Archive for the 'National' Category

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ARTBA Reports: A Big Week for Regulatory Reform

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

The Trump administration this week announced three regulatory measures with significant impact for ARTBA members:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a request for information asking the regulated community to help clarify various aspects of the crystalline silica rule.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released proposed changes to the federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which govern the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road.
  • An overhaul of the Endangered Species Act includes new limits to where the government can block development by declaring land as “critical habitat.”

“These three developments highlight the administration’s continued focus on removing unnecessary regulatory burdens from the project delivery process,” said ARTBA Vice President of Regulatory & Legal Issues Nick Goldstein. “ARTBA will continue to work with federal agencies to keep advancing beneficial regulatory reforms.”

ARTBA also expects in the coming weeks to hear from the U.S. Department of Transportation about the potential repeal of a federal regulation that prohibits state and local governments from using patented or proprietary products on highway and bridge projects that receive federal funding unless those products qualify for limited exceptions. The rule was adopted in 1916 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which then managed the emerging federal-aid highway program.

Additionally, the administration is expected to continue to move forward on the repeal and replacement of the “waters of the United States” rule.

Click the links in the three bullet points above to read more detailed stories about this week’s regulatory developments.

ASV Always on Track

ARTBA Announces Schapker As New Vice President of Legislative Affairs

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) announced the hiring of Lauren Schapker as vice president of legislative affairs, a newly created position. She brings to the association nearly 15 years of experience in infrastructure policy issues.

As one of ARTBA’s primary advocates on Capitol Hill, Schapker will work with legislators and their staffs to boost federal transportation investment, secure a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue solution and advance other transportation construction industry priorities.

Schapker spent five years at the Portland Cement Association (PCA) beginning in 2009.  She led the organization’s transportation portfolio through the MAP-21 surface transportation law. She oversaw PCA’s grassroots and political efforts, both of which grew significantly under her leadership.

Schapker left PCA in 2014 to open the Washington, D.C., office of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). For nearly five years, she directed both legislative and regulatory portfolios on a range of infrastructure matters, increasing NGWA’s profile with key stakeholders and national media. She helped establish the nation’s first groundwater monitoring network, restore tax credits for renewable energy technologies and improve the regulatory climate for rural infrastructure projects.

Schapker began her career at the public affairs and government relations firm Xenophon Strategies, where she focused on transportation and infrastructure issues.  She represented cities, counties and school districts seeking federal assistance for infrastructure projects.  Her efforts helped secure funding in annual appropriations legislation and policy changes in surface transportation and water resources authorization bills. She also led Xenophon’s political fundraising.

A native of Cincinnati, Schapker has a B.S. in finance and an M.A. in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She and her husband reside in Alexandria, Va.

Established in 1902, ARTBA is the consensus voice of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry in the Nation’s Capital.

From NAPA: Sustainable Asphalt ‘Practical Guide’ Series Looks at Procurement

Sustainable Asphalt ‘Practical Guide’ Series Looks at Procurement

 

The third Book Looks at How Owners and Agencies Consider Sustainability

The third installment in the Sustainable Asphalt Pavements: A Practical Guideseries, “,” is now available. The 14-page book outlines how public projects are starting to incorporate and reward sustainable construction practices.

The book will be formally released Friday, August 9, during its accompanying webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, visit www.AsphaltPavement.org/PracticalGuide.

“Owner agencies are looking to incorporate sustainability into their projects, whether it’s green construction rating systems, like LEED or Greenroads, or through procurement policies. This short guide looks at how asphalt pavement mixture producers can help owners meet their sustainability goals,” said Joseph Shacat, Director of Sustainable Pavements for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).

Authored by Stephen T. Muench, Ph.D., P.E. of the University of Washington and Adam J.T. Hand, Ph.D., P.E. of the University of Nevada, Reno, the Sustainable Asphalt Pavements: A Practical Guideseries is being released over the course of 2019. The first two volumes, “Sustainability Overview” and “Sustainability Specifics,” were released earlier this year, and the fourth will be released in November. Each volume in the series is accompanied by a webinar explaining how the concept of sustainability can be applied in asphalt pavement production and road construction. The webinars and books are available for free through www.AsphaltPavement.org/PracticalGuide.

“Understanding how owners are looking to make their roads, parking lots, and other projects more sustainable is important,” said Shacat, “and ‘Procuring and Evaluating Sustainability’ works with the rest of the Practical Guide series to ensure producers understand how green construction rating systems can be leveraged to harness the sustainable aspects of asphalt pavements.”

–Asphalt pavements can help projects earn points in all the major green construction rating systems, either through the use of recycled materials, the provision of environmental product declarations (EPDs), or with porous asphalt pavements, among other properties.

The Sustainable Asphalt Pavements: A Practical Guideseries was developed with the support of the Federal Highway Administration through the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program.

National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association(NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

AEM Partners with SkillsUSA To Tackle Manufacturing’s Skills Gap

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has teamed up with SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives to help provide America with a skilled and developed workforce.

The partnership began with AEM and SkillUSA’s mutual respect for each organization’s commitment to be a solution to the skills gap, grow interest in skilled and technical trades, dispel stereotypes, as well as ensure all students are both college and career ready. From there, the collaboration seemed obvious.

“AEM is thrilled to be able to partner with SkillsUSA as part of our ongoing effort to open doors for the association’s members and allow them to gain access to uniquely valuable opportunities to enhance their workforce and help secure a bright future for our industry,” said Julie Davis, AEM director of workforce development.

SkillsUSA provides educational programs, events, and competitions that support career and technical in classrooms across the nation. More than 345,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, and there are more than 19,000 local chapters across the nation introducing their members to skills that induce career readiness, responsibility, and effectiveness.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers:

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S., and 149,000 more in Canada. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies. AEM is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019. Learn more about AEM at www.aem.org