Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  News from Michigan about two contaminants found in groundwater used for drinking water.  The report forced the anguished question: just how isolated or singular was MI’s struggle with lead, or is lead just one element in a witches brew with other poisons only awaiting discovery?  The contaminants are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), ubiquitous compounds used in everything from carpets to insect baits to dental floss.  Companies are phasing out production but exposure is widespread.  Some good news: recent data indicates declining levels in human blood.  Health effects?  No solid evidence about any one thing.  Last week Michigan DEQ set a drinking water criterion for the compounds: 0.07 μg/L (70 parts per trillion), based on an EPA health advisory.  With a standard in place, the state can now take legal action against polluters.
*  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced draft guidelines for the use of a “Design Envelope” approach in Construction and Operations Plans (COPs) for offshore wind energy facilities.  BOEM says developers wanted this design approach, standard in some European countries for permitting processes.  The change gives flexibility in certain project-design decisions—e.g., which turbines to use—at a more commercially advantageous time in the development process.  BOEM writes this change results partly from the Administration’s regulatory streamlining work; it could reduce redundant environmental reviews while still maintaining appropriate safeguards.  The agency holds an introductory webinar end of January.
*  Department of Energy (DOE) and many other agencies started to make available their semiannual Unified Agendas of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Agenda), including Regulatory Plans.  The Agendas are a government-wide compilation of upcoming and ongoing regulatory activity, including a brief description of each rulemaking and a timetable for action. The Agendas also include a list of regulatory actions completed since publication of the last Agenda. One important rulemaking under development at DOE is called “Modifying the Energy Conservation Program to Implement a Market-Based Approach.”  Last November, DOE published a request for information on how this idea might work.  Comments are due in February.

Tom Ewing
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National Equipment Dealers, LLC Acquires Three Independent Equipment Dealers in Fastest Growing Regions in the USA

National Equipment Dealers, LLC Acquires Three Independent Equipment Dealers in Fastest Growing Regions in the USA

In a multi-faceted transaction that closed on Friday, January 5, National Equipment Dealers acquired Four Seasons Equipment, May Heavy Equipment, and Earthmovers Equipment, as well as some assets of International Iron.

This is a truly exceptional opportunity for NED to expand in what is recognized as the three fastest growing economic areas in the US: Texas (Houston and Dallas), the Carolinas (Raleigh, Lexington, Charlotte, Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg, Charleston) and Florida (Orlando).

Financing for the merger and ongoing operations was supplied by a syndication of four banks led by BOK Financial. The other participating banks are Fifth Third Bank, Bank of the West and First Tennessee Bank.

Mitch Nevins, CEO, and Kerry Vickar, Chairman, state that employees of each company are expected to continue their respective jobs in the same previous manner as no operational changes will be made upon bringing these businesses together. They believe collective success will be realized by all employees working together, sharing best business practices and equipment fleets, and benefitting from the synergies of a larger company footprint.

Collectively NED represents 10 major manufacturers across a three-state territory, each embracing the combined operations in NED. It is expected that there will be a significant growth in size, both in terms of the number of locations and employees, as well as by geographic diversification, that will provide substantially enhanced opportunities for them as well as NED.

FCA Announces Plan to Invest More than $1 billion in Michigan Plant, Add 2,500 New Jobs and Pay $2,000 Bonus to U.S. Employees; Actions Supported by U.S. Tax Reform

  • Investment will modernize Warren Truck Assembly to produce Ram Heavy Duty
  • Ram Heavy Duty truck production will relocate from Mexico to Michigan in 2020
  • Plant will add 2,500 new U.S. jobs to support production of heavy-duty truck
  • Approximately 60,000 FCA employees in the U.S. will receive special bonus payment
  • Total U.S. investment grows to more than $10 billion since 2009, with over 25,000 jobs created to date
  • Production move solidifies the U.S. as the global manufacturing hub for Ram products

FCA announced today two actions made possible in part by the passage of U.S. tax reform legislation late last year – an additional investment in its U.S. manufacturing operations and a special payment to recognize employees for their continued efforts towards the success of the Company.

First, the Company confirmed that it will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Michigan) to produce the next generation Ram Heavy Duty truck, which will relocate from its current production location in Saltillo, Mexico, in 2020. This investment is in addition to the announcement made in January 2017 which committed to spending a portion of $1 billion in Warren Truck Assembly to expand the Jeep® product line with the addition of the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant will be repurposed to produce future commercial vehicles for global distribution.

