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Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.

House Committee Passes Bill Restricting EPA Clean Water Rule


AFS is deeply concerned about the

Agency’s (EPA) controversial Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule now moving into the final stages of the interagency review process before finalization, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved legislation, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, by a vote of 36-22. Te measure, supported by AFS, would send EPA’s proposed rule redefining federal jurisdic- tion under the Clean Water Act back to the drawing board. Te full House of Representatives was expected to vote on the measure in late April. Specifically, the bill would stop the

proposed rule (or final rule, if it’s final- ized before bill passage) and force EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to re-consult with state and local governments, as well as industry, before issuing a new proposed rule.


Major Changes to Rules Governing Union Elections in Effect

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) final rule governing the process- ing of representation petitions became effective Tuesday, April 14. The rule alters the majority of the Board’s repre- sentation election procedures and will significantly shorten the time between the filing of a certification petition and the conduct of an NLRB election. Although legal challenges to the rule are pending in two federal district courts, for now, the rule is in effect and the NLRB will apply it to petitions filed after April 14.

Some of the key changes in the final NLRB election rule are the following: • Requires all pre-election hearings to be set to begin within eight days after a hearing notice is issued.

• Mandates employers file a “State- ment of Position” by noon on the

20 | MODERN CASTING May 2015

day before the hearing begins. The Statement of Position must include a list of prospective voters with their names, job classifications, work shifts and work locations.

• Requires an employer to provide, within two business days of the election agreement or decision directing an election, employee personal telephone numbers and personal email addresses. The NLRB has provided details on the rule on its website and the NLRB’s General Counsel has issued guidance on implementation of the rule at http:// counsel-memos.

Congress Approves Mini Energy Efficiency Bill

In April, lawmakers passed a mod- est energy efficiency bill sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jean

Shaheen (D-N.H.). The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his approval. The measure includes three provisions: 1. Promote commercial building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure.

2. Establish a voluntary “Tenant Star” program to promote energy efficiency in rental properties.

3. Adjust efficiency standards for “grid-connected” water heaters, so that water heaters needed for demand response and thermal storage programs can continue to be sold.

In the meantime, House and Senate committees were set to debate a broad array of energy efficiency bills, with the goal of agreeing on a comprehensive energy package.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Off ice,


rulemaking jointly proposed by EPA and the Corps to vastly expand the amount of “waters”—and adjacent land areas—that are under federal control. Tis proposed rule would make routine operations at facilities subject to federal

permitting and lengthy environmental reviews for the first time. For example, the rule would redefine industrial ditches as “tributaries.” Work in stormwater re- tention ponds and onsite impoundments also will trigger dredge and fill and point source discharge permits.

Under EPA’s proposed rule, work in stormwater retention ponds could trigger new permits.

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