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Panels shed light on federal policy, industry trends

NAPA held two key panel discussions Jan. 30 where attendees heard about the future of federal procurement and the state of the industry.

The Next Steps: Prepping Your Company for a Sustainable Future brought panelists from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to the stage for a panel moderated by Ron Sines of CRH Americas Materials.

The federal panel centered on efforts by the agencies to implement legislation and executive orders that call for environmentally friendly construction materials and how those efforts may soon affect the asphalt pavement industry.

While the FAA’s Jeffrey Crislip said the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) did not explicitly include his agency within its new procurement initiatives, the GSA’s Jetta Wong said her agency was the first to pioneer a project with environmentally preferable asphalt when it asked for an environmental product declaration (EPD) for a project in Colorado in 2022.

“It took them five weeks to get the EPD,” Wong said. “It didn’t impact scope, performance or price on the project. We think that we have a good model.”

LaToya Johnson with FHWA said while her agency is taking its time to roll out its program, the aim is to have a result that the industry finds palatable and a program “that’s going to set the foundation to move us forward for years to come.”

Lehman-Roberts President Pat Nelson moderated the day’s second panel, titled Thriving in Uncertain Times: The CEO Perspective.

Panelists included Granite President and CEO Kyle Larkin, Superior Bowen President Amanda Mohr, Colas Inc. President and CEO John Harrington, and Lindy Pavement President Vince Tutino.

The panel of executives took on issues from sustainability to workforce development, and took questions from the audience via the Cvents Event app.

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