Washington Watch

Republicans in Congress are working to pass legislation which would set aside a new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers joint rule which makes it more expensive to build pipelines in areas containing streams and other small bodies of water.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new rule in May which, for the first time, sets regulatory standards for employers whose employees work in confined spaces in a construction setting.

Key House members berated the federal pipeline safety agency in advance of upcoming efforts by Congress to reauthorize federal pipeline safety laws.

There is $5 million in President Obama's proposed fiscal 2016 budget for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), the new program Congress established in 2014 to supplement lagging funding for the sewer and drinking water state revolving funds (SRFs).

Employees across planning, engineering and program management firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) celebrated Earth Day 2015 with nation-wide volunteer efforts.

Major gas producers are opposing an initiative by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow interstate gas transmission companies to use what are called "trackers" to raise revenue for infrastructure projects which respond to federal environmental and safety requirements.

President Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 has $478 billion in new spending for infrastructure over six years, but little or none of that would go to sewer and drinking water work, not that Congress will approve the tax increases to pay for it anyway.

The interstate pipeline industry is pushing back hard against a proposal to require companies to submit much broader, more detailed pipeline location information.

Gas producers and pipelines seem to be in general agreement about a FERC proposal to improve coordination between gas suppliers and electric transmission providers.

The ascent of Republicans to majority status in the U.S. Senate in 2015 means the pipeline industry will be able to play more effective defense against Obama administration regulations it opposes and more effective offense behind energy legislation it supports.

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