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[Subsequently, the following material was received for insertion for the record :]
RE-BAR CONSTRUCTION Co., INC.,
Washington, D.C., December 16, 1975. Mr. JACKSON GRAHAM, General Manager, Board of Directors, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority, 600 Fifth Street NW., Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. GRAHAM: As a member of the Board of Directors of W.M.A.T.A., I believe you will be pleased to receive our company brochure.
W.M.A.T.A.'s Office of Minority Development and especially the efforts of Mr. Pete Brown have made Re-Bar Construction a part of Washington's subway building team. Norair Engineering, Swindell-Dressler, Healy-Kruse, and FruinColnon have subcontracted to our company, and in the future we hope to include other general contractors.
It has been said that minority-owned businesses do not perform to expectations, but in the pages of this brochure you will see that Re-Bar Construction not only did well but is also recognized as a solid subcontractor in the area. Community involvement has also increased according to our resources, yet none of this would have been possible if W.M.A.T.A.'s policy did not include a ten per cent minority participation in the award of all contracts.
We acknowledge the opportunities made available to us through this policy and thank W.M.A.T.A. for their enlightened directives. Yours truly,
IAH MEAL HARPS,
WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY,
Washington, D.C., December 29, 1975. Hon. ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Chairman, Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs, and Hon. W. S. STUCKEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation, Committee on the
District of Columbia, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. GENTLEMEN : In the belief that the correspondence is highly germane to the hearing conducted by your Subcommittees on December 16, 1975, into the experience of minority contractors in connection with Metro construction and the practices of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, I am enclos. ing a copy of a letter and a brochure which we have received from Mr. Ishmeal Harps, President, Re-Bar Construction Company, Inc., dated December 16, 1975. In the letter, Mr. Harps comments on the experience of his organization as a sub-contractor in Metro construction.
We believe that these materials should be of assistance to the Committee in its deliberations concerning the subject and, therefore, respectfully request that they be made a part of the record. Sincerely,
(From the New York Times, Jan. 9, 1976) WASHINGTON TRANSIT PROJECT BOON TO MINORITY BUILDERS
(By Ralph Blumenthal) WASHINGTON.—"The color of the game is green," says Charles W. Dowdy, director of minority development for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
More than any other construction effort in recent times, the building of the $5 billion capital area rapid rail system by the authority is providing black and other minority contractors with an extraordinary opportunity to break into the traditionally white-dominated construction field.
With minority concerns here now capturing about 5 percent of the contract awards, some $60 million will flow into the coffers of minority builders from work already assigned. At the same rate, minority concerns would capture about $250 million of the total expenditure.
That alone is more than one-sixth of the amount estimated to have been earned by all minority concerns last year in all construction projects across the nation, public and private.
On a lesser scale, the same trend toward a significant minority share in public construction is also evident in Atlanta and Baltimore, two other cities building large mass transit projects.
"Minority firms missed out on the two biggest construction booms of our timehousing and aerospace," said Mr. Dowdy. Transportation, he added, is the boom of the future—and one the minority concerns, black, Hispanic, and Oriental, will not be permitted to miss.
Minority concerns have been trying to break into the field for years and have failed. What is making the difference now is a combination of carrot-large public construction project (transit)—and stick-affirmative action progress for minority participation that have to be applied to such projects under equal opportunity legislation.
In addition, says Carl Jones, co-owner of Jones & Artis, the first minority firm to win a substantial contract with W.M.A.T.A. in the capital. "Metro brought on so much work [that] the smaller jobs went begging, and we came underneath and took them."
Public construction is all the more significant for firms like Jones & Artis because of the dearth of nongovernment work for minority concerns.
"Private? Forget it!" said Mr. Jones. “There's almost none of it. We don't even look for it."
BEQUEST ON CONTRACTS Since last November W.M.A.T.A. has been requesting that 10 percent of the high-value heavy construction prime contracts and 20 percent of the lighter work be directed to minority concerns. The distinction between the two types of contracts is a reflection of the relative scarcity of minority concerns at this point prepared to handle the largest contracts.
Atlanta, where a $2.1 billion rapid rail system is under construction does not have similar fixed percentage. But the equal opportunity office of the Metropoli. tan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority insists that minority concerns be "meaningfully" involved in each stage. Thus, a line segment being built through Fulton and DeKalb Counties with a 29 percent black population is supposed to reflect minority participation roughly to that extent.
So far, of construction contracts totaling about $11.5 million, minority concerns in Atlanta have won $2.7 million in subcontracts. In addition, of $8.3 million worth of design contracts for seven subway stations, minority concerns will reap $2.3 million in subcontracts.
Baltimore's project is still in too germinal a stage to reflect any fixed percentage of minority involvement. But of the first three contracts awarded, totaling $31,000, a minoriy concern got one, a demolition job, worth $10,600.
LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION The contrast between these levels of participation and those heretofore is striking.
For example, the Minority Contractors Resources Center here, a publicly funded agency credited with helping achieve the breakthrough, discovered re. cently after a survey that of $2 billion in Department of Defense construction contracts let last year, only $7 million went to minority concerns.
"We were so surprised we called the Pentagon to verify the figure," said Frank Kent, director of the center, at 1750 K Street NW.
Nationally, the center estimates minority participation at even less—under 1 percent of the $169 billion spent across the country on public and private construction in 1974.
EVASION DETECTED The center and WMATA have been working hand in hand to steer minority contractors to the available jobs. For example, when the authority awards a inajor contract to a low-bidder-usually one of the larger white-owned concerns-Mr. Kent's office is informed. The center then sends a letter congratulating the contractor and inviting him in to meet potential minority subcontractors.
“We parade a bunch past him, and he picks the ones he wants," Mr. Kent said.
