Capitol Update – 09/03/2021
Alternative Management Standards (AMS) for Treated Wood Waste
Governor Signs AB 332 – Treated Wood Waste
DTSC has posted new updates on the handling of treated wood waste following the Governor’s signing of AB 332 (Chapter 147, Statutes of 2021) on August 31. AB 332 adopts new Alternative Management Standards (AMS) for treated wood waste. Because of the adoption of the new Alternative Management Standards, all treated wood variances issued by DTSC since March 2021 are now inoperative and have no further effect. Variances are unnecessary since they have been replaced by the new AMS standards. DTSC is in the process of updating its website to reflect the changes now that AB 332 has passed – Check the webpage for further updates. COALITION LETTER ATTACHED FOR YOUR REVIEW.
If you have any questions about the TWW variance process, please refer to the information on DTSC’s website, such as the TWW fact sheet and FAQs or send an email to TWW_help@dtsc.ca.gov.
Treated Wood Waste Webpage https://dtsc.ca.gov/toxics-in-products/treated-wood-waste/
Payroll employment rises by 235,000 in August; unemployment rate declines to 5.2%
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in August, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing, and other services. Retail trade lost jobs.
Surcharges for unvaccinated workers gain momentum
The strategy that requires unvaccinated employees to pay more for health insurance is seen as one way to keep workers safe — if it works. Frustrated by the emergence of the delta variant and a U.S. vaccination rate that has barely budged in the last few months, some employers are seeking alternatives. First came incentives. Employers that sought to encourage vaccination offered employees paid time off, gift cards or other direct forms of payment, such as paying for transportation to and from a vaccination site. These incentives were particularly prevalent within industries dependent on in-person work, such as foodservice and retail. Now, however, the focus has shifted toward a strategy commonly associated with smoking: health plan surcharges. Inquiries about increasing health insurance contribution costs for employees who choose not to get vaccinated are increasing, according to Wade Symons, partner at HR consulting firm Mercer and co-leader of its regulatory resource group. After first hearing murmurs from employers about vaccination surcharges, Symons said Mercer has been getting “at least one inquiry a day, sometimes more, about this concept.”
Bay Area Council Recommends Private Sector Vaccine Requirement
The Bay Area Council today announced we are recommending that all private sector businesses and organizations require COVID-19 vaccines for their on-site employees and customers, wherever possible. The decision to support a vaccine requirement came during a special meeting of the Council’s Executive Committee under the leadership of Chair Kausik Rajgopal and at the recommendation of the Council’s Healthcare Committee. Read the statement>> Many employers, including Council members Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Google, United and Facebook, among others, already have begun to put in place vaccine requirements for their workforces and businesses. The state under the leadership of Gov. Newsom has also invoked vaccine requirements for many key frontline government workers. But it’s critical that all employers adopt similar requirements, particularly as the delta variant now sweeping through the ranks of the more than 11 million unvaccinated residents statewide threatens to derail plans for returning to offices and other workplaces, getting back on transit and engaging the many other public and social activities that have been put on hold. While masking, physical distancing and testing are important and must continue, the science is indisputable that vaccines are safe and represent the surest and fastest way to slow the spread of the pandemic, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths, and get us back on track to fully and safely reopen our economy.
LA approves 100% clean energy by 2035 target, a decade ahead of prior goal
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, in line with President Biden’s national goals and a decade earlier than the city originally planned. The LA100 plan would see the city replace its natural gas electricity generation with wind, solar and battery storage, while also improving energy efficiency and transmission. It was approved by the city council in a 12-0 vote. The council also approved an equitable hiring plan, which instructs the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to increase hiring from environmentally and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and focus on “ensuring project labor agreements, prevailing wage and targeted hiring requirements” for clean energy jobs. The city anticipates creating some 9,500 new jobs as part of the transition.
CSLB Holds Online BESS Workshop and Answers Frequently Asked BESS Questions
CSLB will hold an online battery energy storage system (BESS) workshop on Friday, September 17, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m., to address application or scope of work/classification questions.
Meeting Link: https://cslb.webex.com/cslb/j.php?MTID=m0fe62a957e0e941ed0a18f28d5edec53 Friday, Sep 17, 2021, 3:00 pm | 1 hour | (UTC-07:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) Event number: 2556 472 8621 Event password: BPxcxn3Pf77 (27929637 from phones)
Delta variant ‘significantly’ slowing construction recovery, economist says
National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.1% in July, a decrease of 4.2% from last year at this time, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published Sept. 1 by the U.S. Census Bureau. While the data suggests that commercial construction spending was effectively flat in July, the numbers are “meaningfully worse than they appear,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a press release. When adjusting for inflation, the volume of construction services delivered by the U.S. commercial contractors actually declined in July, he said. The reasons for the decrease are many, Basu said, and include higher materials prices and worsening skills shortages. In addition, many project owners are delaying jobs due to elevated costs. “With COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc on supply chains, materials prices and transportation costs are set to remain elevated well into 2022. The result is that the construction recovery is significantly slower than it would otherwise be,” he said.
US construction spending up 0.3% in July
Rising demand and higher prices combined to push US construction spending to a 0.3% gain in July, the Commerce Department reported. That included a 0.5% gain in the residential sector, while other sectors were up 0.1%. Full Story: MarketWatch (tiered subscription model)
OFCCP publishes new Corporate Scheduling Announcement List
Today, OFCCP published the latest Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) for construction contractors, which is comprised of 400 federal contractors, federally assisted contractors and subcontractors. The CSAL is a courtesy notification providing contractors at least 45-days advance notice to prepare for the compliance evaluation. OFCCP encourages contractors to take advantage of the suite of compliance assistance offerings and to contact their local field and regional offices for technical assistance in preparation for the evaluation. Additionally, federal contractors can visit the OFCCP website to find a list of virtual compliance assistance events. OFCCP has published the methodology for developing the list as well as frequently asked questions (FAQs) where answers to other matters related to the topic are included. If a contractor believes they should not be selected for evaluation, they must send an email to the OFCCP Scheduling Mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org. OFCCP will respond to the inquiry promptly.
California Builders Alliance