The Federal Preemption Bind on Local Energy Policy

When it comes to energy efficiency in buildings, rapid technological advances are being undermined by outdated regulations. Decades-old federal laws currently prohibit states from setting energy standards for some of the most modern appliances, including heating and cooling systems and water heating equipment. 

Industry lobbyists working in Washington, D.C., set the standards, which bind states and cities from moving to more stringent rules in local energy codes than the current federal mandate. This “preemption” effect presents a major barrier to reducing energy waste for many states and jurisdictions in pursuit of better energy performance in building stock and achieving climate action goals. 

Stay Compliant With the Updated NPDES Permit

  During the past decade, lawsuits arising from violations of federal and state environmental regulations have made environmental compliance a critical topic. In particular, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction General Permit covering stormwater discharges from construction activities has been a major issue for the construction industry. 

How Field Service Technicians Are Reaching Higher Levels of Efficiency and Ensuring Safer Jobsites

The availability of more data will make sensors smarter, and usher in the opportunity for analytics programs to not only optimize and streamline field service, but also push jobsites capable of time and money-saving measures towards a zero downtime reality. 

Practicality Drives Remote Workers

  More than 90 percent of millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers take advantage of their company’s remote work policy, according to a survey of about 300 full-time workers by West Unified Communications. The vast majority of respondents work remotely from home and predominantly for practical reasons, such as caring for a sick child (35 percent), avoiding a long commute (30 percent), improving productivity (30 percent) and avoiding office distractions (28 percent). Three-quarters of remote workers use email and phone as their main form of collaboration, followed by instant messaging, video and web conferencing, and apps.

FAA Awards More Airport Infrastructure Grants

  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $162.4 million in airport infrastructure grants for 72 airports in 31 states through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). So far this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced more than 1,350 airport grants totaling $2.1 billion affecting 1,205 airports—targeting projects for runways, taxiways, and airport signage, lighting and markings.

Millennials Spend Less on Business Travel Than Older Employees

Average dining, hotel and entertainment expenses for employees between the ages of 36 and 65 totaled $8,596 over two years compared to $5,188 for employees between the ages of 22 and 35, according to a global report from Concur, a business travel management firm. The biggest difference was in the dining and entertainment category: $52 per transaction for employees over age 36 versus $33 per transaction for those under age 25. Meanwhile, millennials spent slightly more on hotels: $114 versus $111.

Jersey City Adopts PLA Requirements

  City councilmembers voted 6-3 to approve a measure that rewrites Jersey City’s project labor agreements (PLAs) to require developers to hire union and local workers for city-subsidized construction projects exceeding $25 million. Specifically, the revamped PLAs require women or minority workers who are Jersey City residents to comprise at least 20 percent of the workforce on jobs subject to the agreements. 

NIOSH App Calculates Safety of Manual Lifts

  A free mobile app from NIOSH, called NLE Calc, offers a quick and simple way for workers to assess their risk for injury before they manually lift an object. The app is based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation, an internationally recognized standard for safe lifting.

Construction Fleets Poised to Expand

  Teletrac Navman’s new Telematics Benchmark Report found more than half of global construction firms will be expanding their fleet size during the next year as a result of increased demand for services and the need to replace older machines. More than 80 percent of organizations already are using telematics or plan to do so in the next year, citing equipment tracking as the most common use, followed by tracking speed and hours driven. More than half of respondents using telematics have seen reduced fuel costs up to 40 percent, and almost one-third have had fewer accidents. 

Crane Operator Requirement Delayed Another Year

OSHA’s mandatory crane operator certification requirement, which was supposed to take effect this month after an initial implementation date of 2014, has been delayed again until November 2018. The latest extension stems from President Trump’s directive that federal agencies review pending regulations.

 

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