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International Operating Engineer - Summer 2019

  • Text
  • Infrastructure
  • Pipeline
  • Engineer
  • Apprenticeship
  • Iuoe
The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers

Politics & Legislation

Politics & Legislation ...Continued from page 17 expire in 2020 and will need to be reauthorized along with revenue to make up for the significant shortfall in the highway trust fund. The key Senate committee was poised to take up its version of the highway bill before the August recess. (see related story on page 16) Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of the main allies on the House Ways and Means Committee, delivered remarks on infrastructure financing and the FAST Act from the House perspective. The Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act is bipartisan bill, handled in the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, and authorizes .5 billion to improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure. The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act, another bipartisan bill introduced by members of the House T&I Committee, enables the expenditure of approximately billion over the next decade, which will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge all Federal harbors to their constructed widths and depths. The Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America (LIFT) Act, moving through the House Energy and Commerce Committee, includes provisions for broadband, natural gas pipeline leaks, energy grid, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, safe drinking water, brownfields, and renewables. Pipeline permitting and safety was also an important issue at the conference. Neil Chatterjee, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, gave remarks on his leadership at FERC and addressed state abuse of the 401 Water Quality Certifications under the Clean Water Act. One of the timeliest sessions at the conference addressed the implications of the Trump administration’s new proposed rule on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, or IRAPs. A panel gave an overview of the national Building Trades campaign to push back on the rule and the critical role the IUOE will play safeguarding apprenticeship programs across all the trades. This rule, currently open for comment at the Department of Labor would create a separate system of apprenticeship, outside the current system of accountability by State Apprenticeship Councils or the DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship. The IRAP rule is a major threat to training standards and a major attack on Davis-Bacon prevailing wages. (see related story on page 6) [left] General President Callahan (right) introduced House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to attendees of the IUOE Legislative Conference. 18 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SUMMER 2019 19

International Operating Engineer

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