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COUNCIL HAMMERS BUILDING SAFETY MONTH THEME: “NO CODE. NO CONFIDENCE."

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Report spells robust ROI for current code-aligned hazard mitigation

A new National Institute of Building Sciences report highlights the significant savings realized from implementing mitigation strategies in terms of safety, property loss prevention, and day-to-day life disruption. The project team behind the Interim Report on the Value of Mitigation weighs the benefits of designing homes and buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential and International Building Codes versus the prior generation of codes reflecting 1990s-era practice and National Flood Insurance Program requirements.

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Travelers Cos. heeds state’s call for foundations repair fund participation

A $5 million fund from Hartford-based Travelers Cos. will assist Connecticut customers whose homes exhibit concrete deterioration associated with expansion attributed to pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide-bearing compound identified in aggregate from a Willington, Conn. quarry. The voluntary Travelers Benefit Program offers up to $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, to current and past policyholders whose repair costs exceed awards from the recently launched Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC).

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EPA prepares to shed contentious Waters of the U.S. interpretation

Construction and business interests welcomed a late-2018 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army proposal for a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of “Waters of the United States,” clarifying federal authority under the Clean Water Act. Unlike a 2015 definition that drew sharp criticism from construction materials producers and their customers, the new proposal a) contains straightforward wording that results in significant cost savings; b) protects the nation’s navigable waters; helps sustain economic growth; and, c) reduces barriers to business development.

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Multiemployer pension reform carries into new Congress

Although a late-2018 deadline passed without a formal proposal, members of the U.S. Senate Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans vowed to continue pursuing a solution to the funding crisis engulfing organized labor retirement systems. In a joint statement, co-chairs Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and his retiring colleague, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), noted:

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