CalPortland recently organized a face-to-face lunch meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). It was a chance for CalPortland staff and leaders, as well as representatives from National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) member companies, the National Ready-Mix Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association and the American Concrete Pavement Association to talk about the value of the aggregates industry with McCarthy while he was in his home district during the congressional recess.
They thanked Rep. McCarthy for his help and support for the five-year FAST Act, but also pointed out there still is a need for a permanent funding source for the Highway Trust Fund – and that this should be a priority for Congress. The congressman noted that a real economic recovery means new roads and infrastructure and that the aggregates industry has the leading edge to make that happen.
Rep. McCarthy answered questions from the group about various aggregate industry issues and covered topics such as general infrastructure needs, regulatory reform, the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial Waters of the U.S. rule and the passage of the FAST Act – the longest surface transportation system reauthorization in a decade.
Rep. McCarthy mentioned the need to streamline the permitting of aggregate and mining properties while referencing the Strategic Mineral Bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.). The average permit approval process takes seven to 10 years and delays pose significant risks to quarrying operations throughout the country. The bill would streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation’s vast mineral resources, while paying respect to economic, national security and environmental concerns.