On Thursday, August 17, news sources began reporting that the Trump Administration will abandon its Advisory Council on Infrastructure that was formed in his July 19th Executive Order. This news comes from an unnamed White House official after President Trump disbanded both the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum in the wake of the Charlottesville, VA protests response.  

The Advisory Council on Infrastructure was intended to advise the administration on to fund, support, and deliver $1 trillion in infrastructure projects that President Trump campaigned on last fall. The President had tapped two New York developers to lead the council, but no other appointments had been made. Despite the disbanding of the council, senior White House officials still claim hope for an infrastructure panel this year.

NUCA will continue to  press the Administration and Congress for a comprehensive, robust infrastructure plan. While the disbanding of the council may be a setback for the plan, it may also be an opportunity to prioritize the water, sewer, transportation, and energy infrastructure upgrades that will make a significant and meaningfully positive impact on Americans daily lives and the economy.

INSURANCE ASSOCIATES has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by The Washington Post. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

 

“Insurance Associates is extremely proud to be named a Top Workplace in The Washington Post.  This is an honor and it is wonderful to see that so many of our employees are this passionate, engaged, and dedicated to the work that they do at IA,” said Stephen A. Spencer, President of Insurance Associates.

To read more about the Washington Post’s 2017 Top Workplaces, visit HERE.

 

Founded in 1956, Insurance Associates is an independent insurance agency serving the Mid-Atlantic region with offices in Rockville, Fairfax, Laurel, and Towson.  We are a locally owned company that prides itself on having one of the most competent, experienced, and longest tenured workforces of any agency in the area.  We advocate for our clients across a diverse range of products and services including Surety Bonding, Commercial Insurance, Employee Benefit Plans, Personal Insurance and Life Insurance.

The law firms of Rees Broome P.C. and Kasimer Pierce & Schaecher PC are pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2017 Joe Kasimer, Joe Pierce and Gina Schaecher will return to Rees Broome P.C.   Mr. Kasimer will be senior counsel to Rees Broome while Mr. Pierce and Ms. Schaecher will be counsel.    This merger will result in expanding Rees Broome’s existing construction law department to 10 attorneys while providing clients with the tax, corporate, transactional, trust & estate and real estate expertise available at Rees Broome.

The firm’s address will be changed to:

Rees Broome, P.C.

1900 Gallows Rd. Suite 700

Vienna, VA  22182

703-790-1911

703-848-2530 (fax)

The  primary contact will continue to be

Joseph Kasimer, Esq.

Jkasimer@Reesbroome.com

Yesterday, OSHA announced it would delay the enforcement of the crystalline silica standard until September 23, 2017. Originally the standard was slated to go into effect on June 23, 2017. The additional ninety days is a good thing for contractors.

In a news release, OSHA “has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard.” The unnecessarily complicated and infeasibility of this rule is one of the elements of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition’s (CISC), which NUCA is a member, legal suit against OSHA challenging this rule. In response to OSHA’s delay, the CISC released the following statement:

 

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition is pleased that OSHA has recognized the need to develop guidance material for the construction industry before enforcing the silica rule, and we remain committed to working with the agency to create a feasible standard that promotes safe and healthy jobsites.  While the CISC appreciates the 90-day delay in enforcement, the CISC remains concerned about the overall feasibility of the standard in construction and has requested that the Agency delay enforcement for a year.

We will continue to pursue legal avenues to stop the Crystalline Silica Standard from going into effect as is and will continue to explore other remedies.

The 2017 application deadline is May 27.


Available Scholarships

D.A. Foster Memorial Scholarship

$8,000 award ($2,000/year over four years)

NUCA $4,000 Scholarship

$4,000 award ($1,000/year over four years)

William & Shirley Burgett Scholarship

$2,000 one-time award

NUCA $1,000 Scholarship

$1,000 award ($500/year over two years for those enrolling in two-year programs)


Submission Criteria

Submission Deadline: May 27, 2017 by midnight (EST)

Eligibility: Any high school senior whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a NUCA member company in good standing at the time of the application deadline may apply. This includes dependents of employees of NUCA members, high school student employees of NUCA members, and dependents of NUCA Chapter Executive Directors.

