July 27, 2015 –By a bipartisan vote of 258 to 166, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 22 passed legislation that will promote continued recycling of coal ash. PCA considers this to be good for both the environment and the economy.
The “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015,” (H.R. 1734), sponsored by Rep. David McKinley, (R-WV), codifies a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate coal ash under the ‘solid waste’ provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, has been successfully recycled into concrete for decades, and actually improves more »
July 28, 2015 — With the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) running desperately low on cash, authorization for federal highway and transit construction programs expiring July 31, and Congress set to leave for the August recess in a few days, lawmakers are scrambling to keep transportation money flowing to the states.
Late on July 27, at the urging of AED and other leading construction industry organizations, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the DRIVE Act, the bipartisan highway bill negotiated by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (R-Calif.) more »
July 27, 2015 –On July 23, TRIP, a national transportation research group, released a report highlighting the deterioration of the nation’s urban roads and the economic cost imposed on drivers by poor conditions.
According to the report, more than 70 percent of the thoroughfares in some urban areas are in dire need of repair. Overall, more than a quarter of the nation’s major roads are in poor condition with an additional 41 percent rated mediocre or fair.
The report indicates that poor roads cost the average urban driver $516 per year in unnecessary repair and fuel costs. Across the nation, this adds up more »
July 28, 2015 — Cummins Inc.opened its Global Logistics Hub in Singapore last week, one of the company’s eight master distribution centers for parts and filters globally. The Singapore Global Logistics Hub boasts a total investment of $5.4 million USD and is part of Cummins efforts to enhance its aftermarket product delivery globally. The Singapore Global Logistics Hub will serve markets including the United States, Europe, China, India as well as customers across the Northeast and Southeast Asia regions.
Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, graced the opening event at the CWT Pandan Logistics Centre. The Singapore Global more »
July 28, 2015 – Ritchie Bros. sold more than US$53 million of equipment and trucks at its unreserved public auction in Fort Worth, Texas on July 22-23, 2015. The two-day auction set a new Fort Worth site record for number of lots sold, with more than 4,250 items being sold to bidders around the world, including 500+ trailers, 385+ truck tractors, 95+ excavators, 90+ loader backhoes, 50+ compactors, 50+ flatbed trucks, 45+ boom trucks, 40 crawler tractors, 35+ winch tractors, and much more. More than 3,750 people from 53<img more »
July 28 –The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new guidance July 15 related to employers’ use of independent contractors. In the Administrator’s Interpretation and an accompanying blog post, Wage and Hour Division Administrator Dr. David Weil laments the “problematic trend” of deliberate misclassification and considers the guidance part of a “multi-pronged approach” to combat the phenomenon.
Weil’s interpretation asserts an admittedly “expansive” definition of employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), noting that its “economic realities test” is far broader in scope than the common law control test used by the IRS. While the six-part test is meant to establish more »
Awards Program Celebrates Innovations That Improve Worker Safety
Lanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) recently announced the winners of its 2014 Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Award. Two companies were recognized at a special ceremony during the association’s Midyear Meeting in Denver.
The Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Award recognizes the development and implementation of innovative ideas that lead to improved worker safety in a roadway work zone, plant site, or quarry environment, and companies whose safety practices go above and beyond normal safety practices.
Lakeside Industries Inc. of Issaquah, Wash., won the award for its hearing-protection program, which safeguards workers’ hearing with custom-fitted earplugs. more »
Illinois and Rhode Island Have Biggest Declines for the Month, Delaware and New York Have Largest Gains between May and June; Ohio and West Virginia Have Biggest Annual Declines, Idaho and California Add Most
July 28, 2015 –Construction employment declined in 25 states between May and June even as 39 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between June 2014 and June 2015, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Associated General Contractors of America, released last week. Association officials noted that the monthly construction employment declines come as Congress continues to search for ways to pay for new more »
July 28, 2015–Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units in June, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Despite this month’s drop, we continue to hear from our builders that there is solid traffic in sales offices and a lot of consumer interest in new homes, which should bode well for sales moving forward,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
“We knew that there would be ups and downs on the road back more »