To support the increased volume at the Warren facility, 2,500 new jobs will be created, above and beyond the jobs announced as part of the January 2017 announcement.

Second, the Company confirmed that it will make a special bonus payment of $2,000 to approximately 60,000 FCA hourly and salaried employees in the U.S., excluding senior leadership. The payment, which recognizes employees for their continued commitment to the Company’s success, will be made in the second quarter of this year, and will be in addition to any profit sharing and salaried performance bonuses that employees would otherwise be eligible to receive in 2018. The special bonus will be paid to all eligible employees of the FCA automotive and components operations in the U.S.

“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA’s success,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly.”

Investment in U.S. Manufacturing Grows
FCA has invested $10 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations since June 2009. Most recently, the Company announced investments totaling $3.5 billion, with the addition of 3,700 new jobs, to strengthen its U.S. manufacturing base, and align U.S. capacity to extend the Jeep and Ram product lines.

Those investments and related actions involved production shifts at three plants in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan to gain the capacity for the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Light Duty truck, and the introduction of three new Jeep models at plants in Ohio and Michigan.

The investments include:

  • $350 million in the Belvidere Assembly Plant (Illinois) to produce the Jeep Cherokee, which moved from Toledo, Ohio in 2017. More than 300 new jobs were added to support production.
  • $700 million in the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to retool the North plant to produce the next generation Jeep Wrangler. Approximately 700 new jobs will be added to support production.
  • $1.5 billion in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (Michigan) to build the next generation Ram 1500 truck. More than 700 new jobs will be added to support production.
  • $1 billion in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare the facility to produce an all-new Jeep truck, and in the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to modernize the plant to build the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. More than 2,000 new jobs will be added at these two plants to support production.

The plant investment actions announced today are subject to the negotiation and final approval of incentives by state and local entities.

About FCA
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”), the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

Industry Professionals from 34 States on Roster of “Safety Certified” Transportation Project Professionals

Industry professionals from 34 states, representing 43 companies and state agencies have earned the “Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™” (SCTPP) credential between the September 2016 launch and December 2017, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation announced today.  The certification is valid for three years.

The SCTPP program is aimed at the thousands of transportation project workers, supervisors, foremen, inspectors, managers, manufacturers and materials suppliers, designers, equipment operators and owners who could make a huge, industry-wide safety impact by learning core competencies necessary to identify and mitigate potentially life-threatening on-site risks.

The list of “Safety Certified Transportation Project Professionals” includes:

