PACA News

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Advocacy News

PACA's Advocacy Efforts Need Your Support

We need your financial support of the PACA PAC.

We are on the verge of an extraordinary election that could reshape the General Assembly and the Executive branch. Now more than ever, we must unite to support the political leaders that understand our issues and are committed to protect our industry in Pennsylvania.

We are truly in the midst of an unprecedented time for the Commonwealth after eight years of Executive Orders and record number of vetoes. We have heard for years the beating of the drum to fund everything through a severance tax on a natural resource that can truly reshape the future of our state for generations to come; we have been force fed RGGI that will increase electricity costs for our industry, financially punish every household in our state, and destroy a great industry that has fed and educated families for centuries; the daily cry from our state’s top regulator is about Climate Change or Environmental Justice and apparently we are guilty on both counts because we provide the materials that build this state and nation; and our head lawman preaches the Environmental Rights Amendment like we don’t care about clean water and clean air even though we are comprehensively regulated by both the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

And we are always guilty in their eyes. And are not wanted in their neighborhoods even though we were there long before anyone thought about a residential development. And they don’t want to admit to themselves that without our materials there is nothing but mud huts and dirt roads.

Yes, we need your hard-earned dollars to build firelines to stop or slow down the burning of our Pennsylvania.

That fireline is the General Assembly. Unfortunately, we are faced with an unprecedented legislator turnover due to resignations and retirements. You add the redistricting fiasco, and the election volatility should scare us all!

This year is not just about the November 8 General Election. The primary on May 17 is far more important due to redistricting and legislator turnover. That means we need to raise more than the $100,000 we raised for the last General Election. And we need funds early to support our legislative champions in the primaries!

The PACA PAC’s primary focus remains on regulatory issues. Consider wisely how you invest your personal dollars in shaping political decisions this election cycle. In the current adversarial climate, we can’t afford to lose more ground to the NIMBYS and the environmental industry.

We need a well-funded PACA PAC to protect our rights, achieve a balanced approach to business and the environment, champion economic growth for our Commonwealth, provide a good paycheck for our hardworking employees and defend our industry.

We ask you to make a contribution to the PACA PAC in 2022!

To make your financial contribution:

  • Write a [PERSONAL CHECK ONLY - corporate checks are prohibited] to the PACA-PAC.
  • Mail the check to PACA, Attn. Kallie Kline, 2040 Linglestown Road, Suite 204, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Respectfully,

Rod Martin, Martin Stone Quarries
Rob Stewart, York Building Products
Jamie Stilley, Amerikohl Aggregates

COMMUNITY NEWS

Sign Up for PACA's Newest Communities on Workforce Development & Government Affairs

PACA has reignited and created two new communities that ALL PACA members are eligible and encouraged to champion by signing up to participate.

The first is the reignited Government Affairs Community, led by Rod Martin of Martin Stone Quarries, Inc. This community will serve as the voice of our industry as this has never been more important. By signing up for the PACA Government Affairs Community, you will be the first to know about issues and legislation impacting our industry in the General Assembly. You will be invited to Government Affairs and Regulatory Affairs (GARA) events that bring you face-to-face with key policymakers.

Next is the newly created Workforce Development Community, the brainchild of the inaugural PACA Emerging Leaders Academy (PELA) class of 2021. The formation of this community was first announced at the 2021 PACA Annual Meeting by the PELA class and was fully endorsed by PACA's Board of Directors. This mission and purpose of this community as defined by PELA is as follows:

This Community represents dedicated professionals committed to developing the workforce for future generations. Through collective advocacy to benefit PACA’s members, the community will promote the industry’s strengths by assisting PACA’s Board and communities, and educating the industry on workforce trends and skill gaps. The expectation for this Community is to provide potential solutions/tools for members to use for employee recruitment, development, and retention. The Community will serve as liaisons, representing PACA members at outreach events, by nurturing and maintaining relationships with educational establishments as avenues for developing interest and skills needed for industry advancement.

In performing these activities, the Community aims to support all PACA members across the Commonwealth and protect the industry for generations to come.

