Monthly Archives: March 2014

Proposed rule expands Clean Water Act jurisdiction

AGC of America reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposed their new rule aimed at clarifying the definition of “waters of the U.S.” and which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction. This definition is critical to many of the Clean Water Act programs affecting how contractors perform their work, such as the Section 404 Dredge and Fill Permits, Section 402 Stormwater programs, and Section 311 Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures plans.

At this point, the proposed rule appears substantially similar to a previously leaked version, a massive – and unnecessary – expansion in Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Ditches, ephemeral and intermittent streams, tributaries, and isolated waters located in a floodplain or riparian area (which have no defined limit in the rule) are all now potentially jurisdictional.

The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register soon, with a 90-day comment period in effect after publication.

IMCO shows students construction in action

imcoOur thanks to IMCO General Construction, Superintendent Joe Lupo and his outstanding crew for hosting a group of Bellingham High School students at Imco’s Lynden Wasterwater Treatment Plant expansion project today.

AGC’s Northern District provided lunch for the whole gang, and Joe had their attention every step of the way on his site tour. Thanks again, Joe!

Bad roads cost you nearly $2000 annually

Driving on deficient roads costs each Seattle area driver $1,845 per year and Spokane area drivers $1,423 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor.

This is one of the alarming findings in a new report,Washington State Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” by TRIP, a national transportation research firm.

The report notes that throughout Washington, nearly half of major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition. A total of 27 percent of Washington bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting increasing amounts of time and fuel. And Washington’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is significantly higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

Of course, increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth.  But the 2014 State Legislature recently adjourned without passing a comprehensive transportation funding package.  Hopefully the TRIP report will spur renewed attempts.

General contractor needed for CPAR Board

The state has an opening for a general contractor representative on its Capital Projects Advisory Review Board. Applications are due by March 14.

The board evaluates public capital project construction processes and advises the Legislature on policies related to public works delivery methods. There are 23 members on the board, including four legislators and five political subdivision representatives.

Board members must be knowledgeable about public works contracting. They serve four-year terms and can be reappointed once.

Applications can be found at www.governor.wa.gov/boards/application/default.aspx. Questions can be directed to Molly Keenan, Molly.keenan@gov.wa.gov or (360) 902-4110.