The Kansas Contractors Association is a professional association of contractors and those who provide supplies and services to the heavy, highway and utility construction industry. Working together, our members promote a better industry by advancing their level of skill, integrity and responsibility while improving the quality of life in our communities.
Message from Catherine Patrick, State Transportation Engineer:
As of January 30, 2018, the US District Court of Kansas terminated our September 5, 2013 Consent Decree with the Environment Protection Agency. The Consent Decree arose out of allegations that KDOT and its contractors violated the Clean Water Act and stormwater permit requirements on our road construction projects.
Thank you! This would have not been possible without the great work and support from all of you. I know everyone has spent considerable time, effort and expense in complying with the Consent Decree and managing our stormwater compliance program. Jason Van Nice, Stormwater Compliance Engineer, will provide additional details and guidance regarding our specifications as we move forward.
We responded in an active and conscientious manner and I know termination of the Consent Decree will not lessen our commitment to environment protection and compliance in Kansas.
For the March 1, 2018 Stormwater Update from Jason VanNice, please click here.
OSHA Begins Full Enforcement of the Silica in Construction Standard
On October 23, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) begins full enforcement of its respirable crystalline standard for construction. If your construction company operates under OSHA state-plans in one of 26 states or two territories, it is important that you check to see if your OSHA state-plan agency is following the federal OSHA’s lead with this enforcement policy.
Although AGC remains engaged in litigation against the rule in federal court, a final decision is not expected until 2018 at the earliest. As such, AGC continues to engage the Trump administration.
In the meantime, AGC recognizes that construction companies must abide by the silica regulation, because it is the law. That is why we developed the “Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction” webpage with a host of resources—sample forms, webinars, flowcharts, FAQs, and more—to help AGC members understand their compliance responsibilities. Please take advantage of those resources.
Details on Latest OSHA Enforcement Guidance
Late last week, OSHA issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators providing interim enforcement guidance for Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) commencing enforcement on October 23. The memorandum serves as interim enforcement guidance and expires when the standard’s companion compliance directive becomes effective and available to the field.
It is important to note, however, that the memorandum does not provide specific enforcement guidance on all the standard's provisions. In addition, due to the new requirements in 29 CFR 1926.1153, OSHA has revoked their National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica which provided guidance to CSHOs for targeting inspections of jobsites with the potential to generate elevated exposures to crystalline silica.
The memorandum outlines inspection guidance for CSHOs for both methods of compliance – Specified Exposure Control Methods (Table 1) and Alternative Exposure Control Methods (Performance and Scheduled Monitoring Options). During an inspection/investigation, CSHOs will:
The memorandum also approves the use of sweeping compounds (e.g., non-grit, oil- or waxed-based) as a housekeeping method; clarifies that the 30-day trigger to make medical examinations available to employees who will be required to wear a respirator for 30 or more days a year applies per employer (exposures with previous employers do not count toward the 30-day total); and outlines how exposure variability will be taken into consideration when comparing the results of employer and CSHO samples.
Although the memorandum does not include specific guidance on required employee information and training (paragraph (i)(2) of the standard), AGC encourages contractors to continue to ensure that employees covered by the standard are trained in accordance with the provisions outlined in the standard.
2017 Construction General Permit Update
KDHE has finalized and published the 2017 Construction General Permit. Please click here for highlights of the changes made from the 2012 permit. The permit and other supporting documents may be found on KDHE’s website http://www.kdheks.gov/stormwater/index.html#construct.
We will be updating the relevant special provisions and other documents to comply with this new permit for future projects. There have been significant changes to the inspection frequency and various other sections that will impact our operations.
Please remember that all projects currently in progress are still subject to the terms of the 2012 permit. We will discuss procedures for transitioning to the new permit conditions and make those decisions over the next few weeks.
If you have any questions please contact Jason Van Nice at the phone number below.
Jason Van Nice, PE