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Ward Nye emphasises importance of aggregates on behalf of NSSGA

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Martin Marietta chairman and CEO, Ward Nye, has explained the importance of aggregates for infrastructure projects and the negative impact of excessive regulation on efforts to fix the nations infrastructure, to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, on behalf of the NSSGA.

“If this country can find a way to invest in [infrastructure], we will put people to work, we will increase our global competitiveness and we will have our country in a much better long-term position economically than it is today,” said Nye.

He emphasised the importance of streamlining the permitting process with concurrent approvals and reasonable deadlines. This prevents the roadblocks, often faced by state-level projects, which delay critical infrastructure. One example is the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in North Carolina, which is expected to go into service in 2018 after lawsuits from environmental groups caused a near 30-year delay and US$95 million in extra cost to the state.

Members of the committee agreed with Nye that the process simply takes too long. “Aggregates such as crushed stone, sand, and gravel are the literal foundation of many of our infrastructure projects,” said Chairman Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. “Expedited permitting regimes for infrastructure projects will have little to no effect if the mines that supply materials to those projects do not share the same accelerated process.”

Nye highlighted how essential the aggregates industry is to rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. “We support thoughtful regulation that preserves our natural resources, protects our environment, ensures the safety of our employees and neighbours and furthers the American dream,” he said. “We are opposed, however, to overreaching regulation that puts our infrastructure needs at the mercy of activists that oppose progress and whose interests are wholly inconsistent with growing our economy, creating new jobs and remedying our ageing infrastructure.”

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