Lawmakers move to codify aggregates’ role in DOT supply chains

U.S. Representatives Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09) and Troy Balderson (R-OH-12) have introduced the Rebuilding Our Communities by Keeping aggregates Sustainable (ROCKS) Act bill, citing its potential “to foster local access to stone, sand and gravel essential to construction and public works projects.” The legislation calls for the Secretary of Transportation to establish a working group of federal, state, tribal and local stakeholders to study the use of aggregates and recommend policies ensuring continued access to such materials.

“To build the infrastructure we need to support our growing population, we have to consider where our building materials are coming from and how we get them to construction sites,” Rep. Stanton noted upon introducing the bill last month. “Arizona has been a leader in innovative policies to address this challenge—and now we’re taking those lessons to the federal level.”

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association President and CEO Michael Johnson calls the introduction of ROCKS “a powerful testament to the value and importance of crushed stone, sand and gravel in the betterment of our communities. The Act will serve to bring efficiencies between the construction of much-needed public works projects with access to raw materials … Shorter transportation distance from the resource to the project will mean less truck traffic on the roads; reduced emissions; and, more affordable costs for the projects themselves.”

The ROCKS Act (H.R. 5117) has been referred to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

NSSGA supported the ROCKS bill in a mid-November, online campaign timed with its final 2019 gathering of members and government affairs staff on Capitol Hill.