Congress is back in full-swing after the Christmas break and a lot to discuss in the coming weeks. For one, we are expecting the President to release his infrastructure plan any day and looking for bi-partisan support will be the debate. Over the break and in a last piece of pre-holiday business, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the silica rule which ARTBA and coalition partners have been challenging. Crystalline silica is a basic component of dust from soil, sand, granite and other minerals associated with construction. The standard, which is being challenged by ARTBA and industry allies in federal court, sets limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, compared to the previous level of 250 micrograms for the construction industry. ARTBA has consistently maintained that OSHA’s standard is based on flawed science and unrealistic assumptions about the construction industry and could divert significant resources—human and financial—away from activities aimed at mitigating, if not eliminating, documented, serious hazards to workers’ health and safety. In the meantime, ARTBA continues to have compliance materials available, including this guide which is available for direct purchase for our members for just $10.00 each – https://store.artba.org/product/crystalline-silica-compliance-guide/.