Spring has returned to the Rockies, and it appears an improving construction season lies ahead for the industry. As our operations move into the construction season, CSSGA will be intensifying its efforts on several fronts: environmental (CDPHE Storm Water Permit and Waters of the U.S.); transportation funding (Federal and State); and community outreach — all critical to the industry.
Following recent meetings with CDPHE, the Storm Water Permit will be released early this summer. The agency is indicating the permit will contain language that will address the selenium issue. The actual methodology included in the permit, however, has not been fully outlined to the industry, nor has the agency provided feedback on how the numerous other concerns voiced by the industry regarding the permit will be addressed. CSSGA is continuing to meet with key members of CPDHE in an effort to develop a permit with reasonable and effective environmental protection measures. During the summer after the release of the permit, the Land and Environmental and the Governmental Committees will be developing potential courses of action regarding any potentially disastrous implications of the new permit.
CSSGA, along with NSSGA, will continue working on the proposed changes to the Water of the U.S. regulations, which will have significant impact to our industry from both a viability and financial standpoint. It is critical that our membership’s employees take action on various action alerts and reach out to their congressional members expressing their concerns with these regulations.
On the transportation funding front, CSSGA will be working with the state legislature to develop and garner support for increased transportation funding. During the session that ended this Wednesday, two bills aimed at increasing funding died. Governor Hickenlooper proposed a plan that would increase funding for transportation by moving the Hospital Fee into an Enterprise Fund (HB1389). The Republican-controlled Senate did not support the bill, as it would require establishing the enterprise fund that many saw as a tax increase. The Senate introduced legislation that would allow CDOT to borrow money (replacing the T-REX bonds) but provided no additional funding source to CDOT (SB272 Trans II). The bill died in the House of Representatives as the bill would limit CDOT’s ability to maintain existing assets without increased funds, since monies would be dedicated to paying back the bonds. As you can see, considerable work will be required over the summer to develop a solution that is likely some combination of the two approaches to deliver the monies required to rebuild Colorado’s crumbling and capacity-limited highway and street systems.
Unfortunately, this is not just a state phenomenon; it is occurring at the federal level as well. CSSGA, with the active support of membership, will be working with allies CCA, CAPA, CRMCA, and NSSGA to develop and work towards solutions at both levels of government. A critical component will be educating our neighbors and communities about the real story regarding funding: the impact a crumbling transportation system has on their own livelihood; on local, state and national economies; and on the overall competitiveness of the U.S. in the global market place. In the very near future, CSSGA will be providing different avenues in which to become involved. Please consider becoming involved!
CSSGA also invites you to attend the annual Summer Golf Outing & Networking BBQ. Use this link to register for the June 16 event at the Redlands Mesa Golf Course in Grand Junction.
It is quite evident that the summer will be very busy for the association membership as we all work through these important issues. As we enter this demanding time of year with many challenges facing the industry and our own business, we must not lose the focus of our teams. We must ensure that all are actively engaged in safe practices allowing everyone to go home safe each day.
Another opportunity for our membership that will expire May 31, 2015, is CSSGA’s $1000 academic scholarship. Click here to submit your application today.