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EPA, Justice target emissions control-defeating devices

Under an agreement with EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Performance Diesel Inc. of St. George, Utah will continue to refrain from selling products the agencies allege violate the Clean Air Act by defeating heavy-duty diesel engine emissions control systems, while paying a $1.1 million fine.

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Merit shops, unions air differences on new apprenticeship programs

The Associated Builders & Contractors weighed in on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed apprenticeship program rule, which initially excludes the construction industry and military. The proposed rule would establish a process for creating high-quality, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAP) by organizations that apply to become DOL-recognized Standards Recognition Entities. The agency would not initially accept applications from entities that create “Industry Programs” in construction, because it considers construction a sector that already has significant registered apprenticeship opportunities.

Read more: Merit shops, unions air differences on new apprenticeship programs

Report: North Dakota leads, New Jersey lags in highway cost efficiency

The Annual Highway Report from Los Angeles public policy think tank Reason Foundation finds that the nation’s highway conditions are deteriorating, especially in a group of problem plagued states struggling to repair deficient bridges, maintain Interstate pavement and reduce urban traffic congestion. In descending order, the respective leaders and laggards are North Dakota, Virginia, Missouri and Rhode Island, Alaska, New Jersey.

Read more: Report: North Dakota leads, New Jersey lags in highway cost efficiency

Precast producers equal to FHWA, AASHTO safety hardware criteria

The National Precast Concrete Association reminds producers of barrier and temporary work zone devices of a year-end deadline for having such products tested according to criteria the Federal Highway Administration and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials established in a 2016 agreement. New requirements cover a) bridge rails, transitions, all other longitudinal barriers, including portable models installed permanently; and, b) portable barriers and other temporary work zone devices.

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Multiemployer pension backstop plan advances on Capitol Hill

From the Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C. … The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397), with 29 Republicans joining the majority in a 264-169 vote. Advocates argue the measure is needed to protect the pensions of 1.3 million workers in certain multiemployer pension plans (MEPP)—up to half of which cover construction trades participants—and prevent a Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) collapse.

Read more: Multiemployer pension backstop plan advances on Capitol Hill