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Congratulations to Tyler Milo winner of a NUCA National Scholarship - Friday, July 15, 2016

 

NUCA $4,000, 4-Year Scholarship

Tyler Milo is the recipient of the Foundation's $4,000 scholarship. He will be attending Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., in the fall and plans to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. Tyler enjoys basketball, hunting and fishing, and reading. He volunteers at a children's bereavement group, which he believes helped his family after his father passed away. Tyler is the son of NUCA member employee Donna Buranich and the late Lou Milo at L.J. Milo Enterprises, Inc., in Clarks Summit, Pa. 

 

 
Bill to Address Deteriorating Water and Wastewater Infrastructure on Wolf’s Desk - Friday, April 08, 2016

 

04-14-16 G Approved by the Governor (Act: 12 of 2016)

NUCA PA Supported this Bill.
 
Rep. Godshall's legislation to establish a process for determining the fair market value of a water or wastewater company acquired by a water or wastewater public utility for rate making purposes is one step away from becoming law. House Bill 1326, which has passed the House and Senate and is now awaiting the governor’s signature, would enable community-owned and private water and wastewater utilities, whose infrastructure is in urgent need of repair, to be acquired by a larger company capable of making the needed improvements. Current law relating to the valuation of these utilities discourages these acquisitions because the purchasing company may not be able to recover its investment. House Bill 1326 remedies this.

NUCA PA is hopeful this legislation will put more projects out for bid in the future.

 
Senator Bartolotta Introduces SB 1181 - PennDOT Pre-Qualify - Friday, April 08, 2016

 

NUCA PA Supports this Bill.

Senator Bartolotta introduced legislation (SB 1181) amending the State Highway Law and abrogating 67 Pa. Code § 457.4 (a)(5) to exempt companies bidding on state road projects of $500,000 or less from certain financial statement filing requirements that have proven to undermine the ability of a small business to bid on these projects.
 
PA Code 67.457 requires businesses bidding on these projects to provide the Commonwealth with a "reviewed" financial statement to determine the maximum bid capacity of the contractor. However, changes in accounting principles have made the cost associated with obtaining a reviewed financial statement prohibitively expensive for small businesses. 
 
While the requirement for reviewed financial statements is understandable for large projects, current law does not distinguish between large and small projects nor does it take into consideration the effect this requirement has on the ability of small companies to meet it.
 
For example in 2005, a small business owner in her district applied for and was accepted as a State Prequalified Prime Contractor for the Commonwealth.  At the time, the cost associated with providing a reviewed financial statement was relatively modest ($500).  When this business owner attempted to renew his status as a prequalified bidder, the cost associated with obtaining a reviewed financial statement was as much as $10,000 because of changes in accounting principles.     
 
As an alternative, my legislation will allow a business placing a bid on a state project valued at $500,000 or less to submit a "compiled" financial statement in order to be qualified as a bidder. 
 
Unlike a “reviewed” financial statement which requires extensive accounting techniques associated with large businesses with complex lending arrangements, a “compiled” statement provides a general understanding of a business’s finances that is often sufficient information for it to obtain a bank loan. In fact many times, lenders require even less documentation such as tax returns to validate a company’s finances in order for it to receive a loan.

NUCA PA Supports this legislation.

 
PENNVEST supports Subsurface Utility Engineering for their approved projects - Friday, April 08, 2016

 

Today, PENNVEST agreed to support Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) funding on loans approved by their board.  Projects in excess of $400,000 are required by law to use SUE during the design phase of a construction project.  PENNVEST funded projects in excess of the $400,000 will be required to prove the use of SUE on future loan applications.  Watch for more details!

 
NUCA PA Speaks Out Against Exemptions for Safety Reasons - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

 

Brenda Reigle, Executive Director for NUCA Pennsylvania spoke during the Open Discussion session of the PA One Call Board (POCS) meeting today. 
 
First, she reported Pennvest's interest in the POCS letter requesting funding for Subsurface Utility Excavation in the Design phase. She asked POCS to submit their letter to Pennvest for consideration before Pennvest's April 20, 2016 Board meeting. 
 
