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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Environment

May 30, 2018

AGC Fights Back Against Obama-Era Rule that Would Have Slowed Project Approval

May 30, 2018

Following in the tradition of Presidents Bush’s “greening the government” and Obama’s “federal sustainability” efforts, President Trump ordered federal agencies to meet statutory requirements for environmental performance and prioritize actions that reduce waste and enhance the resilience of federal infrastructure and operations. Trump’s May 17 Executive Order Regarding Efficient Federal Operations takes a less prescriptive approach and provides agencies greater flexibility in meeting existing requirements than Obama’s now rescinded 2015 order – which set far-reaching goals for federal buildings and fleets beginning in 2016 through 2025 and beyond. 

May 30, 2018

n May 21, AGC challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s consideration of using the Clean Water Act (CWA) permit program to regulate discharges to groundwater eventually making their way to a jurisdictional surface water. 

May 22, 2018

On May 15, AGC put forth its support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to expand the universal waste regulations to include non-empty aerosol cans. Recognizing that aerosol cans are often the only hazardous waste stream produced on a construction site, this proposal could change a company’s status as a “generator” and reduce program costs and facilitate recycling.

May 17, 2018

From the repeal and replacement of the 2015 definition of Waters of the United States and opening up the National Environmental Policy Act procedures, to reevaluating regulations on listing species and designating critical habitat; the spring Unified Agenda sets a busy schedule for the year ahead.

April 27, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to meet Clean Air Act deadlines to review, revise and implement national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) – with nitrogen oxides and ozone at the forefront of recent actions. President Trump recently issued a memo that directs the Agency and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to take a series of “actions” to facilitate state and industry compliance with NAAQS and reduce barriers to economic growth.  This includes decisions for the air permits needed to construct new facilities or to expand or modernize existing facilities.  The memo notes that these air construction permits have become increasingly difficult to obtain as NAAQS have become more stringent. The White House said in a press release that the “Administration will reform NAAQS implementation to provide States with a more efficient process and to promote economic growth."

April 27, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a rule that would streamline the regulation of hazardous waste aerosol cans (currently managed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C, generally because of their ignitability, and subject to stringent rules on handling transport and disposal) by adding them to the existing federal list of materials that can be managed under the universal waste management system. EPA’s universal waste rules provide a streamlined hazardous waste management system for common industrial wastes like batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and lamps.  (“Authorized” states would choose whether or not to adopt the new universal waste rules into their state programs.  Some states have already added them to their universal waste lists.)  This would likely simplify handling and disposal for contractors and save firms money (e.g., no manifest required for transport). Notably, because aerosol cans are often the only hazardous waste stream produced on a construction site, classifying them as universal waste could change a company’s “generator status” and exempt it from RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste requirements. Universal wastes do not need to be counted toward a hazardous waste generator’s inventory for determining whether the generator is classified as a Very Small Quantity Generator, Small Quantity Generator, or Large Quantity Generator.

April 26, 2018

The construction industry can benefit from the federal funding for clean diesel activities available now.  Non-profit organizations, like AGC Chapters, are eligible to apply for funding. Construction companies may find themselves well positioned to partner with their local chapters or with other eligible agencies or organizations to create and implement clean diesel programs funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national clean diesel grant program.

April 19, 2018

On April 12, the U.S. Senate confirmed attorney Andrew Wheeler, former lobbyist and congressional aide, to serve as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator.  AGC had urged the Senate to confirm Mr. Wheeler’s nomination. If EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were to leave the agency, Wheeler would be next in line to become acting administrator.

April 19, 2018

AGC Urges Congress to Fund Program

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