Required Documentation:

  • – 3 Signatures: applicant, parent/guardian, and high school counselor
  • – Official transcript, signed by counselor
  • – SAT or ACT test score documentation, signed by counselor (not required for those entering a 2 year degree program)
  • – Signed letter of recommendation from a high school faculty member

 

How Applications Are Judged: Selections will be based on the overall worthiness of the applicant by a panel of judges chosen from NUCA membership by the NUCA Scholarship Committee. The Committee will consider standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, etc.), community service and extra-curricular activities, career goals, work experience, essay, and other information required in the application. Applications and transcripts will not be returned, and scoring will not be divulged. Judging decisions are final. Judges will decide impartially and without respect to the identity of any applicant. Judges will award the greatest value scholarship to the highest scoring applicant and award the remainder in descending order of value and merit. Judges will also select a first and second alternate in the event that an announced winner is subsequently disqualified or declines award prior to issuance of the award checks in the late summer. Alternates will not be announced.

Confidentiality of Applications: Information on the applications will be retained in confidence and used for no purpose other than this competition. Applications will be destroyed by NUCA after they are no longer necessary records. Applications and transcripts will not be returned. Please note that we ask permission to use winning applicants’ essays in NUCA publications, presentations and/or exhibits. Please sign the release where requested. If you are a winner, we will also request your photograph for use in these publications.

Award Notification: Applications will be judged and winners announced by Friday, July 14, 2017, and notified by phone and email shortly after.

New Company Helps Water Authorities Identify and Pinpoint Leaks in Underground Infrastructure

Technologies lead to greater operational efficiency and environmental responsibility

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Every day, U.S. water distribution systems lose approximately six billion gallons of clean, treated drinking water, much of that due to undetected leaks in aging, underground infrastructure. In total, U.S. water authorities lose more than two trillion gallons of water annually that they pump and treat but which never reach an end user. 1

A new company is helping water utilities find and pinpoint leaks in their distribution networks within a foot of the source, without having to dig large trenches or disrupt service to customers.

FlowNetworx, www.flownetworx.com, offers leak detection, leak pinpointing and water-pressure control technologies and expertise to help utilities stem revenue loss, lower operating costs and improve their environmental stewardship. The company is an affiliate of LB Water Service, Inc., a leading distributor of waterworks infrastructure products in the Mid-Atlantic region. FlowNextworx specializes in water-loss management, data collection and hosting, and wastewater metering and monitoring.

“What county, municipal and private water authorities don’t know about the hidden leaks in their distribution systems is hurting them,” said Shawn Pulford, president and chief executive officer of FlowNetworx. “Lost water is costing utilities a lot of money. It’s affecting their ability to comply with increasing environmental regulations, it’s affecting the efficiency of their operations, and it’s harming their bottom lines. We can help them address all of those issues.”

By finding and fixing leaks soon after they occur, water authorities can reduce their demands on rivers, streams, and aquifers, helping to slow what studies have shown to be a gradual lowering of the nation’s water table over the last two decades. A 2015 analysis by USA Today and The Desert Sun based on U.S. Geological Survey data of more than 32,000 wells nationwide over a 20-year period showed that water levels declined in 64 percent of the wells in the database. The findings also showed that, even in parts of the country where rainfall and snowmelt have helped to offset pumping from aquifers, there have been significant declines, including in traditionally “wet” states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Florida.2

“When a utility is losing 20 or 30 percent of the water it’s processing – a statistic that, until recently, was considered to be acceptable in the waterworks industry, that utility is pumping, treating and transporting a lot of excess water just to be able to keep up with customer demand,” said John Brutz, general manager for FlowNetworx. “Over time, that can lead not only to huge operational inefficiencies but also significant environmental impacts.”

