infrastructure—e.g., bridge/road construction project over, or by, a USACE-built levee, port construction on, or in, a USACE-dredged harbor. Where a construction project needs both a Section 408 permission and Section 404 permit, USACE does not currently begin the Section 404 permitting review process until it completes the Section 408 permission process, which further delays construction projects.

April 13, 2018

In Line with AGC Environmental Review Streamlining Recommendations

April 5, 2018

Join us on September 12-13, 2018 in Crystal City, Virginia

March 27, 2018

AGC Seeks Input from Members on Potential Impact to Their Operations

March 16, 2018

AGC spoke out against proposed guidelines that would make establishing new mitigation banks more onerous.  The draft guidelines would make investment in mitigation less attractive and increase the cost of projects that rely on robust mitigation banks to comply with legal requirements and stay on budget.  Furthermore, provisions in the proposed guidelines go beyond what is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2008 Mitigation Rule and work against recent executive orders that prioritize regulatory reform and environmental streamlining.  Proposed by the Fort Worth District of the USACE, AGC is concerned that the guidelines may be adopted by other districts. 

March 9, 2018

Tell Congress to Invest in Infrastructure NOW

February 15, 2018

In the first few weeks of 2018, the federal government released a series of memoranda officially announcing a host of significant changes in how it will enforce violations of environmental laws – ranging from restricting payouts to “settle” lawsuits outside of court, to deferring to states on enforcement matters, to limiting the practice of regulating through guidance.  In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its 2018 penalty rule that increased the maximum civil penalties per violation of an environmental statute or agency regulation. 

February 5, 2018

AGC has been involved in efforts to streamline the environmental review and permitting process since the late 1990s to allow transportation and other infrastructure projects to progress to construction quicker. While there have been many successes, the effort continues to today as AGC works with the Trump Administration and the Congress in an effort to remove bottlenecks and eliminate delays. In response to Congressional direction, the General Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this week assessing the use of these provisions and whether they have accelerated project delivery. GAO reports that since 2005, over 30 provisions have been enacted in law to speed up the delivery of highway and transit projects, mainly by streamlining the NEPA review process. These project delivery provisions included new categorical exclusions which allow for a less intense environmental review on certain projects, and a provision allowing US DOT to assign federal NEPA approval authority to states.

February 5, 2018

Status Quo Remains in Effect

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