The hard truth is that a large portion of industry employees are at or nearing retirement age and efforts to recruit the younger generation to view working in aggregates, concrete and cement as exciting and the ideal job needs a boost. That's what this community is all about.

To join either the Government Affairs and/or Workforce Development Communities, please email Kallie Kline.

Environmental News

DEP Announces Bond Rates for Water Supply Replacement for Noncoal and Coal

In the March 19, 2022 PA Bulletin, PA DEP has announced the rates to be used to calculate bond amounts for water supply replacement operation and maintenance costs for anthracite and bituminous coal and industrial mineral mining operations. The rates are used in calculating the water supply operation and maintenance bond amounts for replacement of water supplies affected by activities at mining operations. The procedures for calculating water supply operation and maintenance bonds are described in Technical Guidance ID No. 562-4000-102, Increased Operation and Maintenance Costs of Replacement Water Supplies.

The Department calculated the rate of inflation and rate of return using 5-year averages. For the rate of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (Northeast Urban) from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, was averaged for the calendar years 2017—2021, resulting in a rate of 2.16%. For the rate of return, the interest rate for the 20-year Treasury bill as reported by the Federal Reserve was averaged for the calendar years 2017—2021 resulting in a rate of 2.28%. 

The rates in this notice will become effective on April 1, 2022. They will remain in effect until new rates are published, most likely February 2023.

Should you have any questions or comments, contact Josie Gaskey.

Northern Long-Eared Bat Proposed to be Federally Endangered

The March 23, 2022 Federal Register included a proposal to reclassify the Northern Long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), found in 37 states, DC and Canada, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Comments are due May 23, 2022 and a public information session and hearing is scheduled for April 7, 2022. If the rule gets finalized, that action would remove its species-specific 4(d) rule, as well as serve as the required five-year review of the species.

This bat is currently listed as a threatened species federally and endangered in Pennsylvania. This proposed rule complies with a court order to make a listing decision (either delist or uplist or remain the same) for the bat, due to a favorable judge ruling on a green industry lawsuit who pleaded that the USFWS did not adequately protect the species. The bat is proposed to being listed as endangered due to other stressors besides White Nose Snydrome, including wind turbines, habitat loss and the all-encompassing climate change.

Please see the in-depth article by Ryan Slack of member company Civil and Environmental Consultants, on this issue found here. Thanks to CEC for allowing us to share.

Should you have any questions or comments, contact Josie Gaskey.

USFWS Changes Name of 4 Freshwater Mussels

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued a direct final rule revising the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to reflect the scientifically accepted taxonomy and nomenclature of four freshwater mussel species listed under section 4 of the Act. These changes reflect the most recently accepted common and scientific names.

They are publishing this rule without a prior proposal because they believe it is a noncontroversial action that is in the best interest of the public and should be undertaken in as timely a manner as possible. This rule will be effective June 15, 2022 unless they get resistance by April 18.

See page 2 of above link for table listing of species.

Should you have any questions or comments, contact Josie Gaskey.

PA DEP GP-104 Discharge Monitoring Reports Electronic Submittal Now Available

The PA DEP Mining GP 104 permit Discharge Monitoring Reports are available in the DEP Greenport for submittal electronically. The Department has indicated they have notified operators.

You should be aware that the GP 104 permits require, at a minimum, an annual notification that there is no discharge, regardless of whether the permit has a discharge sample point. If there is no discharge sample point, DEP has set up a reporting system for these permits with an 111 sample point/outfall and zero flow parameter. Submitters should use the “No Discharge” checkbox to verify there was no discharge during the monitoring period. Note that the use of a NODI code or any result in the sample result field will result in a non-compliance generation and result in questions as to whether a discharge occurred.

If you already have a Greenport account, DEP can add the GP 104 permit to your existing Greenport account for access. If you do not have a Greenport account, you will need to create a Greenport account and submit the eDMR request form to have access to the eDMR reports.

Note that Bruce Carl will be retiring on April 8, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns involving the eDMR registrations or submitting the DMR reports, you should now contact Michaela Plazek or 717.787.4814.