First with LB Water and now with FlowNetworx, Brutz and his “leak team” have worked with multiple counties, municipalities and private water authorities to help the water providers identify the problem areas in their distribution systems. According to Brutz, utilities are aware that they’re losing water, but many have little idea as to exactly how much, or from where, until information gleaned from leak-detection and pinpointing technologies shows them.

“One Pennsylvania municipality we’re working with was shocked to discover it was losing 82 percent of the water it processed,” said Brutz.

Nearly all of the technology FlowNetworx offers is manufactured by Milford, Ohio-based Fluid Conservation Systems, the North American leader in water leak detection, water network monitoring, and energy management solutions. Products include data loggers and correlators, ground microphones and water pressure modulation equipment as well as the company’s modular communications platform, OmniColl, and cloud-based hosting software, DataGate. With OmniColl and DataGate, counties, municipalities and building management companies can monitor thousands of data points, including water flow, pressure and leakage; temperature; humidity; carbon dioxide levels; electricity and natural gas levels; and other building or city management variables as often as every 15 minutes from any Internet-enabled device.

FlowNetworx is the only authorized provider of Fluid Conservation Systems’ technologies in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Initially, FlowNetworx will focus its efforts primarily in states where its personnel originally began offering water loss management solutions under the LB Water brand, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Ohio, New York, and New Jersey. The company also offers wastewater metering and monitoring technologies and water-flow measuring equipment for district metered areas in these territories.

FlowNetworx officials plan to phase-in most of the company’s offerings in its other contracted markets, including Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

# # #

1 American Society for Civil Engineers, 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, March 2017.

2James, Ian and Reilly, Steve. “Pumped beyond limits, many U.S. aquifers in decline.” The Desert Sun 10 December 2015.

About FlowNetworx

FlowNetworx is a premier environmental and data solutions provider that works with county, municipal and private water authorities and companies to help them become more efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible. FlowNetworx focuses on issues involving water-loss management, wastewater metering and monitoring, and data acquisition and hosting. As an affiliate of LB Water, it is a 100-percent employee-owned organization. Visit the FlowNetworx website at www.flownetworx.com.

About LB Water

LB Water is a value-added distributor of waterworks products for the Mid-Atlantic region, including water infrastructure, water-metering technologies, sanitary & storm sewers, and erosion control products. LB Water is a 100-percent, employee-owned company that was voted among the Top 100 Places to Work in Pennsylvania for two consecutive years. Founded in 1970 by Lehman B. Mengel, under the leadership of Jim App, Walt VanNuys, and Bill Everly Sr., the company has continued to expand and currently employs approximately 200 people at eight locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Visit the LB Water website at www.lbh2o.com.
About Fluid Conservation Systems

FCS, a division of Halma Water Management, is the North American industry leader in water leak detection technology. FCS was the first organization to patent leak correlation technology, and today its products are installed with over 1,000 utilities throughout the United States. FCS and HWM offer the products and services of four well-established brands: Palmer Environmental, Radcom Technologies, Radio-Tech and Fluid Conservation Systems. Visit the FCS website at www.fluidconservation.com

FCS is part of the Halma group of companies. Halma makes products for hazard detection and life protection and is a market leader in specialist electronic, safety and environmental technologies. Visit the Halma web site at www.halma.com.

In his first presidential address to Congress Tuesday night, Donald Trump laid out much of his legislative agenda.
During this address, Trump said “the time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.” “America has spent approximately $6 trillion in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this $6 trillion we could have rebuilt our country — twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.”
Congress will be asked to approve legislation that would allocate $1 trillion to U.S. infrastructure, which Trump estimates would create millions of new jobs.
The funds are forecasted to come from both public and private capital. “This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and hire American,” Trump said. Experts say the United States needs a huge increase in public infrastructure spending.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the country’s infrastructure a grade of D+ and says $3.6 trillion in spending is required by 2020.
The Administration will likely find support for this infrastructure package.  According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 75% of Americans want the federal government to increase infrastructure spending.

