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IMA-NA Supports New Investment in US Infrastructure

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 3, 2017

IMA-NA along with 391 other stakeholders and industries sent a letter to President Drumpf and Congress supporting the development and passage of an infrastructure investment initiative.The broad base of support includes national organizations as well as state and local groups from all 50 states. The united voice behind the letter demonstrates the far reaching support to bring the infrastructure in the United States into the 21st century. Today, Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) began the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America, by referencing the letter. 

IMA-NA supports a reinvestment in US infrastructure and commends both President Drumpf and Congress for working to prioritize initiatives to update, repair, and improve infrastructure across the country. 

To read the letter please download the attachment. 

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  administration  infrastructure  legislation  letter  Trump 

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First Friday Ask IMA - This Friday

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, January 31, 2017

IMA-NA will be convening First Friday's Ask IMA this Friday, February 3rd at 1:00pm EST. Following the Inauguration on January 20th, Donald Trump's Administration is officially underway. IMA-NA staff will take the opportunity this Friday to review the legislative, regulatory, and executive actions that could impact our industry in the coming months. We'll discuss IMA-NA's upcoming actions to represent the interests of the industrial minerals industry and answer any questions participants have on recent happenings in DC.

To Register Click Here. 

Tags:  administration  first friday  legislation  member outreach  outreach  Regulations  Trump 

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House Passes Bills to Expand Congressional Oversight of Regulatory Actions

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, January 6, 2017

This week the U.S. House of Representatives took their the first actions in the 115th Congress to address the regulatory agenda of the past 8 years. The House voted on and passed both the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act or H.R.26) almost completely along party lines. When taken together H.R. 21 and H.R. 26 allow Congress greater influence and oversight over both the last regulations to come out of the Obama Administration and future proposed regulations. Over the last 8 years, the Republican Caucus has consistently criticized and challenged the regulatory overreach promulgated under the Obama Administration; passage of H.R. 21 and H.R. 26 were in line with the start of this new congressional session. 

The Midnight Rules Relief Act will amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow lawmakers to bundle together multiple rules and overturn them en masse with a joint resolution of disapproval, if it passes the Senate. The CRA would apply to regulations put forward for review within the last 60 legislative days of the 114th Congressional Session. Opponents of the bill argue that it will result in the overturning of regulations without considering the merits of individual regulations, while sponsor Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) sees the action as streamlining the process of the CRA.

The REINS Act, true to its name, aims to curb the ability of agencies to promulgate unnecessary or overly burdensome regulations without Congress's sign off. Should the REINS Act pass the Senate and be signed into law, It would require Congressional approval of regulations, with an impact of $100 million or more on the economy, for them to take effect. 

These two bills would provide either more necessary oversight over the regulatory agencies or eat into the autonomy and power of the executive branch, depending on one's view of the jurisdictional limitations of the different branches of government. 

To read the Midnight Rules Relief Act click here.

To read the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 click here. 

Tags:  115th Congress  administration  Congress  GOP  House  legislation  overregulation  regulations  regulators  REINS 

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Endangered Species Coalition Lists Greater Sage Grouse as a Priority Species for Trump Administration

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 22, 2016

On Wednesday, the Endangered Species Coalition (Coalition) released it's "Top Ten” list of species in need of strong conservation measures. The report is targeted at the incoming Trump Administration as a way to influence the conservation agenda of the new President.  Despite the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Fish and Wildlife) decision in 2015 to remove the Greater Sage-Grouse from the Endangered species candidate list, the Coalition flagged Greater Sage-Grouse as a species in need of increased conservation efforts. Fish and Wildlife withdrew the Sage Grouse from consideration following the successful implementation of conservation efforts on the state level. The decision was made following the  "unprecedented conservation partnership across the western United States that [...] significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat."  The Coalition's report demonstrates a renewed interest from the environmental and conservation groups to elevate the listing of the Sage Grouse with the hope of taking millions of acres offline for development of any kind. While it is unlikely the Trump Administration would reopen the recent decision on the Sage Grouse it is important to note the species is still on the radar of conservation groups. 

To read the full report click here

Tags:  administration  conservation  Endangered Species  Fish and Wildlife  FWS  Greater Sage Grouse  regulations  sage grouse 

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Representative Ryan Zinke Tapped to be Secretary of Interior

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 16, 2016

On Thursday, President Elect Trump announced his nomination of Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) for the position of Secretary of Interior in his Cabinet. The choice of the single term Representative from Montana demonstrated President Elect Trump's willingness to appoint Cabinet positions to unexpected choices.Previously, meetings with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) seemed to indicate she would be the President Elect's nominee for the Department of Interior.

Prior to winning the Montana At-Large congressional seat in 2014, Rep. Zinke had an illustrious and long career as a Navy Seal. Rep. Zinke served the country for 22 years (1986-2008) in various capacities within the Navy Seal program. Upon leaving the Navy Rep. Zinke stepped into the state political arena, where he served as a state Senator from 2009-2011. In his time as Montana's At-Large Representative, Zinke served on the House Committee of Natural Resources and the Committee on Armed Services. In his relatively short political career, Rep. Zinke has styled himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican who aims to balance conservation with reasonable federal land use. As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Zinke supports responsible stewardship of our public lands. He was a vocal opponent of the designating the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered species, a move that would have severely undercut land usage out west. 