Should you have any questions, contact Josie Gaskey.

PA DEP Publishes Draft Environmental Justice Policy

PA DEP has issued a draft Environmental Justice Policy, TGD No. 012-0501-002 for public comment by May 11, 2022. This draft revises the January 2005 version. DEP will be holding three virtual public hearings—April 5 at 5pm, April 12 at 6pm and April 28 at noon. More info on these can be found here.

This draft March 2022 version significantly expands the 2005 version.

This 2022 draft incorporates PA Executive Order 2021-07, which is Governor Wolf’s executive order establishing the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) within the Department of Environmental Protection.

The purpose of the policy has been significantly expanded both in focus and content. A Definitions section with 22 definitions has been added. The History and Background section has been expanded to point out the Environmental Rights Amendment and lay out the Department’s position on EJ. The draft addresses the use of EJ Viewer, the OEJ website, annual EJ report, and the DEP Language Access Plan that will be created and implemented. It moves the EJ Working Group to an EJ Advisory Board and outlines the makeup and charge of the Board.

It outlines the Permit Review Process including permits covered, opt-in permits, steps prior to submission and review of a permit application, and lays out the roles of DEP and the permittee as part of the public participation strategy. Appendix A lists the Trigger permits, which includes large industrial mineral surface mines and revisions to those permits that include additional acreage.

It also expands public access to permit application and supporting materials, outlines the timeline and process for public meetings, including that all public meetings under this policy will be virtually accessible. It outlines community input before and during permit review, as well as input following a permit decision.

It includes a public participation process specific to the Oil/Gas industry for unconventional oil/gas well permits.

It prioritizes inspections, compliance and enforcement in EJ areas “where environmental and public health conditions warrant increased attention.” DEP will enforce compliance to the greatest degree consistent with applicable law, including adding reasonable enhancements to civil penalties at its discretion. OEJ will maintain a list of community-based projects for mitigation.

Please join us for our Members’ Forum on April 5 at 11 a.m. when Dave Rafael of K&L Gates will be presenting on this EJ Policy. Look for details closer to the date. Registration information is available below.

Should you have any questions, contact Josie Gaskey.

PACA MEETINGS AND EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Access our Events Calendar and read more about upcoming events below.

Access Calendar
April PACA Members Forum Meeting Will Discuss DEP's Environmental Justice Policy

The next PACA Members Forum zoom meeting is scheduled for April 5th at 11:00 AM. Join us as Dave Raphael of K&L Gates, LLP brings us the latest on the PA DEP's Environmental Justice Policy. Of course, the PACA staff will also be on hand to update you on all that we are working on for our members as well.

REGISTER HERE

Summer Summit - Start Booking Your Rooms TODAY!

This year's Summer Summit is scheduled for June 12-14 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa And Marina in Cambridge, MD. Right on the water, the beach vibe will be the theme of this year's meeting.

The PACA Golf and Sporting Clays Tournaments are back again this year, with a little twist. Sporting Clays will take place on Sunday afternoon, June 12th, while golf will be Monday afternoon, the 13th, allowing those interested to participate in both if they so choose. All must be registered for the Summer Summit to participate in these tournaments.

We are in the process of finalizing the agenda, the speakers, the sponsorship opportunities and more, so registration has not opened yet, however, that doesn't stop you from booking your rooms. Remember, we are scheduled at a vacation destination at the beginning of beach season, so we encourage to book your rooms EARLY! Once our block sells out, there is no guarantee of availability for additional rooms to be added. This also applies to restaurants at the resort. Sunday evening dinner is on your own, so if you plan to have a large group, make your reservations AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

A simple overview of the summit schedule and information on booking your hotel rooms is now available on our website. See you at the beach!

Young Leaders Invited to April Site Tour & Networking/Team Building Event

Attention PACA member company employees ages 40 & under (and YLDG alumni):

Subject: Next Young Leaders Development Group event

Date: April 28, 2022

Location: Carlisle, PA

Event Title: Union Quarries: A Site Study - Including Networking Reception and Axe Throwing

Join us for a full day of events for our YLDG. The day begins at noon with a delicious BBQ lunch courtesy of Union Quarries, followed by a site tour and education event at Union Quarries. The tour will show the full A to Z of processing and discuss the struggles one company faced environmentally and the planning of a new plant and how PACA Associate Member business partners helped with these issues.

