ALCC news center
EPA's clean water rule halted Email
Tuesday, September 01, 2015 07:00 AM

 

Image by Blake Richard VerdoornA North Dakota federal judge on Thursday blocked the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineer's rule clarifying the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act, calling the measure "exceptionally expansive."

Hours before it was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued a temporary injunction after 13 states, including Colorado, took legal action to stop the rule. 

The decision was met with controversy, as the judge said that the injunction should apply to all states. EPA, however, said that they ruling should apply only to the 13 states named in the lawsuit. They planned to enforce the rule in the remaining states beginning Friday, August 28.

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Green roofs growing in Denver Email
News
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 08:00 AM


Midtown Denver green roofDenver is a trendsetter among US cities when it comes to growing in the sky. The Mile High City placed 6th in the nation, immediately after New York City, in the amount of square footage of green roofs that were installed within its boundaries in 2014. 

That’s a high ranking if you consider that what many believe to be Denver’s first notable green roof was only installed in 2006 atop the Environmental Protection Agency building.

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WOTUS Congressional call-in day Email
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 07:00 AM

old telephoneThe National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) has organized a call-in campaign to urge Senators to "support the bipartisan bill S 1140, and urge the EPA to listen to their co-regulator, the Army Corps of Engineers, about the serious flaws" in the Clean Water Rule (aka Waters of the US or WOTUS).

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is a key figure in this regulation, so Colorado constituents are vital to the success of the campaign. His Denver metro office can be reached at 303-455-7600 (Toll Free: 866-455-9866). 

The following is a Legislative Alert from NALP:
WOTUS District Call Day: Thursday, August 27th

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Was Rodin a model of entrepreneurship? Email
News
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 06:00 AM


Six Lessons in Entrepreneurship that I learned from the Rodin

The Thinker, RodinYou can learn about entrepreneurship in the strangest of places. I took my wife to Paris and Italy for her birthday, where we visited an art museum. My favorite was the sculptor Auguste Rodin (best known for The Thinker). His success was due to his entrepreneurial drive. Here are 6 lessons we can learn from him:

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Building a pay grade scale Email
News
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 05:00 AM

pay gradesWhat is a pay grade scale?
A pay grade scale is a framework of pay ranges related to groups of jobs within your business.

Why does my business need one?
A pay grade scale helps your effectively manage your payroll budget and establish a monetary value for each position. It can be used as a tool to help employees understand the available career path within your organization. When you use pay grades to establish salaries, you can insure that employees are compensated fairly in relation to their peers.

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Recruiting the next generation to the green industry Email
News
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 04:00 AM

College kidsAn average of 10,000 Baby Boomers retire each day. Next in line is the much smaller Generation X, so they can’t possibly fill all of these vacated positions. That leaves the next generation to help fill the gaps: Millennials.

There is no shortage of research, essays, and webinars designed to help you access the [supposed] mysterious world of these young people born between 1980 and 2000. As landscape companies struggle to fill the positions in a growing industry, many business owners are quick to dismiss this generation as “not interested” in labor or non-tech jobs.

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Are bionic bugs the secret to defeating EAB? Email
News
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 03:00 AM


Bionic EAB female decoyHow do you catch a male emerald ash borer (EAB)? With a lady EAB, of course. To lure male EAB into traps, scientists have created impressive, lifelike female EAB decoys.

After using dead EABs and 3-D printed decoys failed—male EABs aren’t easily fooled—scientists created a decoy using biomimetic synthesis.

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Colorado Drought Response Portal Email
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 02:00 AM

Coloradans often face water use regulationsThe Colorado Water Conservation Board maintains a web site for Colorado homeowners and landowners that helps identify rules and regulations regarding water use. Colorado's Drought Response Portal offers information about snowpack, reservoir conditions, and drought status. Colorado residents can also use the portal to connect with their local water utility and find out if there are any water restrictions in affect for their community.

