Environmental Observer

October 2010 Archive

DOT/EPA Propose First-Time National Emissions and Fuel-Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks, Including Pickup Trucks

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on October 25 announced proposed new emission standards for carbon dioxide (CO2) and fuel consumption standards for three categories of heavy trucks–combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans and vocational vehicles-beginning with model year 2014. The agencies are each proposing complementary standards under their respective authorities, which together would form a comprehensive Heavy-Duty (HD) National Program.

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Update on November 2012 Stormwater Rulemaking to Control Post-Construction Runoff

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AGC remains actively engaged in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) effort to promulgate new standards to restrict stormwater discharges from newly developed and redeveloped construction sites (i.e., post-construction discharges) by November 2012.  EPA recently sent out mandatory questionnaires to obtain data and other information on construction stormwater management practices to support the new stormwater rules.  EPA also selected small entity representatives (SERs) who will provide advice and recommendations to federal government employees on ways for EPA to minimize the impacts of any new post-construction stormwater runoff requirements.  Finally, EPA published a notice in the Oct. 8 Federal Register announcing it will hold public listening sessions to obtain input on the "Chesapeake Bay-specific provisions" of the November 2012 rulemaking.  Following is more detail on all of these actions, including AGC's efforts to protect the business of construction.

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EPA Gears Up For Next Diesel Grant Competition

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AGC Supports Robust Funding for Program and Five-Year Reauthorization

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it will open its application process for fiscal year 2011 National Funding Assistance Program diesel grants this November. The Agency expects to make $60 million available for the upcoming competition. Interested grant applicants should begin preparing their clean diesel retrofit proposals now and take advantage of several webcasts available on how to prepare a grant application.  AGC has helped more than a dozen Chapters prepare applications for funds to help clean up their members' equipment (click here to see success stories).  AGC is currently working with a broad coalition of stakeholders to encourage Congress to reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) for another five years.

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EPA Extends Deadline To Meet Federal Oil Spill Planning Requirements by One Year

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised the compliance deadline for the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, which affects some construction sites and hot-mix plants. All facilities (i.e., sites) storing over 1,320 gallons of "oils" either by aggregate (i.e. > 55 gallon drums) or single tank capacity must comply with federal EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 112) by November 10, 2011.  The new deadline gives owners or operators of regulated sites an additional year's time to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan. This is the seventh time in as many years that EPA has extended the SPCC compliance dates.

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Green Programs: Buildings, Homes, Roads, Neighborhoods and More

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Green Programs: Buildings, Homes, Roads, Neighborhoods and More

Construction professionals are familiar with commercial green building projects and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. But what some contractors may not know is that "green" is growing to encompass other critical infrastructure projects - including highway and local road construction, site selection, utility installation, and community planning on the whole. There is more to LEED beyond offices, and there are green programs and resources beyond LEED. This article provides a snapshot of the key green programs that may eventually influence all aspects of construction. 

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Update on Chesapeake Bay Watershed Clean-up Efforts, Potential Impact on Future Construction

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment a draft Chesapeake Bay "pollution diet" on September 24. The pollution diet, called a total maximum daily load (TMDL), establishes pollution discharge limits for nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment-including sediment runoff from construction sites-entering the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is 64,000 square miles and encompasses portions of six states and the District of Columbia. EPA will accept public comment on the draft TMDL until November 8, 2010.  Other states with water quality concerns may look to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL as a guide or model for developing their own discharge pollution limits.

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AGC and CARB Reach Agreement to Delay and Ease State's Off-road Diesel Rule

Friday, October 8, 2010

AGC and the staff of the California Air Resources Board have reached an agreement on proposed changes to the state's off-road diesel rule designed to give the local construction industry time to recover from the recession while protecting air quality.

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