  • Juan Abrigo, Area Safety Manager, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., Irving, TX
  • Jes Allen, Superintendent, Zachry Construction Corporation, Cornelius, NC
  • David Asselin, Safety Director, Ranger Construction Industries, Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Harvey Baggett, Corporate Safety Director, J. F. Shea Construction, Inc., Stephens City, VA
  • Mannie Barnes, Construction Manager, Atkinson Construction, Kent, WA
  • Tyler Bean, HSE Regional Manager, Allan Myers, Worcester, PA
  • Trenton Beeler, Safety Manager, Austin Commercial, Sherman, TX
  • Tim Beguin, Corporate Safety Director, Wiregrass Construction Company, Inc., Decatur, AL
  • Raymond Berrios, Safety Director, Ranger Construction Industries, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Peter Berrios, Safety Director SE Region,  OHL Community Asphalt, Miami, FL
  • Jason Boland, Project Engineer II, Allan Myers, Virginia Beach,  VA
  • Robert Boyle, Construction Manager, MBP, Shawboro, NC
  • Tyler Bradford, Senior Construction Engineer, Parsons, Fresno, CA
  • Josh Brown, HSE Manager, Allan Myers, Williamsburg, VA
  • Travis Browning, Field Safety Manager, Superior Construction Company, Jacksonville, FL
  • Kenneth Burge,  Area Safety Manager, J.D. Abrams, L.P., Santa Fe, TX
  • Dennis Burks, Safety Director, HNTB Corporation, Kansas City, MO
  • Ruben Canales, Sr., Safety Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, Richmond, TX
  • Javier Cano, Safety Coordinator,  Zachry Construction Corporation, San Antonio, TX
  • Mickey Carr, Safety Director, Chemung Contracting, Mitchells, VA
  • James Deacon, Safety Manager, Allen Myers, Coopersburg, PA
  • Robert Clark, Project Manager, Superior Construction Company Southeast, LLC., Jacksonville, FL
  • Keith Clay, Safety Manager, John R. Jurgensen Company, Hamilton, OH
  • Sean Conard, Fleet Safety Director, Allan Myers, Williamsburg, VA
  • Brian Connolly, Regional Equipment Manager, Superior Construction Company, Frankfort, IL
  • David Cope, Environmental Manager, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., Rockwall, TX
  • David Dostaler, Corporate HSE Director, Kraemer North America, LLC,  Castle Rock, CO
  • Bruce Drewes, Instructional Consultant, 3T Group, Boise, ID
  • Steven Durbin, Area Safety Manager, The Lane Construction Corp, Follansbee, WV
  • Arthur  Emerson, Safety Director, Bryant Contracting INC., Toano, VA
  • Charles Esmacher, Field Representative, HNTB Michigan, Grosse Pointe Park, MI
  • Daniel  Estry, SR Safety Supervisor, LANE, Lakeland, FL
  • John Farrell, Regional HSE Manager, Allan Myers, Pottstown, PA
  • Colin Faulkner, Safety Director, ATS Construction, Lexington, KY
  • Michael Ferry, Safety Director, O&G Industries, West Hartford, CT
  • William French, Sr., Safety Manager, Austin Commercial, Dallas, TX
  • Christopher Frum, Safety Manager, Wagman Heavy Civil, Petersburg, VA
  • Alfred Garcia, Project Safety Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, Port Lavaca, TX
  • Cory Gaye, Corporate Safety Director, Wagman, York, PA
  • Christopher Gilsdorf, Safety Engineer, Kraemer North America, Madison, WI
  • Christine Goins, Assistant Resident Engineer, RK&K, Wake Forest, NC
  • Pastor Gonzalez, Project Administrator, RK&K, Cutler Bay, FL
  • David Graham, Corporate Safety Director, B.A.T.S. Traffic Solutions, Anaheim, CA
  • Jennica Greffe, Project Manager, Superior Construction, Jacksonville, FL
  • Michael Grisko, Instructor, Local 172 SET, Folsom, NJ
  • Seth Hall, Field Safety Manager, Superior Construction, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Brody Hambright, Survey, Wright Brothers, Charleston, TN
  • Jeff Hanson, Vice President HSE & Risk, United Infrastructure Group, Inc., Great Falls, SC
  • Tony Hemmerly, Assistant Project Manager, Superior Construction Company SE, Jacksonville, FL
  • Randy Henson, Division Safety Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, Grand Prairie, TX
  • Adam Hill, Safety Coordinator,  Road-Con Inc., West Chester, PA
  • James Hinkle, Lead Engineer, MBP, Salem, VA
  • Justin Hobson, Safety Director, Talley Construction, Chattanooga, TN
  • Christopher Hughes, Project Engineer, Ohio Department of Transportation, Delphos, OH
  • Chris Iungerich, Safety Manager, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., San Antonio, TX
  • Elisha Johnson, Field Manager,  Allan Myers, Richmond, VA
  • Gunnar Johnson, Field Engineer, Zachry Construction Corporation, Houston, TX
  • Nick Kaminer, Engineer, Key Constructors, LLC, Madison, MS
  • Peter Kaplan, Project Safety Manager, Wagman Heavy Civil, Baltimore, MD
  • Bruce Kay, Vice President of Construction Services, AECOM, Sewell, NJ
  • Edward Kernaghan, Vice President/General Manager, J F Shea Construction, Red Bluff, CA
  • Lucas Kessling, Project Manager, The Lane Construction Corporation, Shorewood, IL
  • Mindy King, EHS, RK Hall, LLC, Texarkana, AR
  • Matthew, Koss, HSE Manager, Allan Myers, Baltimore, MD
  • Joseph Landino, Safety Director, Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., Troy, MI
  • Billy Laney, Safety Manager, Wiregrass Construction, Double Springs, AL
  • Evan Lawrence, Project Manager, Superior Construction Company, Panama City Beach, FL
  • Don Lindert, Jr., Safety Manager, Austin Commercial, Ovilla, TX
  • Gregory Linenfelser, HSE Professional, Transurban, Alexandria, VA
  • Matt Lunzman, Superintendent, Hawkins Construction, Lincoln, NE
  • Thomas Maier, Risk Advisor, IMA Inc., Raymore, MO
