Tag Archive for 'American Road & Transportation Builders Association'

Repeal of 2015 Wetlands Proposal Will Help Restore Transportation Project Certainty, ARTBA Says

The Trump administration’s repeal of a 2015 proposed rule will help restore clarity to federal wetlands regulations and reduce delays to important transportation projects, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says.

“The regulatory ping-pong on roadside ditches has created vast uncertainty for years with little environmental benefit,” says ARTBA President & CEO Dave Bauer. “Regulators should understand that delay and uncertainty only serve to increase transportation project costs. The Trump administration repeal is a common-sense approach to harmonize wetlands protection and the delivery of needed transportation improvements.”

At issue is how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) define “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that are subject to federal authority. Under the Obama administration era rule, roadside ditches could have been subject to unnecessary federal oversight, delaying transportation improvements and thereby increasing project costs and jeopardizing highway safety.

In previous regulatory comments and in legislative testimony, ARTBA has noted that ditches serve the necessary function of collecting water that would otherwise have nowhere to go but on roadways, noting that “[a] ditch’s primary purpose is safety and they only have water present during and after rainfall. In contrast, traditional wetlands are not typically man-made nor do they fulfill a specific safety function.”

The Trump administration continues work to finalize a replacement WOTUS regulatory framework that would not improperly extend federal jurisdiction over roadside ditches.  ARTBA supports this effort.

Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.

ARTBA Safety Certification Program Reaches Milestone

Home to the Industry’s Only Internationally-Accredited Safety Program puttingsafetyfirst.org

Bradley Middleton, a safety manager at Drill Tech Drilling and Shoring Inc., of Antioch, Calif., is the 400th industry professional to earn the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) credential, marking a major milestone in the program.

“I am excited to be able to use my training to pass the certification process and hold a Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals,” said Middleton. “The credential serves as a reaffirmation of my dedication to safety, and I hope more and more construction professionals continue to earn it.”

The SCTPP credential continues to gain traction within the transportation construction sector, with professionals from nearly 100 companies and agencies in 37 states and Washington, D.C. passing the exam.

Launched in fall 2016 by top industry executives and safety advocates via the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation, the SCTPP is designed to reduce or ideally eliminate the nearly 50,000 deaths and injuries each year on or near U.S. transportation infrastructure construction projects. It is aimed at workers, supervisors, foremen, inspectors, designers, planners, equipment operators, manufacturers, materials suppliers and owners who impact safety–ensuring they know the core competencies necessary to identify and mitigate potentially life-threatening on-site risks.

In May 2018, the SCTPP earned the “seal of approval” from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It is the only internationally-accredited safety program in the transportation construction industry.

The milestone comes as major transportation construction contractors are calling on their industry peers to commit at least 25 employees annually to earn the SCTPP credential before the end of 2019, in 2020, and beyond. ARTBA Chairman Bob Alger, chairman of The Lane Construction Corporation; Ross Myers, chairman, and CEO of Allan Myers; and David Walls, president, and CEO of Austin Industries, together recently issued the challenge.  Myers and Walls co-chair the commission overseeing the program’s operations.

A complete list of the 415 entries, companies and public agencies with employees who have become “safety certified,” can be found here.

To learn more about the certification exam and eligibility requirements, visit puttingsafetyfirst.org.

The ARTBA Foundation’s Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ Safety Certification Program (SCTPP) program was established in 2016:

Its vision:

“To ensure the safety and well-being of construction workers, motorists, truck drivers, pedestrians and their families by making transportation project sites worldwide zero-incident zones.”

The program was developed by the senior executives from America’s leading transportation design and construction firms, senior federal and state transportation agency officials, and top labor union officials.

Its mission:

“To make safety top-of-mind for all professionals involved in the planning, design, management, materials delivery and construction of transportation projects from inception through completion.”

This is achieved by providing and encouraging an accredited certification program to the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC 17024) Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons as administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

SCTPP is the transportation construction industry’s only internationally-accredited safety program.

To learn more, watch this video and download our two program brochures.

https://youtu.be/kJ_X5LiYbPU

https://youtu.be/87nSmNJMYF0

 

Getting Started

  1. Read the Candidate HandbookFAQs (test dates, topics, costs, etc.) and eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the application.  You will pay for your exam at the end of the application. If you are eligible, the ARTBA certification department will email you within 15 business days, with an approval of your application and instructions to on how to schedule your exam.
  3. Schedule your exam with a Pearson VUE test center. Find the nearest test center.

Forms:

The Exam & Certification

Candidates must check into a Pearson VUE test center using one form of primary identification with a photo and signature, and a second form of identification.  The name on the ID must match exactly the name submitted on the application.

The following forms are accepted as primary ID:

  • government-issued driver’s license
  • state/national identification card
  • U.S. Passport or alien registration card (green card, permanent resident visa)

The following forms are accepted as secondary ID: any ID on the primary list, Social Security card or credit/bank ATM card (signature required), employer I.D. card.

Score reports shall be issued onsite following completion of the examination. Candidates who fail the exam may request diagnostic feedback regarding their performance on the exam.

