Rock Products

JUL 2018

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52 • ROCK products • July 2018 ENVIRONMENT According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Associa- tion (NSSGA), the Trump administration recently released its Spring Regulatory Agenda, outlining the actions federal agencies intend to prioritize in the coming year. Updating and clarifying the Environmental Protection Agen- cy's (EPA's) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule is high on the administration's list. NSSGA attended a meeting at the White House on May 10 as part of ongoing efforts to stress the importance of a rule that protects the environment and is clear for operators. The EPA, according to the agenda, has targeted August 2018 to release a proposed rewrite of the 2015 WOTUS Rule and finalize the new rule in September 2019. This rewritten rule will replace the 2015 WOTUS Rule that would have regulated dry streambeds and isolated waters and posed a hardship to companies in the industry. EPA will still need to officially withdraw the 2015 rule, and that action is expected in November 2018. Another priority EPA plans to advance is its recently released Transparency in Regulatory Science Proposal. The proposal aims to address long-standing concerns that regulations be fully transparent and based upon sound science. It is similar to legislation that NSSGA has supported in the past and the association intends to comment favorably on this proposal. The EPA's list also includes a proposed rule regarding the way critical habitats for endangered species are designed. NSSGA opposed the 2014 rule expanding the definition of critical habitat, which would result in more land requiring federal permits. The Department of Labor agenda states that MSHA is request- ing data and information on technologies that can reduce accidents involving powered haulage equipment. These tech- nologies include collision warning, proximity detection, seat belt starter interlock systems and more. The agency continues to seek public comment on possible reforms of existing standards and regulations, on which NSSGA has developed comments and will continue to do so. Also, the agency continues to seek input on approaches that could improve control of diesel particulate matter in under- ground facilities. "NSSGA is pleased to engage with the Trump administration on its constructive regulatory reform agenda," said Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety policy. Mississippi Lime Bird Study Good News for Producers According to Kimberly Bauman, director of environmental affairs for Mississippi Lime Co., over the past two years, the company has partnered with the World Bird Sanctuary for a nest box (bird house) study, to determine which bird species were living on company property at its Ste. Genevieve, Mo., plant and which species were successfully breeding. The 2016 study focused on song birds such as Eastern Blue- birds, House Wrens, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. Song birds are "cavity nesters" that readily accept nesting boxes. In 2017, the study was expanded to focus not only on song birds, but also on American Kestrels and Tree Swallows. In both years, more than 100 nest boxes were inspected two to three times monthly from March through August for the pres- ence of eggs and chicks. The eggs and chicks were counted, and if possible, the chicks were banded prior to fledging. According to World Bird Sanctuary personnel, the Missis- sippi Lime nest box study has been a great success, with the number of active nests, eggs, chicks and chicks fledging increasing from 2016 to 2017. The nest box study has demonstrated that many bird species have the ability to nest successfully and thrive near manu- facturing operations. The company said it looks forward to continuing the nest box study in 2018. Spring Regulatory Agenda Reveals EPA, MSHA Priorities

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