Second, Brenda publicly expressed NUCA PA's dismay regarding the comments of Rep. Causer on June 26, 2014 regarding his amendment A08101 to House Bill 1607, exempting Class 1 Gathering lines. She presented evidence of two separate contacts (by letter dated March 20, 2014 [sent to both House and Senate members], and an appointment held April 8, 2014 in Rep. Causer's office with several contractors.

The Legislative Journal of Thursday, June 26, 2014, (Page 921) reports the discussion of  floor debates. The interrogation of Rep. Causer by Rep. Vitali is reported this way in the Journal: 
 

Rep. Vitali: "Has any group taken a formal position against your amendment or the concept behind your amendment (Exempting Class 1 Gathering Lines)?

Rep. Causer: "Not to my knowledge.
 
NUCA Pennsylvania suggests POCS Board members share the NUCA PA documents with their legislators as they lobby to remove the Class 1 Gathering line exemption's language from House Bill 445. Brenda closed by noting the July 2015 tragedy where an equipment operator was killed, and another employee  severely burned at a jobsite in rural Western Pennsylvania, is exactly the type of safety issue our letter of March 20, 2014 warned the legislators would happen if Class 1 Gathering lines remain exempt under the PA One Call law. 

READ DOCUMENTS PRESENTED TO POCS ON 1-27-2016

 
New PennDOT Pub 213 - Shadow vehicle utilization for mowing operations. - Wednesday, December 16, 2015


PennDOT Strike-off Letter effective December 16, 2015 -  clarifies the requirements for the utilization of shadow vehicles in conjunction with mowing operations along conventional highways as well as freeways and expressways. The attached drawings and notes provide information pertaining specifically to mowing operations. Relief from the shadow vehicle requirement has been provided for mowing along freeways and expressways where the tractor does not encroach upon the shoulder while actively mowing.  Read the Strike-off letter and other documents here.

 
Effective Dec. 21, 2015 - Updates to Commercial Driver’s Permits & License - Friday, December 11, 2015


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published final rules related to standards for Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLP) as well as for current and future Commercial license holders. As a result, Pennsylvania CDL holders and CLP holders will be affected. The following information will help you understand the more significant changes taking place on December 21, 2015.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES

PA DOT Website for more resource information

 

 
2016 Presents Plenty of Opportunities, but a Shortage of Skilled Workers - Monday, December 07, 2015


The Utility Contractors December 2015 issue reports: "Contractors will need to expand their workforces by 30 percent by 2022. The shortages in contractor labor will drive up cost in the utility industry."  Read more details on future utility spending and the need for skilled workers here.

 
Success is sometimes measured in several accomplishments! - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

 

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has issues a nationwide hold on the implementation of the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule. This means the EPA will not be allowed to implement the new rule until court proceedings conclude.

On Friday, the House voted to lift the ban on crude oil exports. The bill, H.R. 702 was approved with bipartisan support 261-159.

Good News from NUCA National !

 
NUCA PA meets with Transportation Secretary Richards - Thursday, July 23, 2015

Several contractor members and Marguerite Quinn (R) (Bucks) met with Sec. Leslie Richards in the PennDOT District 6 (King of Prussia) facility.  Rep. Quinn opened the dialogue with the history of the hoe pac saga since 2009.  Brenda Reigle, NUCA PA Executive Director, provided details and supporting documents.  Jim Dacey, Henrik Maxian and Dave Caddick explained the contractor position and agreed to the new direction PennDOT is proposing for Highway Occupancy Permitted areas.  PennDOT expects to finalize the details within the next two months.  Watch for your Construction Minute to learn the details.

 
Supplemental letter regarding the Penn State Hoe Pac study is submitted to PennDOT - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

 

On March 3, 2015, NUCA PA sent this letter to PennDOT as a supplement to our December 26, 2014 letter regarding the Penn State "Evaluation of Hydraulic Plate Compactor" study. 

