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AGC Promotes Work Zone Safety at National Event

AGC Chapters Active in States
AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division Chair Ken Kubacki participated in a media event at the Jane Byrne interchange project in downtown Chicago, Illinois as part of this year’s Work Zone Awareness Week activities. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner headlined the event. AGC serves on the National Work Zone Awareness Week organizing committee which seeks to raise this issue with motorists nationwide and annually participates in the national event.
AGC chapters across the country also cooperate with their state DOT to raise awareness on the dangers that work zones can pose to both workers and drivers alike. This year many AGC chapters and member companies took part in the Orange for Safety campaign as part of the week’s activities.
To view a photo of AGC H&T Division Chair Ken Kubacki thanking Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for his work zone safety measures, click here. To view a photo of Kubacki in front of cones depicting 143 worker fatalities, click here.
For more information, contact Brian Deery at [email protected] or (703) 837-5319.

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USACE Undertakes Work on AGC-Recommended Permitting Improvement

A draft U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) directive would encourage the agency to concurrently process two related permitting reviews when a project needs them—Section 408 permissions under the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 dredge and fill permits—a priority among a number of AGC’s environmental review and permitting reform recommendations. RHA Section 408 requires USACE to evaluate and grant permission for any construction projects that alter existing USACE infrastructure—e.g., bridge/road construction project over, or by, a USACE-built levee, port construction on, or in, a USACE-dredged harbor. Where a construction project needs both a Section 408 permission and Section 404 permit, USACE does not currently begin the Section 404 permitting review process until it completes the Section 408 permission process, which further delays construction projects.
AGC noted in its comments on the draft guidance that it appreciated USACE’s effort to concurrently process these regulatory items as a means of reducing permitting delays. In addition, AGC called on the agency to go further in final guidance by: (1) maintaining agency accountability through recording data and identifying specific staff responsibility for coordinating concurrent processing of the Section 408 permissions with Section 404 permits; and (2) narrowing the need for a 408 permission to a new construction project that directly alters USACE-infrastructure, and does not merely traverse unimproved USACE real property.
For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at [email protected]

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Administration Announces “One Federal Decision” Policy

In Line with AGC Environmental Review Streamlining Recommendations
On April 9, the Trump administration unveiled an AGC-backed “One Federal Decision” memorandum of understanding signed by more than a dozen federal agencies that establishes a coordinated and timely process for environmental reviews of major infrastructure projects.  AGC has advocated for streamlining provisions like the "One Federal Decision" process, whereby one agency takes the lead on navigating the permitting process, reviews are conducted concurrently, and the agencies follow a reasonable timetable. AGC’s chart and backgrounder documenthighlight some of the common road blocks and delays in environmental reviews and permitting of major infrastructure projects.
The MOU puts forth a two-year permitting process, which would drastically reduce the amount of time currently needed to move a project through this process. For example, the median environmental review completion time for a complex highway project is more than seven years.  Finalizing an environmental impact statement (EIS) alone takes an average of 1,679 days. EISs are required for most of the major infrastructure projects that the Trump administration is working to advance with this MOU.
The agencies signing onto the MOU include:

  • Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security;

  • Environmental Protection Agency;

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;

  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

  • Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council.
For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at [email protected].

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Register Now for AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference

Join us September 12-13 in Crystal City, Virginia
AGC’s Construction Environmental Conference is the nation’s foremost annual conference to address the most critical environmental compliance and risk issues impacting the business of construction.  Whether your goal is maintaining an excellent compliance record, keeping abreast of key developments and trends, or simply gaining a greater perspective on how environmental issues affect your job responsibilities or your projects —AGC’s CEC is the conference for you.  Registration is open, so reserve your seat for the 2018 CEC returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton in Crystal City, Virginia, on September 12-13. Register Now!
Sponsorship Opportunities - AGC makes available a wide range of sponsorship opportunities to showcase your company’s support of important educational events.  Thank you: Dominion Due Diligence Group, Kiewit Corp, Lane Construction, and Zurich for signing up early to support the 2018 event!  Check out the sponsorship flyer or contact Cheyenne Brewbaker for more information: [email protected].
If you have questions about AGC’s 2018 CEC, please contact Melinda Tomaino at [email protected].