Based on his record in the 114th Congress, Rep. Zinke appears to be a champion for balancing business, community, economic, and conservation needs across the United States. IMA-NA is looking forward to welcoming Rep. Zinke as the Secretary of Interior following his confirmation.

Tags:  administration  appointee  department of interior  Greater Sage Grouse  nominee  president  sage grouse  Secretary of Interior  transition team  Trump  Zinke 

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EPA Releases Study on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Tuesday, the EPA released its long-awaited final report evaluating the available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources.  It also identified factors that affect the frequency and severity of those impacts.  While EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, it implicitly found that it did not in other circumstances. The final report deviates from the first version, which stated unequivocally that there was "no evidence that fracking systemically contaminates water". Thomas A. Burke, the E.P.A.’s science adviser, and deputy assistant administrator of the agency’s Office of Research and Development, addressed the change by stating EPA scientists couldn't quantitatively support the former conclusion.  Mr. Burke did go on to highlighting the data gaps and uncertainties that existed in the study which limited its ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources and could not fully characterize the severity of impacts. Additionally, EPA stated it could neither calculate nor estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources. 

It's important to note that the report will contribute to the conversation surrounding the incoming Administration's stated policy to decrease regulations and increase investment in natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing. 

Additional information on the 666-page final report can be accessed through this link.

Tags:  administration  EPA  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  Regulations  study 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.

 

Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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Foundry Sand Beneficial Use Webinars February 10 & 18

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, February 5, 2016
Updated: Friday, February 5, 2016

The American Foundry Society (AFS) is presenting a free webinar series covering U.S. EPA’s recent study on the beneficial use of foundry sand. The idea of beneficial use for metalcasters has gained continued traction across the country, and the release of U.S. EPA’s Risk Assessment of Spent Foundry Sands in Soil Related Applications provides significant opportunity for the metalcasting industry to promote and reform beneficial use rules.

 The first of two webinars in this series will summarize the risk assessment, discuss why it is important to you, and show how various foundry groups have been using the risk assessment to advance beneficial use in their states. 


Presenters are Greg Kramer, corporate environmental engineer, ME Global Inc.; Dan Oman, principal consultant, Haley & Aldrich; Bryant Esch, environmental coordinator, Waupaca Foundry; and Mike Lenahan, vice president of sales, Fairmount Santrol.

 

Register Here For Part 1 Register Here For Part 2

Tags:  administration  American Foundry Society  EPA  industrial sand  webinars 

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NIOSH Announces New Leadership for Spokane Mining Research Division

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, February 5, 2016

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has appointed Dr. Eric A. Lutz as Director of its new Spokane Mining Research Division, part of the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR).

“Dr. Lutz’s expertise in miner health and safety will be critical as this new NIOSH research division expands to address the special needs of the extractive industries in the western United States,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Lutz to NIOSH and am confident his leadership will help the Division move forward in its mission to ensure the health and safety of the dedicated workers within the mining industry."

In his new role, Dr. Lutz will provide oversight, guidance, and direction to research personnel and support NIOSH’s cutting-edge health and safety research focused on the mining community. He will help guide the translation of research results into practice to ultimately protect the health and improve the lives of miners and mining communities.

Prior to joining NIOSH, Dr. Lutz served as Assistant Professor in the Division of Community, Environment, and Policy at the Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson while concurrently serving as the UA Director of Mining Health and Safety Programs. He also brings a wealth of health and safety expertise garnered in the private sector working for organizations such as Battelle Memorial Institute and BioGard Environmental Services.

A Certified Mine Safety Professional, Dr. Lutz also serves as the director and co-founder of the Health and Safety Technical Advisory Committee of the Institute for Mineral Resources and is chair of the Health and Safety Division in the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. He is also the co-founder and vice chair of the Mining Working Group of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Dr. Lutz received a Master of Science degree from The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Public Health. He also holds a doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences, also from OSU College of Public Health. 

The Spokane Mining Research Division was created in April 2015, and is located at the NIOSH facility in Spokane, Washington. 

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Click here for more information about NIOSH.

Tags:  administration  industrial minerals industry  NIOSH  research  safety and health 

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President Obama's State of the Union Focuses on the Future

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On January 20th, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address.  The President opened his address by stating, "The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong," before turning the focus of his remarks to the future of the nation and the middle class.  Coming off better economic and poll numbers than he has seen in years, the President declared the success of policies enacted to expand health coverage and opportunities to the working class. He also took the opportunity to reiterate his goal to put tax credits into place favoring the middle class while increasing taxes on capital gains. Outside of voicing commitment to growing and supporting the middle class, the speech touched on the domestic issues of immigration, the importance of access to affordable education, and updating cybersecurity measures.  President Obama's foreign policy remarks stressed the nation's commitment to supporting Syria in the ongoing conflict with ISIL, the importance of trade agreements, and the country's strength in leading with "a persistent, steady resolve." Overall, the State of the Union reflected much of the current national climate while still signalling continuations of more contentious policies.

The possibility for bipartisanship in the 114th Congress remains to be seen as the President's agenda is interpreted and worked through a Republican controlled Congress.  One thing is certain through all this, based on the State of the Union President Obama continues to stand by his policies and their record to this point.

 

To read the full text of the State of the Union click here.

Tags:  administration  obama  politics  president  speech  state of the union 

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