July 5, 2011

Clean Water

Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 introduced

By Tina Grady Barbaccia

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Fla.) and the Committee’s Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.) introduced H.R. 2018, the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,” in the House. The bill amends the Clean Water Act (CWA), which would allocate the primary responsibilities for water pollution control to the states.

The bill restricts the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to second-guess or delay a state’s permitting and water quality certification decisions under the CWA once the EPA has already approved a state’s program, according to a written press statement from Mica’s office.

Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and U.S. Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) are the original co-sponsors of the proposed legislation.

“Under the Obama Administration, EPA continues to strangle economic growth in this country with its overreaching and arbitrary regulatory regime,” Mica says in the press statement. “This bill will help ensure a common sense regulatory regime that does not unnecessarily harm our nation’s farmers, miners, and other businesses critical to our economy. We must restore and preserve the federal-state partnership that is the foundation of the Clean Water Act, but which is being progressively undermined by EPA.”

The “long arm” superimposed a water-permitting regime that Rahall, the bill’s co-sponsor, says, “amounts to a confused hodgepodge of unwritten requirements and unexplainable goals.

“This legislation aims to instill greater certainty and fairness in the system. It intends to help prevent the EPA from steamrolling state permitting programs, ensuring that the states are truly partners with the federal government in protecting water quality throughout the nation,” Rahall added.

Gibbs, Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee chairman, notes that as the U.S. economy struggles to get back on track, “the EPA continues its assault on what could prove to be the most costly, burdensome, and expansive set of job-destroying regulations ever crafted.”

However, Gibbs says that by “preserving the state’s role in this partnership, we can begin to reign in EPA’s runaway regulations to save countless jobs and protect our economy from the tens of billions of dollars their backdoor energy policies would cost.”

Holcim (Canada) commemorates Earth Week

Toronto-based Holcim (Canada) Inc. celebrated the 41st anniversary of Earth Week at its sites across Canada with what the company says was “a lot of passion and enthusiasm.”

“This year, employees were provided various opportunities to volunteer and get more involved in Holcim Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities and contribute to making a difference in the communities where they live and work,” Holcim (Canada) said of the celebration.

For more information, see the social media release about the Earth Week activities, and for additional photos, go to

Lafarge Canada donates material for WWII Memorial

Lafarge Canada is donating Canadian granite for a monument commemorating the Canadian airmen and airwomen who served alongside Great Britain during the World Wars, specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The monument is being constructed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, England, the United Kingdom’s 150-acre sanctuary and “center of remembrance” of those who have served. 

Lafarge was approached for help finding granite for the monument in February 2011 by Captain Jean Houde, deputy flight commander of the Canadian Forces’ 426 Squadron. “It is an honor and a pleasure to have been asked to participate in this small way to the construction of a memorial to Canadian airmen and airwomen,” says Vice President of Aggregates for Lafarge Canada Bruce Semkowski in a written press statement. “On behalf of Lafarge Canada and all of its employees, we thank Captain Houde for this opportunity.”

Inspiration for the Canadian memorial came when British Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Alfie Hall visited the National Memorial Arboretum in May 2010 and noticed the absence of a memorial dedicated to the various Canadian air forces that have served in the UK. Lt. Halls’ own 609 (West Riding) Squadron had 21 Canadian pilots serving alongside his own countrymen during WWII. As a result, Lt. Hall decided to spearhead a fundraising campaign for a monument.

The memorial consists of a circular ring comprised of 13 equal pieces of granite representing each of the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, according to Lafarge Canada. Within the circle is an upright monolith inscribed with a history of the various Canadian air forces set atop a maple leaf, Canada’s national emblem, also in granite. The monument’s design is based on the modern Canadian Forces roundel, which is painted on all CF aircraft.

Dedication of the Canadian memorial at England’s National Memorial Arboretum is slated for July 8, 2011.

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Road Rally

Hundreds of hard-hat workers from across the United States, representing all parts of the aggregate and road construction industries, rallied on the National Mall on May 25 in support of a multi-year surface transportation bill. Congressional and industry speakers told the cheering crowd the bill is needed to create tens of thousands of new, good-paying American jobs in road construction. The rally was sponsored by 10 associations, including the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. The event was held in conjunction with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In.

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