Constructor - July/August 2015 - (Page 15)

ceo's LetteR Protecting the Industry from the Regulatory Onslaught BY STEPHEN E. SANDHERR AGC CEO whIle hIs legIslAtIve AgendA is largely a non-starter on Capitol Hill, President Obama is moving forward with an aggressive regulatory agenda that, at last count, includes 22 different new rules and regulations that will have an impact on the construction industry. As so happens with government, what started out decades ago as a national effort to address broad problems with safety and the environment have now evolved to a point where federal officials are essentially micromanaging the daily operations of employers across the country. Worse, no effort is being made by the Obama administration to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the impact all these different rules are having on employers or the economy. As a result, instead of having to defend the significant new burdens they are placing on employers, administration officials can promote each new regulation as a needed effort that will have limited impacts on employers. Some of these measures promise to have a profound effect on our industry. For example, by the time you read this column we expect the administration will have finalized its Waters of the U.S. rule, which will require a Clean Water permit before construction can take place near just about anything that can sometimes hold water, including ditches and dips in the landscape. That is because the EPA has determined that virtually every waterway in the country is now a waterway of the U.S. Even as employers cope with the potential impact of all these new rules, administration officials figure the best way for President Obama to establish his legacy is through new regulatory measures. As a result we expect to see a flurry of new regulatory measures put in place by a variety of different federal agencies between now and January 2017. Many of these new measures are likely to share two common features: absurd mandates wrapped with noble intentions. For example, we expect the administration to proceed in the near future with new federal regulations on lead paint in commercial structures, affirmative action measures for federal contractors, union election procedures and eReporting on safety statistics and storm water compliance. More often than not, we have helped administration officials find a more effective way to achieve the results they are seeking without placing needless new burdens on employers. @Constr uctor Ma g Fortunately, AGC of America has amassed a successful track record in pushing back against regulatory measures. For example, we convinced the administration to exclude construction uses from its new coal fly ash rule. We have held off the administration's promised lead paint rule as well as their efforts to set numeric limits for storm water runoff. And we have kept administration officials from moving forward with new affirmative action rules the president called for in an executive order several years ago. We have amassed this track record by methodically working to respond to these measures with sound, scientific and legally based responses to their initial proposals. Point by point, we have consistently made the case for why these rules will not work in the way their crafters intended. And more often than not, we have helped administration officials find a more effective way to achieve the results they are seeking without placing needless new burdens on employers. To be clear, it is extremely difficult to stop most federal rules from ultimately getting finalized and taking effect. But we have been, and plan to continue being, extremely successful in sanding down the rough edges on these rules. Every bit of sanding we accomplish saves contractors a tremendous amount of time and diverted resources. We are all for protecting the environment, making workplaces even safer and ensure fair and honest competition. But time and again we have been forced to react to new regulatory measures that create more work and more burdens without delivering on their promised benefits. Fortunately, with a lot of work and the support that comes with your contributions to the Construction Advocacy Fund, we have found a way to stop some of these rules and put the rest back on track. ◆ J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 5 | www.constructormagazine.com 15 http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - July/August 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
CEO’S LETTER
REBUILDING MOTOR CITY
THE REAL DETROIT
RAISING THE GRADE
FEDCON BRINGS CONTRACTORS AND AGENCY LEADERSHIP TOGETHER
HOOKED UP
2015 WILLIS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS
PUTTING MOORE INTO SAFETY
SIMONSON SAYS
THE ROAD TO SAFETY
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY APPS SAVE WORKER LIVES
DEEP SPACE FINE
TIME TO ENGAGE
COORDINATION LEADS TO TRIUMPH
AGC IN ACTION
TREASURE TROVE
A P3 PRIMER
MEMBER AND CHAPTER NEWS
THREE MUST HAVES IN A FLEET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY NEWS
A LABOR OF LOVE
TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX
BEYOND THESE PAGES
UPCOMING EVENTS
2015 REGIONAL RESOURCE GUIDE
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
FINAL INSPECTION

Constructor - July/August 2015

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