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EPA Will No Longer Tolerate Sue and Settle Practices




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The new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, indicated his intentions to end the organization's buy-in of the "sue and settle" practice in which advocacy groups sue the EPA to force them to decree new rules, knowing the EPA will settle the cases to be rid of them and then make new rules. The National Ready Mix Concrete Association states that the practice "led to a number of detrimental regulations, not to mention states and companies being forced to comply with onerous requirements by groups that never had to prove that any harm or injury had occurred, thus calling into question the necessity of such regulations and requirements," but now looks forward to a more balanced regulatory environment.


Prevention & Restoration of Concrete Joint Deterioration




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Iowa State University's Concrete Pavement Tech Center has released a guide to help prevent and restore early joint deterioration in concrete pavements. The guide lists the types and mechanisms of the problem including freeze-thaw damage, outlines maintenance routines such as joint cleaning and sealing to reduce the risk, details treatment of pavements with joint deterioration, and defines the appropriate concrete mixture for successful restoration. http://tinyurl.com/joa9tue


Learn the Details of the New Silica Standard




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A new webinar titled "OSHA New Silica Standard for Construction" will be conducted by the American Society of Concrete Contractors in April and will be available for members on their website thereafter. Viewers will learn the key components of the rule on respirable crystalline silica for the construction industry, including requirements for:
• Prescribed engineering and work practice control methods
• Exposure assessment methods
• Written exposure control plan
• Medical surveillance
• Employee notification and training
• Recordkeeping
The live webinar is free to ASCC members. Non-members are charged $35. https://www.ascconline.org


New Standards for Non-hydraulic Cements to Be Created




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Contractors with an interest in non-hydraulic cements are being encouraged by ASTM International to join a new subcommittee of the organization's committee on cement to help create new standards for the materials, which set by reacting with carbon dioxide in the air, are reportedly resistant to attack by chemicals after setting, and are an alternative to Portland cement in some applications. www.astm.org/sn-construction


WOTUS May Be on the Way Out




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President Trump's executive order directing the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to review the "Waters of the US" (WOTUS) rule with an eye on revising or rescinding it is being hailed by the NRMCA as a start to the "process for both the regulatory and legal pieces to move toward repeal or significant change, all of which could likely be a lengthy process." Currently, WOTUS is stayed nationwide while facing various multiple legal challenges.


As seen in LC/DBM magazine, April 2017.






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