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EPA on Course to Lower Particulate Air Standards

According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the EPA appears poised to lower the current PM10 NAAQS to between 65-75µg/m³ – twice as stringent as the current standard of 150 µg/m³. These new limits could force aggregates operators to limit production as one of the only means to demonstrate compliance.

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Construction Starts Down; Highway Construction Starts Jump

The value of new construction starts retreated 6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $423.4 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The decline came as the result of a pullback for nonresidential building after a strong December, combined with a loss of momentum for residential building.

At the same time, the nonbuilding construction sector showed further growth in January on top of its elevated December pace, aided by several large public works projects. Nonbuilding construction advanced 2 percent to $166.3 billion (annual rate). Highway and bridge construction soared 42 percent.

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ConExpo-Con/Agg Advance Registration Extended

Advance registration has been extended through March 11 for the ConExpo-Con/Agg and co-located IFPE 2011 expositions. Attendees can save time onsite and take advantage of lower pre-show entrance fees, according to show officials. Advance registration has also been extended for the shows’ education programs. Go online for details and to register at and One registration allows access to both shows as well as the co-located ICON Expo for the concrete products industry.

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Construction Spending Nears Decade-Long Low

Construction spending slumped 0.7 percent from $798 billion in December to $792 billion in January, the second lowest seasonally adjusted annual rate since July 2000, the Associated General Contractors of America noted in an analysis of new Census Bureau data.

Association officials noted that nearly every private nonresidential category plunged, offsetting pickups in some residential and public nonresidential segments. They added that since January 2010, construction spending has declined by 5.9 percent.

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NSSGA Says Safety Reporting Through MSHA Is Enough

In comments in response to a proposed rule from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on provision 1503 of the Dodd-Frank bill on financial reform, NSSGA asserted that a new mandate for publicly-traded companies to include in future SEC reports mine safety and compliance data would be duplicative and unduly burdensome.

Read more: NSSGA Says Safety Reporting Through MSHA Is Enough