White Paper released by NUCA

February 1, 2017

Preparing for Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

The Foundation
While running for President in 2016, Donald Trump promised to ‘Make America Great Again’ in part
by rebuilding America’s infrastructure. On October 22, 2016 candidate Trump unveiled his ‘Contract
with the American Voter’, outlining his plan for his first 100 days in office, which includes plans to
spend $1 trillion in infrastructure investment and open avenues for energy infrastructure investment.
Also in October, the Trump campaign released the Ross-Navarro Plan illustrating Trump’s plan to utilize
tax credits to encourage private investment in infrastructure. On November 29, 2016, President-Elect
Trump nominated Elaine Chao, who served as Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush and
Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Peace Corps under President George H.W. Bush,
to be his Transportation Secretary. On December 20, 2016, President-Elect Trump’s transition team
announced the creation of an ‘Infrastructure Task Force’ to manage the new President’s plan to spend up
to $1 trillion on infrastructure projects. On January 13, 2017, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he
will be appointing Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, two New York real estate developers, to co-chair
the oversight of project selection and spending under Trump’s infrastructure plan. On January 20, 2017,
Trump and his running-mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, were sworn in, kicking off the Trump
Administration.
The Plans
President Trump has repeatedly expressed desire to invest in American infrastructure. He has repeatedly
cited $1 trillion as the size of the plan he prefers. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said publicly any
infrastructure plan will be discussed when Congress completes the Fiscal Year 2017 budget process
in late April in order to carve out funds for the legislation. On January 24, 2017, Senate Democrats
unveiled their infrastructure proposal ahead of Republicans or the White House.
The Costs
While details of President Trump’s infrastructure plan have not yet been unveiled, the $1 trillion figure
makes finding the funds for the plan a particularly large challenge. It is very likely paying for any
plan will have multiple streams and sources, which will, in and of themselves be subject to debate and
negotiation.
Funding vs. Financing
Specifically, the plan’s success will depend on how it balances funding and financing to accumulate
enough support for passage. Funding describes the federal dollars directed to (or funding) infrastructure
projects, and is generally more favored by Democrats, while financing refers to the dollars leveraged
to finance infrastructure projects, and generally favored by Republicans. Below, listed from most
funding oriented to most financing oriented, are the most popular proposals for mitigating the cost of an
infrastructure plan.
Preparing for Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
Direct spending/stimulus- Funding infrastructure projects through direct spending or stimulus would
direct Treasury dollars toward, presumably, specific projects or programs for building infrastructure.
In order for this method to work legislatively, stimulus dollars would likely require a monetary offset.
Essentially, if Congress decides to utilize direct spending for the $1 trillion President Trump has
suggested for infrastructure spending, $1 trillion in cuts will have to come from somewhere else in the
federal budget.
Tax Reform-Any discussion about taxes in America automatically becomes riddled with complexity;
infrastructure funding is no exception. There have been discussions on Capitol Hill for a number of
years surrounding undertaking tax-reform, specifically of the business and international tax code, as a
way to find money for government spending such as infrastructure.
Corporate– Corporate tax reform that has been proposed by President Trump and GOP lawmakers
in Congress includes lowering the corporate rates to around 15%, which would require eliminating,
or at least significantly scaling back, tax-write-offs and credits. In doing so, legislation could
dedicate tax streams to infrastructure such as the Highway Trust Fund or a newly created
infrastructure bank to ensure a permanent funding source. However, there is no promise that
infrastructure will receive a dedicated stream of revenue, and every interest the government
currently funds will come with their hand out looking for special treatment.
International- President Trump has repeatedly discussed changing the international tax code to
better benefit American businesses. For the infrastructure, this largely means creating a reasonable
process or incentive for U.S. companies to repatriate, or bring back to America, some or part
of their overseas-held cash. In repatriating, some or all of the tax burden could be directed
toward transportation and infrastructure accounts. If not included in a wider tax reform package,
repatriation is being discussed as a ‘tax-holiday’ which would have the same effect, but simply be a
one-time infusion of cash into transportation and infrastructure building accounts.
Private Funding– President Trump has repeatedly cited using private dollars to build infrastructure.
The President’s comments indicate he would like to use tax credits or greater utilize already-existing
mechanisms to persuade private industry to invest in infrastructure. President Trump has proposed
$137 billion in tax credits for investors who help finance infrastructure projects. Private Activity Bonds
(PABs) or Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) could facilitate greater private investments. PABs allow
private investment in different types of infrastructure by making interest earned on the investment
principle exempt from income or capital gains taxation. PPPs are joint venture partnerships between
public and private entities to finance large infrastructure project by sharing the risk, costs, and financial
gains. In order for PPPs to be effective and attractive to private investors, there must be mechanism for a
return on the investment, such as tolling on roads or metering increases for water projects, which is often difficult to create or predict with public infrastructure.
The Engineering
Almost as important as figuring out the cost and pay-for structure of the bill is engineering the
mechanisms for putting the funding to work. Determining what constitutes infrastructure, identifying
infrastructure projects, and getting the dollars out the door are the primary objectives.
What is Infrastructure- Any infrastructure bill will have to define the infrastructure intended to be
addressed in specific terms. As an example of why specificity is needed, the term ‘transportation
infrastructure’ could mean highways or it could mean bike paths, which are very different in terms of
cost, benefit, and economic demand generation. Defining infrastructure is important in order to ensure
that less glamorous or observable upgrades, like sewer system upgrades or water treatment facilities,
are not crowded out by high-profile projects like highways and bridges.
NUCA’s Position: Infrastructure must be defined to include water treatment, delivery, and utilization
infrastructure. Despite other forms of infrastructure being arguably more glamorous, water infrastructure provides one of the highest returns on investment, significant economic demand generation, and is essentialto public health and safety.