Our geotechnical engineer consultant uncovered some attention-grabbing lab results while studying the relative density suggestion in our December 26, 2014 letter.

NUCA PA believes this information should command reconsideration of past conclusions about the effectiveness of hydraulic plate compactors.

 
PennDOT received Federal Approval to Fund PennState Hoe-Pac Study - Friday, August 15, 2014

 

Earlier this week, PennDOT received notice of approval to utilize Federal funding to perform the PennState Hoe-Pac Study.  Even though PennDOT has an open-ended contract with PennState to perform studies, PennDOT informed NUCA PA today that it had to seek Federal approval to spend federal funds on our Hoe-Pac study. 

PennDOT and PennState will ramp up to hopefully perform the testing by October 2014, at the Lower Paxton Municipal location.  NUCA PA will participate in the study by providing technical oversight of the testing and review of PennState's report of findings.

 
E-Verify: Ensure Employment Eligibility of Your Workforce - Friday, May 23, 2014

 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted Act 127 of 2012, known as the Public Works Employment Verification Act (‘the Act’), which requires all public work contractors and subcontractors to utilize the Federal Government’s E-Verify system to ensure that all employees performing work on public work projects are authorized to work in the United States.  NUCA PA informed our members of this law passing in 2012.

The Department defines a “Public Work” to be construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration and/or repair work other than maintenance work, done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of the funds of a public body where the estimated cost of the total project is in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) but shall not include work performed under a rehabilitation or manpower training program.  Learn more here about the requirements prior to bid award The Public Works Verification form should be included in either your bid or award packet for submission prior to you signing the contract. (See our Knowledge Now links in the right column).

Look for this type of language in your bid documents:

Bidder acknowledges that this bid is for a public works contract and bidder is therefore subject to the provisions, duties, obligations and penalties of the Public Works Employment Verification Act, 43 P.S. 167.1-167.11, which is incorporated
herein by reference.

The lowest responsible bidder must comply with the Public Works Employment Verification Act by submitting a Commonwealth Public Works Employment Verification Form to the public body prior to award of contract.

Enroll Here for E-Verify!

Our October Regional Meetings will be a presentation on this topic!

 
PennDOT readies for Hoe Pac Study - Monday, March 24, 2014

 

Today, PennDOT informed NUCA PA, now that the weather is cooperating, they are ready to look for possible dates to perform the Hoe Pac Study.  Mark Hilson, P.E. at Lower Paxton Township Sewer Authority is coordinating the study with PennDOT and NUCA PA.  Watch here for updates!

 
Hoe Pac Ban is Lifted effective November 25, 2013 - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

 

PennDOT officially lifted the Hoe Pac Ban on November 25, 2013, through a strike-off letter signed by Deputy Sec. Scott Christie.  The ban requires inspection during trench backfilling along with new paperwork.  The maximum lift height is 8 inches.

NUCA PA, Lower Paxton Township Sewer Authority and PennDOT are working together on a study to consider lift heights greater than 8 inches.  Once the study is completed, we hope to see PennDOT increase the lift heights once all the documentation and results are analyzed.

 

 
New regulations on lifting the Hoe Pac ban is being considered - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PennDOT has submitted the proposed regulations to the Federal Highway Administration for approval to lift the ban of the hoe pac.  We hope this is approved quickly so contractors and excavators can once again use the Hoe Pac within the PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit areas.

 
How to Use the PA One Call System to Help You - Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 

NUCA of Pennsylvania encourages excavators to use the online PA One Call Complex Project portal for water and sewer construction projects.  The benefits of this system are invaluable tools.  Mark outs as your project progresses will reduce ticket recalls and facility contacts and phone numbers for emergency situations are two BIG benefits from using the Complex Project Portal. Read the Guidelines here.

To learn more about how to use this Portal, contact the PA One Call Liaison in your region to schedule training for your company. 

 

Report any utility incidents through the PA Virtual Private DIRT system and save time from completing numerous reports. 

