Pit & Quarry on the road in 2017

By |  November 20, 2017

Pit & Quarry’s staff made some educational stops on the road over the last couple of months.

We attended InterDrone in Las Vegas and Intergeo in Berlin, where we captured the latest on the UAV front as it relates to the aggregate industry.

An Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association operations tour in Ottawa, Canada, took us inside Lafarge and R.W. Tomlinson aggregate sites, and a Shell Rotella briefing in Santa Barbara, California, enlightened us on field tests of American Petroleum Institute CK-4 and FA-4 diesel engine oils.

In addition, we took part in the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) inaugural Legislative & Policy Forum, which brought the industry together in Washington, for meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill.

The Capitol Hill experience was a positive one for Pit & Quarry, whose office is based in Cleveland. We joined Pat Jacomet, executive director of the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association, for five meetings on the Hill with Ohio legislators.

Highway funding was at the top of our priorities list in those meetings. But, as we learned from several congressmen who spoke at the NSSGA event, a highway bill is unlikely to pass through Congress before legislators move on tax reform. In fact, some legislators say the two issues are linked and that infrastructure development could be a byproduct of tax reform.

While most of our Capitol Hill meetings were with congressional staffers, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) visited briefly with us in his office to discuss industry issues, including the burdens placed on those affected by the Mine Safety & Health Administration’s workplace exams rule and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States rule.

On highway funding, Renacci expressed doubt about President Donald Trump’s goal of injecting $1 trillion into U.S. infrastructure. Renacci, who has been a strong proponent of infrastructure reform, introduced legislation two years ago that would increase the nation’s gas tax and index it to inflation.

In addition to Renacci, our trip to Washington afforded us the opportunity to hear from other government officials, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Florida), Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan), Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) and others also visited with the industry.

For a first-time event, we were tremendously impressed with the slate of speakers and educational opportunities NSSGA provided. Chris Upp, vice president and general manager at Conco Quarries, had some positive takeaways from the forum, as well. Upp, who’s featured in this month’s P&Q Profile, touches on his forum takeaways – and more – in an exclusive interview that you can check out here.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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