Identifying Infrastructure projects– The term ‘shovel ready’, which was used to describe projects
that were ready for construction in selling the 2009 Stimulus Package (but turned out not to be quite
so ready), will and should be a much more scrutinized term in any infrastructure plan. Identifying
the infrastructure projects that receive consideration and funding will likely be a new process. State
Governors and Legislatures will likely be asked to identify a specific number of projects, either by
number or cost, that could begin construction within a short, predetermined, period of time after the
legislation is enacted. Congress will then have the ability to vet and approve projects for their benefits,
cost-effectiveness, and economic attributes.
NUCA’s position: State and local lawmakers know better than Washington which areas of infrastructure
improvements are needed most in their areas. Lawmakers should take politics out of the process and allow the projects of the greatest need and economic benefit in each state to receive priority funding.
Getting Dollars to the Projects– As a result of the 2009 Stimulus Package, lawmakers are much more sensitive to ensuring tax-dollars are utilized for their intended purpose, so ensuring that dollars reach their intended recipients will be a point of debate. There are currently existing programs that are
designed for financing infrastructure projects, such as TIGER grants for transportation projects and
State Revolving Funds (SRFs) for water infrastructure projects that are both effective and popular. The
creation of an infrastructure bank or a water trust fund have been discussed for as a conduit for federal
dollars to reach local infrastructure projects, but would take time to set up and create a bureaucracy
that would delay dollars from reaching the projects. It is likely that the Trump infrastructure plan will
utilize both existing channels and create new ones, especially if tax reform dollars become the dedicated
funding source.
NUCA’s Position: NUCA supports the creation of dedicated and sustainable funding mechanisms,
insulated from the federal appropriations process, to combat long-term funding shortfalls. In the short
term, there are trusted programs that should be utilized to funnel dollars to projects such as the SRFs.
Getting Dirty
While there remains a lot about the infrastructure program that we do not fully know, there are some
things, mentioned above, that we do know and should begin preparing to address. Our primary objective
is to ensure that water and underground infrastructure is not left out. Visually or politically appealing
projects will undoubtedly be a part of the final mix, but we must also convince our lawmakers of the
job-creation, economic, and health and safety benefits of investing in water infrastructure projects.
As mentioned above, project selection is likely to come from the state and local level, meaning our
members need to be meeting with state legislators, governors, and planning commissions to ensure that
decision-makers at the local level understand the value and need for water infrastructure projects. Our
second objective is to make Congress act. Infrastructure needs are too great and public support is too
high to allow Congress to play politics or get away with their recent propensity for not backing their talk
with action. NUCA must push Congress, through outreach, meetings, coalitions, and grassroots action,
to make progress by regularly and consistently applying pressure to lawmakers at the state and federal
level.

