AGC contractor testifies to the need for Congress to address supply chain challenges fueling construction material price increases and shortages, environmental permit streamlining and more.
On February 1, Jeff Firth, Vice-President of Hamilton Construction based in Oregon and Vice-Chair of AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division, testified on behalf of AGC of America before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Firth highlighted the importance of Congress’s passage of increased infrastructure investment levels under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the ongoing challenges that inflation and supply chain constraints pose to the success of IIJA. He stressed that project costs continue to climb as material prices rise and many in the industry continue to face shortages and allocations.
In addition, he covered the uncertainty that the industry is facing as expanded Buy America requirements, included in IIJA, are being implemented and the significant confusion among federal, state, and local agencies on the specific requirements of the law. He also expressed concerns about the waiver process for materials as they now have to be approved not by a federal agency, but by the White House.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members asked a variety of questions following the opening testimony. Firth had the opportunity to address challenges he and his company—like many other AGC members—have faced due to the federal environmental permitting process and stressed the need for a reform of the system in order to build and repair infrastructure in a timely and efficient manner.
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