California contractors are breathing easier but environmentalists feel smoked after a last-minute proviso to relax California’s off-road-diesel emission regulations made it into the state’s final budget, which passed the state legislature on Feb. 19 after five months of contentious negotiations. Photo: Tudor Van Hampton / ENR Under pressure from construction lobbyists, California lawmakers have relaxed diesel-engine emission cuts. The California Air Resources Board had developed the rules for existing equipment set to kick in next year. Now, it gives extra credit to fleets that started reducing emissions prior to the mandate, thanks to extreme lobbying pressure from the construction industry.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.