October 2009 – AggBeat
The IAAP Safety Committee met with MSHA to discuss its members’ concerns about MSHA’s current enforcement initiative and planned to meet with the agency again during the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) “Aggregates in Action” Fall Fly-In that took place in Washington, D.C. in late September.
The NSSGA said it developed a Mine Action Safety Plan, including safety charts and a comparison of industries, to present to members of Congress and MSHA officials during the Fall Fly-In. The NSSGA hopes to make Congress aware of MSHA’s increasingly aggressive enforcement program, and make MSHA officials aware of aggregate industry concerns and try to develop a more productive working relationship with the agency, including the continuation of the MSHA/NSSGA Alliance.
At Aggregates Manager press time, the Fly-In had not yet taken place, but information about the meeting will be posted in Aggbeat Online on our Web site, www.aggman.com.
Congress likely to extend current transportation authorization
One of the pressing legislative issues facing Congress, other than healthcare reform, is an extension of the federal surface transportation program that was set to expire on Sept. 30. Before the Congressional break during August, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, under the leadership of Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.), wanted to pass a six-year $500-billion surface transportation measure ($450 billion for highways and transit, $50 billion for high-speed rail). The Senate pushed for an 18-month extension of the existing surface transportation program.
According to Innovation NewsBriefs, observers believe that hope for the enactment of a long-term transportation bill this year has all but vanished — no one wants to raise the fuel tax at this time to pay for the $500 billion program — so it is likely that the 18-month extension will pass.
At Aggregates Manager press time, a final decision had not been reached. Watch for updates in Aggbeat Online on our Web site, www.aggman.com.
No limestone trade rebound in the Great Lakes
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