  • Francis B. Maline, Project Safety Manager, Lane Construction Corporation, Westchester, IL
  • Jose Manzano, Safety Inspector, CW Roberts Contracting, Tallahassee, FL
  • Thomas  Markle, Area Safety Manager, Lane Construction, Windsor, ME
  • Eli Martinez, Safety Manager, Austin Commercial, Dallas, TX
  • Timothy Maxwell, Project Engineer, Wright Brothers Construction Company, Inc., Asheville, NC
  • Edward Mays, Field Safety Coordinator, Barriere Construction LLC, Metairie, LA
  • Tobias Mazzoni, Project Manager, Superior Construction, Jacksonville, FL
  • Russell McElroy, Senior Safety Supervisor, Lane Construction, Charlotte, NC
  • Joel McGlothlin, Area Safety Manager, Austin Commercial, Mansfield, TX
  • Matthew McMillan, Project Manager, Kiewit Infrastructure South Co, Peachtree City, GA
  • Robert Medina, Safety Officer, Hellman Electric Corporation, Bronx, NY
  • Seth Medwick, Department Head, HNTB, New York City, NY
  • Sue Mendoza, Senior Safety Supervisor, The Lane Construction Corporation, Justin, TX
  • James Milner, Project Manager, Superior Construction Company Southeast, LLC., Jacksonville, FL
  • Mason Mimnaugh, HSE Manager, Allan Myers, Philadelphia, PA
  • Robert Montel, Safety Manager, Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc., Goshen, IN
  • Mauricio Montoya, HSE Specialist, Allan Myers, Richmond, VA
  • Robert Munoz, Senior Safety Supervisor, The Lane Construction Corporation, Lakeland, FL
  • John Calvin Myers, RK&K, Richmond, VA
  • Anthony Nanfro, Superintendent, Zachry Construction Corporation, Magnolia, TX
  • Frank Nesbitt, Senior Safety Supervisor, Lane Construction, West Columbia, SC
  • Gregory Nowak, Safety Representative, J.F. Shea Construction, Valparaiso, IN
  • Frank Ortega, Safety Manager, Superior Construction Company, Orlando, FL
  • William Pedigo, Safety Director, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., Irving, TX
  • Timothy Penrose, Senior Civil Engineer, PA Department of Transportation, Bethlehem, PA
  • Todd Pfeiffer, VP Safety, Preferred Materials, Inc., Land O Lakes, FL
  • Ron Phillips, Sr. Safety Supervisor, Lane Construction Corporation, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Joseph Polansky, Director of HSE, Fred Smith Construction, Raleigh, NC
  • Stephanie Powers, Area Safety Manager, Lane Construction Corporation, Falls Church, VA
  • Darrell Pruitt, Regional Safety Director, Superior Construction Company, Montezuma, IN
  • David Putnam, HSE Manager,  Allan Myers, Havre de Grace, MD
  • Roger Rister, Safety Manager, Parsons Construction Group, Crown Point, IN
  • David Roberson, Building Division Safety Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, Seguin, TX
  • Emmett Russell, Safety Training Consultant, Safety Training Consultant, Upper Marlboro, MD
  • Richard Salcido, EHS Manager, The Ashton Company, Tucson, AZ
  • Mark Sanders, Safety Manager, HDR/ICA, Barlow, KY
  • Mike Scarborough, Senior Safety Director, Ranger Construction Industries, Inc., West Palm Beach, FL
  • Doug Schultz,  President, Herlihy Mid-Continent Company, Romeoville, IL
  • Michael D. Scolforo, Area Safety Manager, The Lane Construction Corporation, Lee, MA
  • John Scurek, Safety, Health & Environmental Manager, Parsons, Georgetown, TX
  • Jacob Selby, Field Engineer, Zachry Construction Corporation, North Richland Hills, TX
  • Khanjan Shah, Construction Project Engineer, RK&K, Laurel, MD
  • David Sherwood, CEO, Sherwood Construction, Tulsa, OK
  • Jeffrey Sienkiewicz, Project Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, Flower Mound, TX
  • Sean Simpson, HSE Specialist, Allan Myers, Baltimore, MD
  • Erick Smith, Project Manager, The Lane Construction Corporation, Shorewood, IL
  • Bruce Sparrow, Project Engineer, Ooltewah, TN
  • Randy Spurlock, Safety Manager, Allan Myers, Bel Air, MD
  • Clay Stark, Project Manager,  Austin Bridge & Road, Midlothian, TX
  • Terry Stephens, Area Safety Manager, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., Irving, TX
  • Don Stephens, Safety Manager, Zachry Construction Corporation, San Antonio, TX
  • Alissa Sternagle, Area Safety Manager, Lane Construction, Charlotte, NC
  • Bryan Stone, Safety Director, Superior Construction Company, Jacksonville, FL
  • Chad Stone, EH&S Manager, RK Hall LLC- Summit Materials, Paris, TX
  • Michelle Teets, Mid-Atlantic Regional Safety Manager, Lane Construction Corporation, Norfolk, VA
  • Justin Templet, Safety and Claims Coordinator, Barriere Construction, Metairie, LA
  • Nathan Terry, Structures Superintendent, Zachry Construction Corporation, Porter, TX
  • William Tyson, Director Labor Relations, General Contractors Association of NY, New York, NY
  • Cheyenne Urban, Safety Representative, Austin Bridge & Road, L.P., Frisco, TX
  • Steven Ward, Safety Director, Advanced Workzone Services LLC, Muskogee, OK
  • Joseph Warren, HSE Specialist, Allan Myers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Douglas Westervelt, Director of Safety Operations, Crossland Construction Company, Columbus, KS
  • Justin White, Senior Project Manager/Estimator, Barriere Construction, Covington, LA
  • Derek  Yeckel, HSE Specialist, Allan Myers, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Steven Yeckel, HSE Manager, Allan Myers, Stafford, VA
  • Joseph Yuhas, Technical Consultant, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Minneapolis, MN
  • Todd Zimmerman, General Superintendent, Crossland Heavy Contractors, Columbus, KS

