AGC recently participated in a virtual meeting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to discuss the release of the Construction Snapshot, AGC’s participation in the Smart Sectors Program, and top issues for AGC contractors. Importantly, the Smart Sectors’ Construction Snapshot includes a look at the industry’s environmental as well as economic performance over time, using data from different publicly-available sources. AGC took the opportunity to thank U.S. EPA for its leadership in response to COVID-19 (e.g., list of disinfectants and enforcement discretion policy), and to express support of several recent U.S. EPA deregulatory actions. AGC also provided industry-specific insights on where additional implementation guidance is needed to clarify how certain environmental laws will be applied (and enforced) in the field.
Specifically, AGC supported the U.S. EPA’s new Navigable Waters Protection Rule to improve the clarity of federal jurisdiction over waters of the United States (WOTUS) and the recently finalized rule to improve the recycling of aerosol cans through the universal waste program. AGC will remain engaged in these issues as implementation moves forward. AGC also highlighted the need for innocent contractor provisions as EPA studies and sets protective measures for certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Lastly, AGC requested guidance on how construction contractors should determine when they need to obtain permits for discharges to groundwater in light of the new “functional equivalent” test established by the Supreme Court (Cty. of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund).
Smart Sectors staff liaison with AGC and other trade associations representing 13 sectors of the economy to find sensible approaches that better protect the environment as well as reduce regulatory burden.