Nye enlightens House committee on industry issues

By |  March 22, 2017

Ward Nye

Ward Nye, Martin Marietta chairman, CEO and president, testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on the importance of aggregate for infrastructure projects.

Nye also addressed the negative impact of excessive regulation on efforts to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure during the congressional hearing.

“If this country can find a way to invest in [infrastructure], we will put people to work, we will increase our global competitiveness and we will have our country in a much better long-term position economically than it is today,” says Nye, who testified on behalf of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA).

According to NSSGA, Nye also stressed the importance of streamlining the permitting process with concurrent approvals and reasonable deadlines for all involved. Nye used the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in North Carolina as an example of a project facing roadblocks that delay critical infrastructure.

According to Nye, the bridge is expected to go into service in 2018 following lawsuits from environmental groups that caused a near 30-year delay and $95 million in extra costs to the state.

Some members of the committee were in agreement with Nye that the permitting process takes too long, NSSGA says.

“Aggregates such as crushed stone, sand and gravel are the literal foundation of many of our infrastructure projects,” says Rep. Paul Gosar, (R-Ariz). “Expedited permitting regimes for infrastructure projects will have little to no effect if the mines that supply materials to those projects do not share the same accelerated process.”

Nye added that the aggregate industry is supportive of regulation that preserves the nation’s natural resources, protects the environment and ensures the safety of employees and neighbors but that the industry is opposed to regulatory overreach.

“We are opposed to overreaching regulation that puts our infrastructure needs at the mercy of activists that oppose progress and whose interests are wholly inconsistent with growing our economy, creating new jobs and remedying our aging infrastructure,” Nye says.

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