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The U.S. House of Representatives passed “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015,” (H.R. 1734) in a bipartisan 258-166 vote. Sponsored by Rep. David McKinley, (R-WV), it codifies the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate fly ash and other coal combustion residuals (CCR) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) “solid” versus “hazardous” waste provisions.


Testifying in the first of two public hearings last month on “Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles,” National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Vice President, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Kevin Walgenbach informed Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials of the potential for conflicting outcomes if proposed regulations are applied to mixer trucks.

In response to requests for additional time to train and acquire equipment necessary for compliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has postponed for 60 days a new Confined Spaces in Construction standard.

Alleging discrimination against employees protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against Wichita, Texas-based ready mixed producer OK Concrete and settled a case with Baker Concrete Construction, Houston. The agency contends OK Concrete broke federal law by terminating a mixer truck driver candidate who, after completing training in March 2012, informed the producer of time off needs once his health insurance coverage became effective—owing to planned treatment for prostate cancer detected two months prior. EEOC charges that a decision to fire the driver was based on disability discrimination, violating the ADA. Following a pre-litigation settlement attempt, the agency has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, plus injunctive relief.


New reports from the Risk Control, Claim and Actuary unit of Chicago-based business insurance provider CNA examine growing prescription opioid abuse in the U.S. construction and manufacturing industries, where an estimated 15.1 percent and 6.5 percent of workers, respectively, have engaged in illicit drug use.