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Examinations of Working Places Rule

RR090519 MSHASept. 27, 2019 – This just in. On Sept. 30, 2019, the Mine Safety and Health Administration will publish a notice in the Federal Register regarding the reinstatement of the regulatory provisions for examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines originally published on Jan. 23, 2017. The rule is being reinstated as the result of an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The rule is effective on Sept. 30, 2019. View the Federal Register notice on the Office of the Federal Register's Public Inspection Desk.

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We Are Lagging Behind

RR082619 roadSept. 26, 2019 – A panel of experts speaking at a House Budget Committee hearing echoed concerns about the nation's failure to keep pace with its infrastructure challenges. Since 2010, China has spent roughly 8% of its GDP on infrastructure. European countries, on average, dedicate roughly 5% of their GDP to infrastructure. In the U.S., the figure is roughly 2.4% "The United States faces severe challenges in the funding, financing and permitting of its heavy civil and social infrastructure," said R. Richard Geddes, a Cornell University professor and director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy. "The main challenge the United States faces today is inadequate funding of infrastructure, which refers to the underlying dollars needing to pay for it. Declining revenue from the federal gas and diesel tax is devolving responsibility for funding to state and local governments by default."

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Key Economic Markers Released

RR092319 economicsSept. 23, 2019 – Two key industry economic markers hit on the same day. USGS reported that an estimated 680 Mt of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 3% compared with that of the second quarter of 2018. Production for consumption in the first six months of 2019 increased by 5% compared with that of the same period of 2018. Not strong, but steady production, we will take it. Meanwhile, new construction starts dropped 6% in August; and while nonbuilding constriction was down for the month, it is up for the year, according to Dodge Data and Analytics. “The August decline was expected after July’s robust level of starts,” stated Richard Branch, the new chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Furthermore, the year-to-date activity continued to suggest that this year’s levels are easing back from what was seen in 2018 – essentially mirroring the slowdown in overall economic growth.”

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Ohio CAT Roars

RR092019 OhioCatSept. 20, 2019 – Ohio CAT is roaring. The Caterpillar dealer in Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana kicked off construction of its newest building project with a ceremonial groundbreaking at its recently purchased property in the city of Perrysburg, Ohio. Building construction at the nearly 40-acre property off of Eckel Junction Rd. will house Ohio CAT, The Cat Rental Store and Northern Ohio Peterbilt, all on one campus. The project will consist of construction of a 65,250-sq.-ft. building including shop space, a parts warehouse, and office space for Ohio CAT’s machine sales, rental and administrative personnel. Other equipment-related work includes an 8,300-sq.-ft. wash building and a 5,940-sq.-ft. cold storage structure. In addition, Northern Ohio Peterbilt, the company’s on highway truck dealership, will be housed in a new 68,000-sq.-ft. building adjacent to Ohio CAT with 26 service bays and a 7,400-sq.-ft. cold storage structure.

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Chao Under Investigation

RR091719 SecChaoSept. 16, 2019 – Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is under investigation by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for improperly using her office to benefit herself and a shipping company owned by her family. Chao is also under investigation for her failure to divest from Vulcan Materials Co., where she had served on the board of directors before her appointment to transportation secretary. Chao has denied wrongdoing. A spokesperson for the Transportation Department said, “Media attacks targeting the Secretary’s family are stale and only attempt to undermine her long career of public service,” the spokesperson said.

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