While the new 27-month, $110 billion highway bill will allow for continued funding of transportation construction projects and provide more economic certainty to the industry, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association leadership pointed out key elements left out of the final legislation, as well as what it considers undesirable aspect to the final language, according to a message relayed to the association's government affairs committee and the operations, environment and safety committee.
Included in the bill is a requirement that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issue a rule mandating that all motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce that maintain driver logs must use electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) to monitor compliance with hours-of-service regulations. The agency has one year to write the rule, and then drivers would have another two years before they would have to start using the devices.
The association noted: “Although NRMCA supported passage of the final bill, [MAP-21] contained some shortcomings and, therefore, was bittersweet. Unfortunately, not included in the final bill was NRMCA-supported language that would have replaced EPA’s proposed hazardous waste label for fly ash with new disposal standards at the state level.
“As well, Congress included a provision that directs the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to promulgate a rule mandating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) install and use EOBRs for compliance with hours of service (HOS) regulations. However, immediately following the passage of the EOBR mandate in MAP-21, the House agreed to an amendment to a transportation appropriations bill that prohibits DOT funding for promulgating rules that mandate EOBRs, GPS units and event data recorders in CMVs and passenger vehicles.
“In light of these two conflicting votes, it is clear the EOBR fight is not over. NRMCA will continue to press hard for further positive outcomes and to seek more significant policy changes that benefit the industry on EOBRs.”
In the weeks leading up to MAP-21, NRMCA participated in another transportation rally on Capitol Hill to help advocate for the bill when it appeared Congress was stalled in political gridlock. With a backdrop of half a dozen concrete mixer trucks, NRMCA was joined by other transportation construction industry representatives, a handful of senators and NRMCA Vice Chairman Bill Childs, president & CEO of Chaney Enterprises.