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On Feb. 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a notice and request for comment regarding authorization of new California regulations requiring drastically lowered emissions for locomotives operated on railways within the state.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently launched a new website, epa.gov/permits, with the goal of providing a centralized source of information about federal environmental permitting programs under the EPA’s jurisdiction.

On March 22, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., led a group of Democratic senators in a letter to U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, urging Treasury to impose additional burdensome labor mandates and compliance regulations in the agency’s implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act in a 213-205 vote. H.R. 7023, sponsored by Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C., includes provisions from five stand-alone ABC-supported bills that passed out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Jan. 31: The Nationwide Permitting Improvement Act, the Reducing Permitting Uncertainty Act, the Judicial Review Timeline Clarity Act, the Water Quality Criteria Development and Transparency Act and the Confidence in Clean Water Permits Act. The bill will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays that cause budget overruns in construction.

Reports indicate that not a single electric vehicle charging station has been constructed with the $7.5 billion in federal investment available through the Federal Highway Administration’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, threatening the Biden administration’s goal to build 500,000 EV chargers by 2030. The final rule implementing the NEVI Formula Program contained a number of ABC-opposed, union-favoring labor requirements that may be contributing to the program’s stagnation.

FHWA Releases Final Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions On Nov. 22, the Federal Highway Administration released its Greenhouse Gas Performance Measure final rule. The final rule requires that state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations—the state entities responsible for transportation infrastructure construction and maintenance—must measure and report GHG emissions associated with transportation. Further, state DOTs and MPOs must set targets for reducing carbon dioxide emission and report on progress toward these targets.

A survey of ABC contractor members conducted in October 2023 showed that 98% of respondents said controversial prevailing wage and government-registered apprenticeship policies imposed by the Inflation Reduction Act will make them less likely to bid on clean energy projects. The survey gauged ABC members’ responses to a proposed rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service on Aug. 29 that would implement these requirements.

ABC has prepared a summary of Biden administration regulatory actions of interest to ABC members by agency.

On Sept. 29, ABC submitted comments with a coalition of industry stakeholders to the Council on Environmental Quality in response to a proposed rule regarding Phase 2 of revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations. The proposal would make wide-ranging changes that will add unnecessarily burdensome and costly provisions to the federal environmental review and permitting process.

ABC is conducting an important survey of contractor members to gauge opinions and experiences with the Inflation Reduction Act’s prevailing wage and government-registered apprenticeship requirements on clean energy tax credits. Ensuring as many members as possible respond to this survey will be vital to providing effective, informed comments seeking regulatory clarity and pushing back on concerning aspects of a recent Internal Revenue Service proposed rule.

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