I only wanted to build a bridge

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A friend of mine, Tom McCrackin III, was president of Associated General Contractors of Missouri in 1995. During his tenure, he wrote a profound article for the AGC titled "Viewpoint" for the Missouri Construction Advisor. In his article, he discussed all of the state and federal laws, regulations, codes, acts, agencies, paperwork and plain old burdens of government with which he had to comply while building a bridge project he had going at the time.

His article was actually in response to a request to testify in front of the House Small Business Committee on Regulation and Paperwork. Interestingly, he though he was invited to "tell Congress what specific regulations should be repealed." It is even more interesting to note that everything Tom said back then is still in place today -- and with quite a few additions.

Being 13 years later, I wondered just how our state and federal governments have changed the regulation of the construction industry. I have noted for years that I think the construction industry is the most regulated and believe it's a safe bet that I'm right.

Penzel Construction was recently awarded a bridge-replacement project on Highway 72 in Madison County. I thought it would be a perfect project to research and see how we are affected today. I will hold to the same format as Tom did back then. When I signed the contract for this project, I had agreed and caused my subcontractors to agree to:

1. Be governed by the following acts:

* Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

* Clean Water Act

* Federal Endangered Species Act

* Missouri Agricultural Liming Materials Act

* National Environmental Policy Act

* National Historic Preservation Act

* Farmland Protection act

* Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

* Work Hours and Safety Standards Act

* Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987

* Missouri Domestic Products Procurement Act

* Public Works Employment Act of 1977

* Federal-Aid Roads Act

* Clean Air Act

* Federal Water Pollution Control Act

* American Disabilities Act

* Copeland Act

* Davis-Bacon Act

2. Be bound by Executive Orders 11246, 11738, 12549 and Missouri Executive Order 07-13.

3. Comply with 16 sections in six titles of the Codes of Federal Regulations.

4. Abide by nine sections in six titles of the United States Code.

5. Cooperate with the following three programs:

* National Product Evaluation Program

* Unified Certification Program

* National Cooperative Highway Research Program

6. Conform to the standards of:

* American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

* American Society for Testing and Materials

* Manual on Traffic Control Devices

7. Be familiar with information provided by:

* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

* National Climatic Data Center

* Form FHWA-47

* Platts Oilgram News

* Asphalt Weekly Monitor as published by Poten and Partners Inc.

8. Deal with and meet the requirements of the following agencies:

* U.S. Treasury Department

* Missouri Taxation Bureau

* General Services Administration

* U.S. Department of Commerce

* Missouri Department of Health

* EEO Commission

* Clean Water Commission

* Hazardous Waste Commission

* Air Conservation Commission

* MoDOT External Civil Rights Unit

* Missouri Department of Revenue and Employment Services

* National Register of Historic Places

* State Historic Preservation Office

* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

* National Marine Fisheries Service

* Missouri Department of Agriculture

* U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

* U.S. Coast Guard

* Office of Federal Contract Compliance, U.S. Department of Labor

* Federal Highway Administration

* U.S. Department of Transportation

* Occupational Safety and Health Administration

* Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration

* Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards

* Employment and Training Administration

* Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor

* U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

* Missouri Department of Natural Resources

* Council on Environmental Quality Regulations

9. Comply with the provisions of OSHA, Equal Employment Opportunity, Quality Control Plan, Affirmative Action Plan, meet or exceed an 8 percent goal for disadvantaged business enterprises, Unmarked Human Burial Sites, Missouri Solid Waste Management, Nationwide Permits 3, 12, 13, 14, 15, 23 and 33, 401 Permit, Section 404 Permit, Standard Grading Rules for West Coast Lumber, Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber, Hometown Plan, Non-Discrimination in Employment, Missouri Seed Law, Missouri Plant Law, Workers' Compensation Insurance, prevailing wage, General Wage Order No. 52, Community Development Block Grant Programs and other public laws and revised statutes of Missouri.

10. Fill out and submit a DBE Identification Submittal, Subcontractor Disclosure Form, Standard For LLL (Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying), Form PR-1391 (Federal Aid Highway Construction Contractors annual EEO report), Form WH-347 (certified payroll).

11. Cooperate with and protect the following utilities:

* PWSD No. 1 of Madison County

* AT&T

* Black River Electric Cooperative

In addition to all of the above, there is still a bridge to be built within nine months!

Phil Penzel is the president of Penzel Construction Co. in Jackson. He wrote this list of government compliance requirements for the company's newsletter, Penzel Journal, in the spring 2009 edition.

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