Following the site tour and education event, we will hold a networking event from 4:30 to 5:45 PM at nearby Grand Illusion Hard Cider. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are included in your registration fee. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on your own. The group will then move on to the Fraxture Factory in Carlisle to do some team building (and frustration venting) by throwing some axes.

Register to attend the tour only; tour and networking only; OR tour, networking and axe throwing. You choose! Those attending the tour and networking event who may not necessarily be interested in axe throwing, you may certainly come along and watch the fun!

REGISTER HERE

Safety & Health News

NRMCA Safety Initiative

We wanted to share this month’s NRMCA Safety Initiative as it is a basic safety and regulatory initiative regarding housekeeping. Feel free to share, use as a training tool, print, post or distribute.

OSHA Powered Industrial Trucks Updated Requirements Posted in Federal Register

OSHA has proposed in the Federal Register updating the design and construction requirements of the powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction by incorporating by reference the applicable provisions of the most relevant national consensus standards from the American National Standards Institute/Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ANSI/ITSDF). OSHA’s proposal would update the consensus standard reference from the 1969 version of the ANSI B56 voluntary consensus standard to the 2020 iteration of B56.1 and the 2021 version of B56.6. OSHA also proposes allowing employers to use powered industrial trucks not constructed in accordance with those national consensus standards incorporated by reference in the OSHA standards if the employer can demonstrate that the truck they use was designed and constructed in a manner that provides employee protection that is at least as effective as the national consensus standards incorporated by reference in OSHA’s standards. Note that once a consensus standard such as the ANSI B56.6 is incorporated by reference by OSHA, the provisions become enforceable even though the text does not appear within the Code of Federal Regulations.

OSHA estimates about 70 percent of the yearly 97,000 forklift accidents in the United States could be prevented. OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck rule consistently makes the yearly Top Ten Accident categories. OSHA defines “Powered Industrial Truck” as a human-operated vehicle used to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers. Its standard covers fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines.

The Law Office of Adele Abrams has graciously permitted us to share the attached article from her newsletter on this issue—see page 6. It includes a discussion of equipment covered, as well as key risk areas. Also note that while this proposed rulemaking is being undertaken, you may be subject to closer examination.

Should you have concerns or comments on this topic, don't hesitate to contact Josie Gaskey.

Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act Signed Into Law

On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act). Pursuant to the 2015 Act, all federal agencies (including MSHA and OSHA) must adjust their civil monetary penalties annually and publish the adjustment in the Federal Register. Accordingly, all Agencies have published final rule adjusts to their civil monetary penalties for 2022 in the Federal Register, pursuant to the 2015 Act and Executive Office of the President (EOP) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. Based on the OMB guidance, and on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for the month of October 2021, not seasonally adjusted, the cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2022 is 1.06222. The new penalties will be effective for penalties assessed after January 11, 2022 whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Should you need specific penalty amounts for a specific agency, don’t hesitate to contact Josie Gaskey.

NATIONAL NEWS

Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations

The March 18, 2022 Federal Register includes a notice from the Department of Labor (DOL) proposing to amend regulations issued under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts. These Acts set rules for the administration and enforcement of the Davis-Bacon labor standards that apply to Federal and federally-assisted construction projects. DOL believes this proposed comprehensive review is needed to provide clarity and enhance usefulness. DOL last engaged in a comprehensive revision of these regulations in 1981-82. Comments are due May 17, 2022, however, at least major organization has requested an extension of that date.

The proposed rule includes several elements targeted at increasing the amount of information available for wage determinations and speeding up the determination process, changes the definition of “prevailing wage”, strengthens enforcement, includes new anti-retaliation provisions, and clarifies and strengthens the cross-withholding procedure for recovering back wages when violations are found.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the above, don’t hesitate to contact Josie Gaskey.

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