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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.

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Tax reform a principal catalyst behind $100M precast plant venture

Fortified Precast Technologies, LLC has outlined an ambitious Florida residential real estate development plan, leveraging a partnership with German precast concrete production specialist Vollert Group and Opportunity Zone provisions in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The company’s Fortified Precast Opportunity Fund is authorized to raise $100 million in $20 million increments to build five plants incorporating Vollert mix delivery, form pallet and companion robotics or casting components. At 32,720 sq. ft. of daily wall panel output, each operation would be capable of supplying more than 4,200 home projects annually. The capacity would be initially targeted to the Sunshine State market, which has seen residential building permits climb from 116,200 in 2016, to 122,700 in 2017 and 142,300 last year.

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Researchers gauge green infrastructure’s capacity for high runoff

University of Maryland, College Park, researchers are approaching urban and suburban stormwater management with the ultimate goal of increasing resiliency to major weather events. With models predicting more rain than historical levels, plus an increased frequency of particularly intense and destructive storms, they note, flooding is a major concern in communities that are becoming more settled.

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ASCE opens Infrastructure Report Card to stormwater chapter

Water Environment Federation (WEF) salutes the American Society of Civil Engineers and its Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) for adding a stormwater chapter to the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card—the first time drainage structures and facilities will be graded in a widely subscribed benchmark the Society issues every four years. The category will join Aviation, Dams, Inland Waterways, Ports, Rail, Schools, Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, Bridges, Roads, Drinking Water, Levees and Public Parks chapters.

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EPA determination spares admixtures, coloring agents from SPCC regulation

After more than three years of the Environmental Protection Agency soliciting expert advice and public comment on issuing a proposed rulemaking potentially expanding the petroleum product spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) terms typical of concrete plant environmental permits, Administrator Andrew Wheeler has signed a final action establishing no new regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Read more: EPA determination spares admixtures, coloring agents from SPCC regulation