The two-and-a-half hour exam contains up to 120 multiple-choice questions that probe knowledge in assessing project risks, creating project safety plans, implementing and conducting on-going evaluation of a site-specific operational safety plan, and conducting incident investigations.  It has been designed to meet the rigorous protocols required for accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization ISO/IEC 17024: “Conformity Assessment: General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.”

Eight courses to help prep for the exam are available via the ARTBA Online Learning Center (OLC).

Additional information about the SCTPP credential and the OLC can be found at www.puttingsafetyfirst.org.

The ARTBA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity established in 1985, supports a wide portfolio of programs and activities, including educational scholarships, awards programs, professional development courses, safety training, a national exhibition on transportation and a facility dedicated to improving safety in roadway construction zones.

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  EPA announced the next step in its eventual classification of counties and metro areas that do not meet the 2015 ozone (O3) standard.  Recall the standard was changed, from 0.075 ppm to 0.070 ppm, in October 2015.  In November, EPA released the list of US counties declared in attainment
or “unclassifiable,” i.e., there’s no consistent local air quality data, common in rural and wilderness area.  Last week, EPA presented the counties it judges to be non-attainment, meaning those counties will continue to face air pollution control regs, largely affecting vehicles, industries, and power plants.  In the spring, EPA will present final declarations including how nonattainment areas are classified– a ranking from “marginal” to “extreme.”  Classification is critical: it establishes the compounded controls required by the Clean Air Act to assure further pollution reductions.  These classifications impact economic development in big ways.

*  GSA’s Green Building Advisory Committee holds a teleconference/web meeting next month.  The Advisory Committee provides independent policy advice and recommendations to GSA’s Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings.  Members include a broad range of stakeholders including senior officials from Federal agencies and leading green building experts from state, local, private, non-governmental, and academic sectors.  This meeting will likely provide important indicators regarding upcoming trends and directions, particularly regarding regular reviews of private sector efficiency standards and mandatory revisions to building codes.

* The US House Subcommittee on Energy holds a hearing this week entitled “DOE Modernization: Advancing DOE’s Mission for National, Economic, and Energy Security of the United States.” The hearing will examine plans for modernizing and realigning the Department of Energy (DOE). It will provide Representatives with information to help assess what is necessary to ensure effective execution of DOE’s core missions—national security, energy and economic security, environmental cleanup, and the scientific and technological innovation to support those missions.

Tom Ewing
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tewing@regulatoryclarity.com-379-5526 voice/text