Only candidates who are successful in passing the written examination for the certification, meet all criteria for certification, and remain in good standing are considered certified.

Certificates shall be issued generally within 30 days of receipt of examination results.

Renew your credentials by meeting our recertification requirements and submitting documentation to maintain certification every 36 months after your exam date.

 If you have additional questions, please email certificationteam@sctpp.org.

 

 

 

Statement by ARTBA CEO Dave Bauer on Proposed Changes to FMCSA Hours of Service Rule

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Dave Bauer released the following statement regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours of service rule for truckers:

ARTBA applauds FMCSA for proposing long-needed updates to the federal hours of service rule. The proposed revisions will help the transportation construction industry’s short-haul drivers comply with the rule, while better enabling contractors to build projects in a safe, efficient and timely manner.

“Specifically, we support expanding the ‘short-haul’ exemption from 100 to 150 air miles, which provides regulatory relief to the vast majority of industry drivers delivering materials or equipment to project sites. We also support the agency’s proposal to let non-driving activities satisfy the agency’s 30-minute rest requirement. This provision will help industry drivers who spend much of their work day loading and unloading materials or equipment, or helping with other project tasks, instead of staying behind the wheel for hours on end.

“Correcting this misapplication of federal requirements is the type of regulatory reform that all sides should support. ARTBA appreciates the Trump administration’s continued efforts to improve a federal regulatory structure that has often impeded the efficient delivery of transportation infrastructure projects.”

For more information visit www.artba.org

A Little Road Work

A Little Road Work

By Greg Sitek

Greg Sitek

What’s going to happen on September 30, 2020? The FAST Act — Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act — is scheduled to expire?

Will it?

If it does will it make a difference?

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association is working overtime to develop information and materials that can be used to guide the committees and congressional overseeing the reauthorization program and has taken a leadership role in informing the  industry and public as well.

Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA reports,ARTBA’s “Project 2019 Reauthorization Task Force,” comprised of 26 volunteer leaders from all eight-membership divisions, developed the industry’s legislative blueprint for the next highway and transit bill. The ARTBA Board unanimously approved the thoughtful and comprehensive policy report in May.

Visit ARTBA at artba.org to view a digital copy of the 32-page report, “The Road to the Next Federal Highway & Public Transit Investment Bill.”

Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA says that ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer July 11 told members of the House Democratic Caucus to include a Highway Trust Fund revenue solution as part of any infrastructure legislation this year. Bauer reminded the members of Congress of the reliance states have on the federal transportation programs for highway construction spending.

The map above, created by ARTBA staff using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data, was distributed to the members. It shows states, on average, depend on the federal government for 51 percent of their highway construction programs.

The closed-door session featured other business and labor executives who also emphasized the need to address the long-term solvency of the trust fund. Members of Congress who spoke touched on the need to get a robust infrastructure package completed, as well as the various options for funding and financing transportation investments. Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) organized the meeting.

A comprehensive infrastructure bill in the House of Representatives has yet to materialize, though discussions between the White House and the Congress are reportedly ongoing. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is pushing ahead on the reauthorization of a surface transportation bill, with a mark-up of a bill scheduled for Aug. 1.

Again, ARTBA’s Dean Franks adds,The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee traded priorities for an upcoming surface reauthorization bill during a July 10 hearing.  Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was the first to reference those users of the system should be the ones to pay for the infrastructure investments and particularly mentioned the need for electric vehicle drivers to begin paying into the system. Ranking Democrat Tom Carper (D-Del.) said, “I have always believed that a long-term focus on national needs must include identifying new source of sustainable, user-fee base revenues to support investments in transportation.”

Barrasso also publicly announced for the first time that the legislation the committee is drafting would be a five-year bill. The two committee leaders said they want to pass a bipartisan bill out of committee before the Senate adjourns for the annual summer work period. An Aug. 1 target has been set for consideration in the committee.

This will be the first action on a surface transportation law since enactment of the FAST Act in December of 2015. That law, which expires in September 2020, required $70 billion in General Fund transfers and unrelated offsets to help pay for the bill.

The EPW committee has jurisdiction over the highway policy provisions of a surface transportation authorization process, while three other committees will need to weigh in on public transportation, trucking, rail and tax issues.

ARTBA will continue working with Barrasso, Carper and all committee members to get a bill with increased and growing investment levels approved out of committee as soon as possible.

In the “summer driving season” editorial by The Washington Post, it points out,‘States Are Doing It. So Why Hasn’t Congress Increased the Federal Gas Tax?’
On July 1, gas taxes went up in 13 states, not only blue ones such as California and Illinois, but also red ones such as Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Roads, the importance of roads and transportation goes back to The Appian Way or Via Appia Antica in Rome, one of the most famous ancient roads. It was built in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus. … Roman roads and especially the Appian Way were extremely important to Rome. It allowed trade and access to the east, specifically Greece. The importance of roads hasn’t changed; it’s become paramount to our way of life.

Maintaining our transportation infrastructure isn’t an expense it’s an investment.

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.