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Comments sought on multiemployer pension plan law

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is seeking comments from all interested stakeholders concerning two new statutory provisions regarding multiemployer partitions and mergers that apply only to multiemployer pension plans. These provisions, which were enacted on Dec. 16, 2014, involve:

OSHA to host two-week Construction Fall Safety Stand-Down in May

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, as hundreds of workers die each year and thousands more suffer catastrophic, debilitating injuries. Lack of proper fall protection remains the most frequently cited violation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). To recognize the hazard, tens of thousands of employers and more than a million workers across the country joined OSHA in 2014 for a weeklong Fall Safety Stand-Down, the largest occupational safety event ever held.

Free copy of Tower Crane Contract Suggestions available to SC&RA members

SC&RA is offering its members a complimentary copy of the new Tower Crane Contract Suggestions. The 22 points in this one-page document help ensure a worksite is ready for the delivery of a tower crane and all necessary permits have been obtained. SC&RA’s Tower Crane Committee developed the list to help the lessor minimize ambiguity, lost time and, subsequently, lost revenue.

Conditions ripen for increased freight demand, transportation rates

Solid, steady economic growth will boost freight demand and domestic transportation rates this year, according to an article in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of Commerce.

Evidence and analysis provided by speakers appearing at the SMC JumpStart 2015 Conference in January included:

Freight broker found liable for local tax by Pennsylvania Court

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently ruled that a freight broker was subject to a city’s business privilege tax, which is measured by gross receipts, according to an article in the Feb. 6 issue of the State Laws Newsletter. The broker contended that it deserved the exemption for public utility services because it had to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and pay a fee levied on it under the Uniform Carrier Registration Agreement, which was administered in Pennsylvania by the state’s public utilities commission. 

Philippines officials look to identify nation’s wind energy hotspots

The Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines recently announced plans to conduct a nationwide wind measurement project to identify the country’s wind energy hotspots. “From the data we will generate, investors can make the decision and choose sites where they can build wind farms,” said Mario Montejo, the nation’s Science Secretary.

FMCSA set to publish final ELD rule in 2015

At several public meetings this month, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officials have discussed plans to publish a final electronic logging device (ELD) rule sometime this year. The rule, set to become effective two years after its publication date, will include new technical specifications for ELDs, provisions to protect drivers from harassment from their employers and requirements for supporting hours-of-service (HOS) documents.

Hahn, Poe introduce bill to fund U.S. freight network

On Feb. 12, U.S. Representatives Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced the National Freight Network Trust Fund Act of 2015 “to provide a guaranteed, dedicated funding stream for vital improvements to the road and rail network used to move goods to and from the nation’s ports and across the country to businesses and consumers.”

New FMCSA committee to update truck driver training

On Feb. 10, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the formation of a 26-member advisory committee that is tasked with updating classroom and new behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers.

Foxx warns that infrastructure in disrepair can be deadly

In testimony before  the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Feb. 11, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx described a near-tragic event that occurred in Maryland the night before. He pointed out that an accident in which concrete debris fell off an interstate highway bridge and struck a car below was an example of how infrastructure in disrepair can potentially “harm and kill.”