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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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Florida, Michigan policies merit construction stakeholder attention

The Sunshine State topped the Associated Builders & Contractors 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard, vaulting from ninth position the prior year on the strength of its free enterprise and open-competition approach to the construction sector, increased career and technical education opportunities, and job growth rates. Michigan saw the biggest year-over-year improvement, rocketing from 24th to seventh after the repeal of its prevailing wage law, which will result in greater competition and lower costs for construction projects.

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Injury, illness survey measures concrete, cement production incidents

New U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and estimates show private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017, down nearly 46,000 cases from the prior year and equating to a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.

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Engine manufacturers take note as EPA revisits NOx emissions threshold

Through its just-announced Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aims to further decrease nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from on-highway heavy-duty trucks and update a current engine exhaust standard in an early-2020 rulemaking. Set in 2001, the standard culminated in 2010 with a 0.2-gram brake-horsepower-hour NOx threshold for which engine manufacturers deployed selective catalytic reduction (SCR) equipment and urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). SCR injects DEF into the engine exhaust stream; the ensuing chemical reaction converts NOx into nitrogen, water vapor and traces of carbon dioxide.

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FMCSA replicates mixer driver exemption for concrete pump peers

American Concrete Pumping Association members have secured a five-year exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the records of duty status exception return to their normal work reporting location within 12 hours of clocking in. It enables all concrete pump operators, pumping companies, and truck drivers who run concrete pumps to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours.

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