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ABC is troubled by the energy and environmental policy actions of the Obama administration, which have been moving forward without congressional approval via regulation and other administrative methods. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pursued costly and burdensome regulations without regard for the negative implications they would have on American businesses and their employees. Some of these regulations increase energy and material prices for the construction industry-not to mention the cost of living for employees-and impede economic recovery and job creation.

In addition, the call for a comprehensive energy policy has grown steadily stronger as fuel prices rise. ABC agrees that alternative/renewable energy sources are vital to America’s future; however, ABC also believes the implementation of such sources will only succeed when coupled with measures designed to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy. These measures include increased domestic exploration and production of fossil fuels, as well as responsible deepwater drilling.

Coalition Submits Comments on Nationwide Water Permitting Proposal

The Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) submitted comments to seek clarification on a new proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) that could impact the scope of nationwide permits (NWPs) used to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. ABC is a member of the coalition.

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Increase in Penalties Begins in August

Due to a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, all agencies with civil monetary penalties covered by the statute have the authority to raise penalties annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Some agencies affected by this increase include DOL, EPA and OSHA. The provision also allows OSHA to have a one-time “catch-up adjustment” in 2016 since the fines have not increased since 1990.

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ABC Continues to Push Back Against Controversial WOTUS Rule

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship continued its oversight of the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) regulation April 27, holding a hearing on how small businesses were left out of the rulemaking process as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). At the hearing, members of the committee heard from stakeholders, who expressed concern about the onslaught of new regulations from the Obama administration and the detrimental impact they have on small businesses.

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Appeals Court Places Nationwide Stay on WOTUS Rule

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide stay  on the Obama Administration’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule on Oct. 9. The final rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) May 27, greatly expands the Administration’s jurisdiction over water and land uses across the country under the Clean Water Act.

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USACE Memos Show Concerns over ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule

The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently released a set of memos from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps or USACE) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that stated their concerns with the“Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS). The rule dramatically expands the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the country.  The rule has been finalized and is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

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