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White House embraces codes and standards-driven resiliency

“Building codes set the baseline for the safe design and construction of our homes, schools and workplaces, providing the minimum requirements to adequately safeguard the health, safety and welfare of occupants,” the Obama administration noted in a statement on last month’s Conference on Resilient Building Codes. The one-day, White House-hosted event dovetailed an announcement of actions across federal agencies overseeing or influencing building and nonbuilding construction:

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ABC leads coalition suing agency over union-biased ‘persuader’ rule

A lawsuit Associated Builders & Contractors and other national or state groups have filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas challenges the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final “persuader rule.” Officially titled Interpretation of the “Advice” Exemption, it revises the definition of what activities constitute “advice” and expands circumstances under which public reporting is required per the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

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DOT considers rulemaking to address sleep apnea-prone truck drivers

Per National Transportation Safety Board recommendation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking through June 8 public input on the impacts of screening, evaluating and treating commercial motor vehicle drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The agency poses 20 questions it deems will provide the necessary information before determining whether or not to pursue a proposed rule.

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EPA quantifies Diesel Emission Reduction Act program returns

EPAGrants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report.
 

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Construction interests compound court challenges to OSHA silica rule

Associated Builders & Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America American Road & Transportation Builders Association and four peer groups plan to join eight state affiliates petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s final rule on crystalline silica exposure. Released in late March, it sets a threshold of 50-micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, compared to a longstanding 250-microgram level for the construction industry.

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