MSHA kicks off its new safety initiative
Slater noted that senators present at the meeting are working on a new jobs creation package of legislation and recognize that rebuilding America’s infrastructure will create jobs, grow the economy, and maintain and improve our nation’s safety, environment, and international competitiveness.
“What we heard today was not only a commitment to a near-term jobs creation package, but a commitment from Senator Boxer to write a multi-year highway bill this year, and to start that process in March,” Slater stated in the press release. “We know many thorny policy issues have to be resolved before the House and Senate can come to agreement on a new multi-year highway bill, and that in the meantime — right now — Congress needs to pass some measures that can help to create jobs for Americans in the nearer term. …But as soon as that work is done, we hope that our lawmakers will turn to our nation’s long-term infrastructure investment needs. We must have a multi-year funding commitment to provide market certainty, so planners can plan and business can invest. This is how the private sector creates jobs.”
Slater added that the timely passage of a multi-year federal transportation legislation was critical for the construction equipment industry, and that without that long-term funding certainty, state and local governments wouldn’t be able to plan projects and that U.S. competitiveness against other nations was at stake.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said it is contacting Congressional and Administration leaders to urge them to invest in new construction activity. “If they [Congress] act now, they can save taxpayers millions on construction costs while immediately boosting employment and economic activity,” Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer, stated in an association press release.
According to Sandherr, one of the relatively few bright spots for the construction industry was the federal stimulus. “The stimulus is finally beginning to have a measurable, but limited, impact on the construction industry,” he noted. “The full impact of those investments has sadly been tempered by the inability of Congress to put a host of multi-year infrastructure funding plans in place.”
Lafarge receives conservation awards
Nine of Lafarge’s aggregates sites in the Western United States recently gained international recognition from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation. WHC President Robert Johnson congratulated Lafarge “for their commitment to a healthy natural world and connected communities.”
Six of the sites recognized are located across Colorado in Golden, Rifle, Fort Lupton, Lafayette, and two in Longmont. The other three sites are located in Sun City, Ariz.; Colgate, Wis.; and Defiance, Mo. Each site received its award in acknowledgement of its commitment to environmental stewardship and to increasing native biodiversity.
“Being chosen for environmental awards like these from the WHC is incredibly gratifying for Lafarge,” stated Sabine Hillenmeyer, vice president and general manager for Lafarge’s West US Aggregates Business Unit, in a company press release. “Lafarge takes its commitment to the environment, and to the health and safety of our employees, very seriously. We are dedicated to returning the land where we work back to the community in the same or better condition upon which it was ‘loaned’ to us. We appreciate the WHC’s acknowledgement of our efforts.”
The Holcim Portland cement plant near Penrose, Colo., has gone solar, reports CoolerPlanet.com. The plant’s 528 solar panels, rated at 100.32 kilowatts, provide about 156,200 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, or enough to run the plant’s administrative offices. This amounts to enough energy to power 14 average homes, and also enough to prevent 112 metric tons of carbon dioxide being generated by the local utility company. The panels are arranged in four units, jointly covering an area 190 feet long by 150 feet wide. Each unit contains 24 conventional solar panels made with polycrystalline silicon cells under glass inside an aluminum frame. Concrete footers support the units.
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