Pre-Bid meeting for Purple Line Projects

 Session 3 – WSSC Water and Sewer Line, Washington Gas Light lines,   UMD/MEDCO Steam Lines   Tuesday, January 31, 2017     9:00am to 11:00am

  Location: PLTC Project Offices

 6811 Kenilworth Ave., Riverdale, MD 20737
  1st Floor – Training Room 
  •   27,000 LF of Waterline relocations (2″- 66″)
  •  13,000 LF of Sanitary Sewer line relocations
  •  22,000 LF of Gas line relocations (2″ – 22″)
  •  1,700 LF of Steam line relocations

 

The primary project contact  for additional information or questions is:

 Keith Beever l Purple Line Transit Constructors l Contracts

keith.beever@pltcllc.com M:573.629.8739

6811 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 200, Riverdale, MD 20737

Today’s symposium on the January 13 – January 24 Suspension of Work was incredibly well attended.  Over a dozen NUCA members had multiple representatives in attendance, along with General Contractors such as Clark, Balfour Beatty and more.

Presenting at the meeting were DDOT, Metro Police Department, OSHA, DCRA and the Secret Service.

The details on the Exemption process:

*Exemptions are allowed for cause in limited cases
*Exemption requests must be submitted by Friday, January 6
*Exemptions requests must be submitted by email to elliott.garrett@dc.gov

*Include the word “Exemption” in the title of the email

The Exemption request must include the following information:
  • Public Space permit number(s) for the work zone
     Construction Permits
Occupancy Permits
  • Location of work zone
  • Day(s) and Hours for the exemption
  • Nature/phase of work taking place during the exemption
  • Basis/rationale for the exemption
  • 24 hour emergency contact name, phone number, and email address
Other key items:
All work sites MUST be secured with adequate fencing and/or barriers
Control site access and require proper identification on site
Lock all gates and doors after hours
You must properly remove, secure or store all small or portable equipment
You must properly remove, secure or store all hazardous materials
Ensure sites are properly lighted
Ensure sites are properly alarmed, monitored and/or provided with private security
Ensure all vehicles on site are locked and the keys are stored in a separate site, away from the vehicles
NOTE that Secret Service may install additional fencing around sites in the secure perimiter
Secret Service personnel must be able to gain 24×7 access to a site in the perimeter
A foreman or site manager must be available  to
      *Address any concerns of the Secret Service Zone Agents or sweep teams
      *Possess ability and authority to remove or secure items of concern
      *Possess keys/codes to open any locked containers or structures

The meeting today was newsworthy – WJLA (Channel 7) had a camera crew and reporter on site, and produced a report which included statements from NUCA of DC members Victoria Leonard of Maliuna and Pedro Alfonso of DCI.  See the entire report at this link:

http://wjla.com/news/local/construction-work-in-dc-to-be-restricted-between-mlk-day-and-inauguration

Emphasis was made at the meeting by several individuals that coordination and planning could have been better to minimize the negative economic impact to the contractors of Washington DC.  We will continue to pursue this issue, and work to to reduce the potential impacts of future suspensions of work for the utility contracting community of Metropolitan Washington.