Access to Aggregates
NSSGA encourages Congress to support polices that examines the use of aggregates and institutes federal guidance to guarantee continued access to this essential resource.
Rebuilding Our Communities by Keeping Aggregates Sustainable (ROCKS) Act
As communities plan and develop roads, bridges, housing and other types of public works projects to grow the economy and help them recover from this current crisis, NSSGA encourages Congress to support polices that examines the use of aggregates and institutes federal guidance to guarantee continued access to this essential resource. We applaud the leadership of Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ) and Troy Balderson (OH) for introducing H.R. 611, the ROCKS Act. This legislation will help establish polices that allow communities to reduce costs; extend taxpayer dollars; and mitigate environmental impacts as they address current and future infrastructure needs.
Access to Construction Materials on Federal Lands
It is crucial for communities located near federal lands to access the key resources necessary for building roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, homes and businesses. NSSGA has long opposed efforts to withdrawal mining rights on federal lands, where aggregates operations responsibly supply these construction materials. Enacting withdrawal proposals would significantly increase the cost of public works projects, resulting from the need to import the stone, sand and gravel required to develop and repair infrastructure and buildings. This unnecessarily increases costs and uncertainty as the nation confronts the pandemic and subsequent economic challenges.
NSSGA supports utilizing American labor and materials. However, due to geologic and other limitations, some communities do not have viable access to the aggregates necessary for meeting their infrastructure needs or state/local specifications. Careful consideration must be given to any policy seeking to include construction materials under the Buy America provision to ensure it does not hamper the ability to source construction materials that meet these specific state needs. NSSGA strongly supports policies that promote domestic access to needed aggregates, which will improve environmental impacts and lead to more efficient infrastructure development.
Efficient Transport of Materials
More than any other mode of transportation, the aggregates industry depends on trucking to transport materials and supplies. Since most materials are hauled short distances between aggregates facilities and project sites, trucks are a necessary mode of transportation. NSSGA supports the recent implementation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) modernization to our current Hours-of-Service (HOS) standards for truck operators. The changes will have positive long-term impacts on the safety and efficiency of this vital mode of transportation while maintaining control of their schedule. NSSGA supports these HOS reforms and opposes any efforts to remove driver flexibility from HOS mandates. NSSGA also opposes any efforts to increase truck insurance minimums, as current levels cover truck-related incidents, and any increases will do nothing to improve the safety of our nation’s transportation network or its users.