State NEPA Reviews Targeted
State NEPA Reviews Targeted
60-Day Comment Period Ends April 15
On Feb. 5, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced President Trump’s nomination of Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—a move which AGC supported in a letter to the committee. The 11-10 committee vote fell along party lines. Acting Administrator Wheeler’s nomination now moves to the full Senate for confirmation.
On Feb. 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its 2019 penalty rule that increased the maximum civil penalties per violation of an environmental statute or agency regulation. These annual adjustments are required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. Below are the new 2019 penalty maximum levels to account for inflations.
60-Day Comment Period Begins
Over the decades, determining where federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction lies has added regulatory uncertainty, delay, and cost to construction projects throughout the nation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule will help construction projects move forward in a timelier manner, clearly limit federal jurisdiction over water and wetlands, and continue to protect our nation’s clean water. Please contact the EPA today to let them know that you support clear federal clean water permitting guidelines.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing for public comment a modification to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP), which covers eligible stormwater discharges from construction activities in areas where the EPA is the permitting authority. The 45-day public comment period will close on Jan. 28, 2019.
Policy Revisions Track AGC Recommendations
AGC’s efforts to engage with the Trump Administration on environmental streamlining and regulatory reform are seeing results. Throughout the year, AGC further developed our relationships with the federal regulatory agencies through increased dialogue and meaningful collaboration. In the following article, AGC provides a snapshot of those efforts during 2018, which touch on some of the most important environmental concerns for the construction industry from “approvals” to “wetlands.”
A recent U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision found that critical habitat must be actual habitat for a species and that decisions not to exclude areas from critical habitat are subject to judicial review—a ruling that many are heralding as a check on regulatory overreach. In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the plaintiff challenged the FWS on its designation of an unoccupied area, not currently habitable to the species, as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog. The Fifth Circuit court deferred to the Service. However, SCOTUS remanded the case back to the circuit court to determine the meaning of “habitat” specific to the facts in this case and whether FWS’s designation of critical habitat was “arbitrary and capricious.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.
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