EPA Urged to Decline California Request to Impose Billions in New Costs on Devastated U.S. Construction Industry
August 18, 2009

In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Associated General Contractors (AGC) writes, "Construction companies nationwide will suffer significant financial losses and more construction workers will lose their jobs if the federal government allows California to proceed with plans to impose retroactive emissions standards on diesel construction equipment."

"Letting California punish contractors for purchasing equipment that met all emissions standards then in effect would devastate construction employment nationwide far more than it would help the environment," says Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC's chief executive officer. "States would be hard pressed to find a better way to undermine the stimulus than forcing contractors to throw away billions in perfectly good equipment."

Noting that California officials could not have foreseen current economic conditions or the impact they are having on construction emissions, Sandherr says the state already has agreed to assess how the economic downturn has changed the situation. He adds that until the state completes that assessment, it is impossible to know if California's rule, which would cost contractors an estimated $13 billion to implement, would have significant environmental benefits. Meanwhile, construction employment has declined 17.5 percent statewide in the last 12 months alone.

According to a new analysis released by the association today, 32 states, including Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, are likely to impose similar retroactive emissions requirements on construction equipment if EPA approves California's retroactive emissions standards.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the letter to the EPA.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the new analysis of states likely to follow in California's wake.

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