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Keep the Momentum Going on Infrastructure - TCC Fly-In May 15-16 Registration Open

Hotel Deadline April 20 – Few Rooms Left
The 17th Annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Legislative Fly-In, scheduled for May 15-16, 2018, is well-timed to discuss with your senators and representative the need for infrastructure investment and fixing the Highway Trust Fund.  With the Trump Administration infrastructure plan on the table and Congressional committees holding hearings, now is the time to push your congressional delegation to keep the momentum going. Registration is now open.
AGC has scheduled meetings with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) representatives on Tuesday (May 15) morning followed by a special Washington briefing luncheon. At the TCC legislative briefing key Congressional and Administration leaders will give their outlook for accomplishing an infrastructure investment measure this Congress. You will receive educational briefing materials on key industry priorities for your use in meeting with your congressional delegation. The Fly-In's reception will also provide you an opportunity to network with your industry peers and members of Congress and their staff. The schedule is as follows:

  Tuesday- May 15, 2018
  9:30 AM – 11:00 AM   AGC-FHWA Meeting
  11:00 AM – 2:00 PM   AGC Washington Issues Briefing (Lunch Included)
   2:30 PM – 5:00 PM   TCC Legislative Briefing
   6:00 PM   TCC Capitol Hill reception
  Wednesday- May 16, 2018
   9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Hill Visits

For more information, contact Brian Deery at 
[email protected]
 or (703) 837-5319.
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Register Now for the Federal Contractors Conference

Early Bird Discount Ends Soon
Register today for the 2018 AGC Federal Contractors Conference. This discount offer ends February 19th and space is limited. The Federal Contractors Conference is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.
In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that will impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. Leading federal construction attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency headquarters later in the year.
For more information and to register, go to

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Trump Infrastructure Plan Architect Departing White House

D.J. Gribbin, the White House policy advisor who drafted the administration’s infrastructure plan, has announced his departure. Gribbin has a long list of experience in the infrastructure field including having served as the Department of Transportation’s general counsel and Federal Highway Administration chief counsel under President George W. Bush, as well as having worked at Macquarie Capital, a firm where he led efforts on public-private partnerships.
For more information, contact Brian Deery at [email protected] or (703) 837-5319.

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FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Expands Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Included in the recently passed federal government funding law is a provision that expands the low-income housing tax credit.  Housing advocates expressed concern that the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent – as a result of the recently passed tax reform law – reduced the value of the low-income housing tax credit for existing deals and “will require project developers to incur more permanent and/or defer larger amounts of developer fees,” according to Thomas Morton of Pillsbury law.
To alleviate these concerns, the federal funding law increases the tax credit allocation by 12.5 percent over the next four years, and adds a new income averaging test available for election after March 23, 2018.  Additional information is available in this summary of the provision from Ernst & Young.
For more information, contact Matt Turkstra at (202) 547-4733, or [email protected].

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FY 2018 Federal Funding Law Includes H-2B Visa Increase

The 2018 funding government funding bill included language that allows the Department of Homeland Security to work with the Department of Labor to increase the number of H-2B worker visas issued. The provision allows the agencies to determine if there is a need to increase the number of visas from 66,000 to up to 129,547. The H-2B program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary (seasonal) nonagricultural jobs.
While the increase appears to be welcome relief, the language gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the ultimate discretion whether or not to increase the number of H-2B’s and to what level.  In 2017, Congress included the same language in that year’s spending bill, but the Department of Homeland Security ended up only issuing an additional 15,000 visas by the time the determination was made (following the summer season).  Employers eventually used 13,534 of the extra visas.  There have been no indications when Homeland Security will make their determinations this year.
For more information, contact Jim Young at [email protected] or (202) 547-0133.

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Construction Industry to Bear the Brunt of Steel & Aluminum Tariffs

Based on Two Reports from Groups Representing Varying Interests
A pair of competing reports measuring the potential impact of the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs have reached a similar conclusion—the construction industry will bear the brunt of the metals tariffs. While employing different models and arriving at drastically different figures, the two reports similarly project that the tariffs will greatly and adversely impact construction employment, especially when compared with other industries.
report by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA)a domestic agriculture, manufacturer and union coalition—estimates that the tariffs could jeopardize 10,635 jobs in the construction sector, while a report prepared for the Business Roundtable by the Trade Partnership Worldwide puts that figure at 66,022 construction jobs, the most of any sector except “trade and distribution” services.
Regardless of the precise figure, the steel and aluminum tariffs’ will thin out a construction workforce that is already experiencing worker shortages. AGC urges its members to continue to pressure their congressional representation—and the president—to end the steel and aluminum tariffs.
For more information, contact Collin Janich at [email protected] or (703) 837-5435.

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