The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched an inquiry into steep bridge and tunnel toll hikes by New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania tolling authorities. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) triggered the GAO action by questioning how the authorities set tolls, spent revenue and worked to remain accountable to the congressionally approved contract.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a specialty metal forgings company with 26 safety violations at their Chicago facility, including two willful violations that involve failing to provide fall protection around open pits and rectify multiple hazards found in crane inspections. Proposed penalties total $352,700.
The Bureau of Land Management’s review of TransWest Express’ 725-mile transmission-line project will cause about a six month delay in the project, according to an August 3 Associated Press article. The $3 billion project is expected to deliver power primarily from wind farms in Wyoming to customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.
By a margin of 19-5, the Senate Finance Committee passed a tax-relief package on August 2 that included an extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). Also in the committee’s markup is an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides an incentive for the development of offshore and community wind projects.
The July 27 issue of The Kiplinger Letter included the following economic forecasts:
The cost of key construction materials dropped for the third consecutive month in July, pushing down year-over-year prices for the first time since 2009, according to an analysis of producer price index figures released August 14 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). However, AGC officials warned that recent spikes in diesel fuel and steel prices may drive up the cost of construction again, and they urged lawmakers to invest in needed infrastructure projects promptly while prices remain low.
The SC&R Foundation is still accepting applications for a special round of grants this fall. Grants are awarded to employees or family members of employees looking to take a vocational/technical school course such as welding or diesel mechanics or a continuing education course in subjects such as accounting or marketing to further advance a career in the industry.
Stephen Dale Ping, 43, owner and operator of Cumberland Machinery Movers and Industrial Services of Somerset and Bryantsville, Ky. died Wednesday June 27, at Lake Cumberland (Ky.) Regional Hospital. He leaves behind his wife, Priscilla Gregory Ping; his parents, Clinton and Doris Ping; son, Lucas Ping; daughter, Tiffany (and Kris) Bolin; brothers, Scott Ping; Sam (and Angie) Ping; sister, Sherry (and David) Wheet; and grandchild Piper Bolin.
SC&RA continues to accept registrations for a free webinar, August 29 at noon EDT, on “Evaluating Insurance Needs, Trends and Costs. Brent Moody, Vice President, Casualty Underwriting for NBIS, SC&RA’s exclusively endorsed property/casualty insurance provider, will review common oversights in insurance coverage based on the changing economic climate. He will also examine what is behind the cost of insurance and how to leverage policies and coverage to your advantage.
Friday, August 24 is the last day for regular registration fees for the SC&RA Crane & Rigging Workshop, September 19-21, at the Marriott Louisville (Ky.) Downtown. After that date, the fees will increase by $30 per registration, and names will not appear in the onsite book.