 

 
How will the proposed rule updating exempt employee status affect your business? Email
Friday, August 14, 2015 11:15 AM

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is conducting a survey to learn how landscape businesses would be affected by the Department of Labor's proposed rule change regarding exempt employee status.

The following is a Legislative Alert from NALP:

Help Stop the Detrimental Proposed Changes by the Department of Labor that Could Change the Exempt Status of Overtime Pay to $50,440

Please participate in this survey to help us respond to the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed devastating changes to the white collar exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements.

Currently, a person must satisfy three criteria to qualify as “exempt”:
1.    They must make a salary;
2.    That salary must be more than $455/week ($23,660 annually);
3.    Their “primary duties” must be consistent with managerial, professional or administrative positions as defined by DOL.

In the proposal, DOL is considering raising the minimum salary threshold to $970 per week ($50,440 annually); an increase of more than 100%. We need your help in collecting data about how this will impact your business. This information will help us provide comments to the federal register notice so we can document with data its impact to the industry as a whole; they will also need to hear directly from the businesses that will be affected. This data will help answer the Department’s questions regarding the current primary duties test used to determine whether an employee's primary responsibilities exempt them from overtime.

Please complete this survey before August 27, 2015.

Thank you,
Tom Delaney, NALP director of government affairs

Previously on the LAB:
Help request an extension to comment period on DOL Proposed Overtime RuleSubcommittee discusses Proposed Overtime Rule
DOL proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility for 'white collar' workers

 
Upcoming H-2B Final Wage Rule Webinar Email
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:30 AM

H-2B visa program
From an email sent today from the H-2B Ombudsman:

The National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) is sending this e-mail to all survey contacts we’ve identified as those who have submitted H-2B surveys to our office within the past year.  This email is pertaining to the upcoming H-2B Final Wage Rule Webinar scheduled for August 21, 2015. Survey standards will be the focus of the webinar briefing.
 
The Department will host a public webinar to educate stakeholders, program users, and other interested members of the public on the changes to the H-2B program made by the H-2B 2015 Final Wage Rule, in effect as of April 29, 2015. The webinar briefing is scheduled for August 21, 2015, from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM Eastern Daylight time. There is no pre-registration for the public webinar. The webinar will be accessible to the public on a first-come, first-served basis on the date specified.  For further information and instructions, please see the Department’s H-2B Final Wage Rule public webinar announcement located on the Department’s website at: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ombudsman Program
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Department of Labor
[email protected]

 
Drought: Pain or profit? Email
News
Written by Christy Eull   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 08:00 AM

Drought impacts the landscape industryThe majority of owners and managers of Colorado landscape companies believe drought positions their companies more for profit than for pain according to a poll earlier this season by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. In this poll, 85% of responding companies statewide said their businesses would not be hurt by drought – whenever it comes.

Optimism ranged from an enthusiastic, “I am SO going to profit off of drought!” to an optimistic, “We were fine in the last drought, and expect that with our reputation for Xeriscaping, we would do well in the next drought.”

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Drought: Pain or profit? guest Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 08:00 AM

 

Drought impacts the landscape industryThe majority of owners and managers of Colorado landscape companies believe drought positions their companies more for profit than for pain according to a poll earlier this season by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. In this poll, 85% of responding companies statewide said their businesses would not be hurt by drought – whenever it comes.

Optimism ranged from an enthusiastic, “I am SO going to profit off of drought!” to an optimistic, “We were fine in the last drought, and expect that with our reputation for Xeriscaping, we would do well in the next drought.”

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ALCC Affiliate members recognized for community projects Email
News
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 07:00 AM

Opening of Cuatro Vientos Park. Photo by Evan SemónLast month, the Colorado Lottery 2015 Starburst Award winners were announced. Twenty-one winners in 19 different communities were recognized for excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects. Winners were chosen based on the creativity of the project, the economic and social impact on the community, and whether the project achieved its goal.

ALCC is pleased to announce that seven of those award-winning community projects were implemented by ALCC Affiliate members:

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