 

 
Two-track solution on hoe pac ban is offered by Sec. Schoch - Thursday, August 15, 2013


On August 15, members of NUCA PA along with the Governor's Policy Office; Senator Stewart Greenleaf's staff (R), Rep. Mike Turzai's staff (R), Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R) and Rep. Todd Stephens (R); Mike Grabnic of Allied Products; Mark Hilson of Lower Paxton Twp. Sewer Authority; and Heidi Hawkins of AQUA, met with Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch and Deputy Secretary Scott Christy to discuss the PennDOT hoe pac ban.

After NUCA PA presented our facts and figures and Rep. Quinn noted her frustration, Sec. Schoch offered to consider a two-track approach on the hoe pac issue. On one track, he will determine the appropriate lift of 4" - 8" with field inspections where if a 97% Proctor Nuclear Density test fails, the contractor will remove and replace the failed areas. In the meantime, on the second track, the department and NUCA PA will move forward with a study to determine if greater lifts than 8 inch lifts with 100% Proctor testing using the hoe pac can be achieved. PennDOT's research funds will be expended for the study.

The Secretary offered a reasonable solution noting his concern that PennDOT can assure the public of good highways with less available dollars.

Sec. Schouch will meet with his department heads and determine the appropriate acceptable lifts that can be used by contractors using the hoe pac in PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permitted (HOP) areas. NUCA PA expects this determination within the next few weeks.

 
PennDOT 408 Ban on Excavator Mounted Hydraulic Compaction Equipment - Tuesday, October 09, 2012

 

The attached report outlines NUCA PA's position supporting the use of excavator mounted compaction equipment.

Included in the Report:

An explanation of compaction, types of compaction equipment, field examples using three different machines for compaction - same results for compaction and no pipe deviations or pipes crushed.  Safety of workers in trenches and cost savings for project owners and citizens.

READ the REPORT HERE

 
Get your USDOT Number - Thursday, July 28, 2011

 

All Intra-state trucks weighing more than 17,000 lbs must have a US DOT number and Mark both sides of the truck with the company name & US DOT number. 

Your US DOT number is FREE.  Go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/  at the Registration & Licensing Section, click on Register Online.

 
PUCA meets with PennDot to discuss Hydraulic Plate Compactors a/k/a "hoe packs" - Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today, PUCA members Bill Kukurin, Ron Monzo, Ralph Mase and Billy Kukurin met with PennDot representatives to discuss the PennDot policy to ban the use of excavator-mounted hydraulic plate compactors for compacting backfill in pipe culvert and trenches. 

PennDot agreed to review the policy to see if water and sewer pipes in DOT right-of-ways need to be included in the policy.  PennDOT will review  the causes that led to the policy and come to a determination (good or bad) within a month of our meeting.

 
Seeing is Believing - PA Raw Sewage Video - Tuesday, June 15, 2010

 

 

See other similar videos of raw sewage dumping into PA waters:
Video1  Video 2   Video 3    Video 4    Video 5

 
PA Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Contractor to Recover "Downtime" Losses Against Gas Company - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

PA Supreme Court Refuses to Allow Contractor to Recover "Downtime" Losses Against Gas Company, Even When the Gas Company Fails to Accurately Mark Lines Pursuant to the One Call Act. 
Experienced contractors recognize that it can be difficult for courts to appreciate the manner in which construction work is performed in the field, and must also recognize the importance of ensuring that their voices are heard in the legislature. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that demonstrates both of these points. In Excavation Technologies, Inc. v. Columbia Gas Co. of Pennsylvania, 2009 WL 5103605 CPa., Dec. 29, 2009), the Court held that a Contractor may not recover against a Gas Company for "downtime" damages caused by the Gas Company's failure to properly mark the location of its underground lines. In doing so, the Court refused to apply its earlier opinion in the Bilt-Rite case to allow the Contractor to recover purely economic damages against the Gas Company, and directed contractors to look to the state legislature if they want to create a remedy for such damages.  To Read the Court Case click hereTo Read Kevin McKeon's summary of the Court's Opinion click here.

 


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