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January 2007

ON TOPIC


Construction & Demolition

Recycling the over 350 millions of tons of construction and demolition materials that is created annually has become a priority for many members of the House of Representatives, including Congressman Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ).

Andrews, who has served in the House since 1990, has been a staunch supporter of the environment.Congressman Robert E. Andrews

Q. In the 109th Congress, you proposed a bill to promote the use of recycled aggregates. Will you do so again and do you believe there is sufficient support in the House and Senate to get a bill out of committee and on to the floor for a vote?

Answer: “I introduced the Recycled Highway Product Tax Act of 2005. This legislation amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a business tax credit for five percent of the cost of recycled materials used in qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities. There is a need for this legislation and will work with Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-MN)to get this legislation through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and to the House floor.”

Q. Is there any chance of the Federal Highway Administration linking funding for state and federal highway projects with the use of C&D materials - aggregate, etc.?

Answer: ”It is my hope that Congress and the Administration will work together to enact a program incorporating the use of recycled products in federally funded highway projects as described in legislation I have introduced in the past.”

Q. Concerning use of biomass made from C&D wood, is there support for federal legislation on this issue? What role can the federal government play in terms of getting states to promote the creation of biomass fuel made from C&D wood?

Answer: “The use of construction and demolition wood as a biomass fuel must be investigated carefully. Concerns surrounding potential toxicities from treatments to this material must be addressed. Provided the public’s health can be assured, I would support legislation promoting innovations that use recycled resources as alternative methods for energy production allowing us to discover additional advanced methods that are more efficient and cleaner for the environment.”

Q. Over the next two years, can the C&D recycling industry expect to see actual legislation that will promote the use of recycled products and help to bolster the recycling industry as a whole? If so, what would the federal legislative agenda be? If not, why so?

Answer: “Recycling is an important aspect of long term environmental stewardship and I think that Democratic control of Congress increases the prospects for pro-recycling initiatives. Legislation advocating the use of recycled products creates an opportunity to preserve landfill space while reducing disposal of waste. To fully realize the potential benefits of recycling, recovered materials must be returned to the marketplace in the form of a useable product. Legislation promoting sound recycling practices will benefit the environment, government, consumer and industry."

 


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