Washington Watch

The fracking debate is moving forward on two separate stages in Washington. The Department of Energy's natural gas subcommittee is expected to make recommendations on fracking liquid disclosure in August.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) appears ready to propose a new standard on silica exposure which would have a major impact on underground construction companies.

Officials from the Obama administration are discussing whether the administration should review the data being used to support a forthcoming Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assessment that could label formaldehyde as a carcinogen in the wake of industry and other concerns, including a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel that criticized similar EPA claims.

The EPA sewer and drinking water construction budgets for the current fiscal 2011 year dropped precipitously in the final budget passed by Congress. Fiscal 2011 actually started last Oct. 1 but Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate had been unable to agree on a budget.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s water infrastructure congressional appropriations are destined to sink, maybe like stones, this year. Republicans and some Democrats want to severely cut the appropriations for both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds in fiscal year 2011, which started last Oct. 1.

Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, issued the following statement in response to the President’s call for new infrastructure investments during the State of the Union address.

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) has locked horns with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) over the agency's advisory bulletin on pipeline safety.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hearing on March 1-2 in Washington may push Congress to renew failed efforts from the fall of 2010 to upgrade pipeline safety laws. The hearings will air the NTSB's preliminary findings from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) pipeline explosion in California last September where seven people were killed.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Jan. 19 that it is withdrawing its proposed interpretation titled “Interpretation of OSHA’s Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is investigating the possibility that two interstate pipelines are charging unreasonable rates. The FERC opened mid-November investigations of Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission LLC and Ozark Gas Transmission LLC, a unit of Spectra Energy Partners LP., based on reviews of Form 2 cost of service and revenue information submitted by the two companies for 2008 and 2009.

Syndicate content