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Infrastructure on the Front Burner

RR012617 highwayJan. 24, 2017 – The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association reports that President Trump signed an executive order that is designed to speed up environmental reviews and fast-track critical infrastructure projects. “We intend to fix our country, our bridges, our roadways,” he said at a press event. “We can’t be in an environmental process for 15 years if a bridge is going to be falling down or if a highway is crumbling. So we’re expediting environmental reviews and approvals.” Under the order, governors or Cabinet secretaries request that a project to be designated as high-priority one and the project moves to the top of any review queue if the White House Council on Environmental Quality approves.

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Ross Talks Federal Investment

RR012017 WilburRossJan. 20, 2017 – Commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross told senators that he sees a need for federal government spending on infrastructure – a week after DOT nominee Elaine Chao said she thinks Trump wants federal dollars to be a part of his infrastructure plan. "I think there will be some necessity for it, whether it's in the form of guarantees or direct investment or whatever, but it's really for the Congress and the president to figure out what should be the quantity of it and what should be the nature of the projects," Ross told Senate Commerce Committee members at his confirmation hearing.

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NSSGA Pushes Back on Workplace Exam Rule

RR010417NSSGA 2Jan. 5, 2017 – In a last-ditch effort to thwart the Obama administration’s push of a deeply flawed MSHA workplace exams proposal, NSSGA officials met with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Info and Regulatory Information (OIRA) to stress that the rule is not necessary and that current regulations are sufficient to protect workers in quarries. OIRA is the last opportunity to stop for a proposed rule before its finalized.

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Inside Info on Chao

RR12212016 elaine chaoDec. 21, 2016 – According to Politico, if the Senate confirms her as transportation secretary, Elaine Chao will focus on ensuring that the DOT effectively enforces safety regulations, streamlining the processes for infrastructure projects and fairly treating both rural and urban areas of the country. Chao outlined the issues she wants to tackle as the head of the DOT for a questionnaire from the Senate Commerce Committee, which made her responses public Tuesday. The committee will be responsible for deciding whether Chao's nomination moves to the Senate floor.

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