government

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

FERC officials say they aren’t pressuring the competing Denali and TransCanada Alaskan pipeline projects to merge. But the two projects – one already in the pre filing process – are heading toward submitting construction applications to FERC at roughly the same time in 2011 or 2012, depending on who one talks to, in what would be a regulatory clash and crash that the agency hopes to avoid. Congress is also pressuring the two Alaskan gas transportation contestants, though very subtly.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has given verbal assurance to NASSCO that it will continue to consider the sewer rehabilitation work typically performed by its members as "maintenance" rather than "construction" as had been proposed in a rule change to OSHA's confined space standard, reports Irv Gemora, executive director of NASSCO.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

As turmoil continues to grip the world’s stock markets and traders seem to have a knee-jerk reaction every time some CEO goes to the bathroom, there is a bright side.

Traci Read, Senior Editor

Nearly 90 attendees and their guests gathered to hear Mark D. Hall, P.E. director of the Project Engineering and Review Division, in Project Finance and Construction Assistance (PFCA) at the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), Houston, TX, speak at the Aug. 13 Gulf Coast Trenchless Association meeting held at the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society Building.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

With Congress almost certain to pass a bill revising or eliminating its longstanding ban on offshore oil and gas drilling, interstate natural gas pipelines are trying to insure that any bill does not include an amendment setting up a national commission which would examine the adequacy of current federal policies governing the siting of natural gas infrastructure.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

While distribution companies and state regulators seem to be satisfied with the general outlines of the proposed distribution integrity management program (DIMP) announced on June 25 by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a number of questions are being raised by both groups about some of the proposal's murky details.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Pushed by a decision by a federal appeals court, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants to make changes in its respirator and training standards which will allow it to assess a penalty on a company on a per employee violation basis. A decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2005 said OSHA went beyond the language of those two standards in fining a Houston construction company for 11 violations of the asbestos standard, based on the fact that the company did not provide 11 employees with respirators or training for removing asbestos.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Major gas producers lost their battle to stop construction of the 506 mile Midcontinent Express Pipeline (MEP) when FERC cleared the project in late July.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Local sewage infrastructure projects would get a boost from legislation a House committee approved on July 30.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

Energy paints a complicated picture. Everybody’s got an opinion, but most are centered around getting prices back down; especially for gasoline but also for gas and electric. And the construction industry is caught in the middle.

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