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Wild Webinar Week


nssgaDecember 13, 2011 – It has been a wild week for industry webinars, as both ARTBA and NSSGA sponsored information sessions focusing on economic and regulatory updates. I personally sat in on both webinars. ARTBA’s Alison Premo Black was very concise and specific as she assessed the failure of Congress to hammer out a viable infrastructure bill. Despite that, she noted where some industry bright spots have occurred this year, such as bridge construction, and in 18 states that have actually spent more on infrastructure in 2011 than in 2010.

Her outlook for next year, as you might expect, was tempered by the reality that continued foot-dragging in Congress will result in further declines in employment and construction. NSSGA did a tremendous job with its regulatory, compliance, safety, health and environmental update. They pointed out major successes, such as the defeat of the "dust bill" and the "hold steady" with regard to the PM10 particulate standard; and ongoing struggles, such as the continuing tug-o-war with MSHA over aggressive inspection and the inconsistent application of regulations. Congratulations to ARTBA and MSHA on very successful sessions.