On one decision, he said they caught a major contractor in an evasion. After rejcting a number of minority contractors referred by the center, the builder announced that he had found one of his own.
However, after looking into it, Mr. Kent's office discovered the man had set up a supposedly black-owned dummy concern under his foreman. Mr. Kent told the builder they knew what he was up to and gave him a week to come up with an acceptable legitimate minority concern—which he then did.
Had he refused, W.M.A.T.A. would have been in a dilemma. “We recognize we're not necessarily on the strongest legal ground," said Mr. Dowdy. A lowbidder denied a contract because of his refusal to hire a specified number of minority subcontractors might well sue and win, he indicated. Thus, the center and W.M.A.T.A. try to persuade rather than order.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION The center has been operating on a $450,000 budget this year, provided by W.M.A.T.A. ($100,000), the Department of Commerce's Office of Minority Business Enterprise ($100,000) and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare ($250,000).
One happy benefactor of the affirmative action effort is Mr. Jones of Jones & Artis.
Mr. Jones, a civil and structural engineering graduate of Howard University, set up the firm with James Artis three years ago.
In the beginning, he recalled, it was a struggle. Private construction contracts did not come their way. They were inexperienced. Banks were reluctant to make them loans.
“I don't want to hit them with a rap of not lending to blacks, but banks only lend you money if you don't need it.” said Mr. Jones, leaning back on a chair in his paneled office in a residential building at 1111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
“Banks only lend with a strong financial picture, and there aren't many firms like that."
The minority contractors center came to their aid with advice on how to set up a computerized cost-control system for running the business.
"It brought everything into an established pattern," said Mr. Jones. “It gave us stringent rules to live by. It gave us accountability over all facets of our business."
Before winter curbed the construction season, Jones & Artis were employing up to 107 workmen. The annual volume is up to $4 million. The firm has won five contracts with W.M.A.T.A., including one as a prime contractor, rebuilding I Street for $1 million. It also won a significant contract $2.9 million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration for work on the Ford-Lincoln Tunnel.
Perhaps even more important than the current contracts going to the minority concerns, Mr. Dowdy and Mr. Kent believe, is the experience the companies are garnering to prepare them for more lucrative contracts.
"There's no point getting someone an invitation to a dance if he doesn't know how to dance and doesn't have a tux," said Mr. Dowdy. “This will give them experience for other jobs. Now for the first time, minority firms are being able to say, 'Yes, I have the experience.'"
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,
Philadelphia, Pa., February 27, 1976. Subject: Air Quality Consistency Determination Between the Section 134 Trans
portation Plan and the State Implementation Plan-Washington, D.C.
Urbanized Area. Mr. W. H. WHITE, Regional Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of
Transportation, Baltimore, Md. DEAR MR. WHITE: In response to your letter of October 16, 1975 and in accordance with FHWA Air Quality Guidelines, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed the determination of consistency between the transportation plan and program and the air quality implementation plan for the Washing. ton, D.C. Urbanized Area. We apologize for the delay in submitting our comments.
We have concluded that the transit portion of the transportation plan is consistent with air quality goals but the highway portion is inconsistent with air quality goals. We have found the highway portion to contain significant deficiencies.
Based on our determination of inconsistency of the highway portion of the transportation plan, we strongly recommend that certification of the Transportation Planning Board be immediately withdrawn. We recommend that funding for tra sit projects and all planning funds be continued. Certification can be reinstated only when the plan provides for expeditious attainment and maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
We recognize that this represents a serious step, but air quality is a serious problem. We do not consider decertification a solution to the problem, but view it as a means to force a solution because the planning process is not responsive to environmental quality. We must emphasize that clean air is not an optional goal, but rather a requirement of the Clean Air Act. The planning process and the resulting plan therefore cannot choose to ignore it.
The existing air quality in the Washington, D.C. region as published in the District Bureau of Air Quality Reports necessitated a thorough review of the submittal. We find that the submittal ignores our previous comments and the plan has not been substantially changed since last year. Evidence of necessary elements to assure attainment of the NAAQS is not present in the plan. In addi. tion, a major concern expressed in our comments last year was the further problem of maintaining NAAQS once they have been attained. The plan does not provide for this maintenance of standards. We expect the results of the studies being done in the District area will be used to revise the long-range transportation and land use plans so the questions of attainment and maintenance will be addressed. However, the initiation of studies is not grounds for a consistent plan unless the necessary revisions to the plans and the “3C” planning process are made.
An inadequate Transportation Control Plan does not relieve the MPO from their responsibility to develop transportation policies and plans which allow for the timely attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS as required by the Clean Air Act. It must again be emphasized that clean air is a statutory requirement and not an optional goal.
The air quality analysis performed for the long-range plan indicates that NAAQS will not be attained even in 1992. We have carefully reviewed the air quality modelling procedures and conclude that the models represent the stateof-the-art and have been properly applied. However, we conclude that the 1992 air quality estimates are conservative because of the assumption of full control of CO and HC automobile emissions after 1977 and large reductions of CO and HC from heavy duty vehicles in 1980. Therefore, air quality in 1992 may be worse than predicted by the models.
The land use growth pattern assumed in the long-range plan (6.2 modified) resembles a sprawl-type pattern. Implicit in this growth pattern is the assumption that highways will be built, such that growth will occur. These projections are thus self-fulfilling. The transportation codes assumed result in patterns and demands indicating more highways need to be built. The land use plan, as a result, is not an independent policy but rather a reflection of the desired transportation policies. In addition, this process does not allow for environmental assessment at the proper stage of the planning process.
Land use projections require as input policy for water and sewer, transit, highway and open space. Environmental constraints must be considered during development of policy, as well as during later stages of the modelling process. Until the environmental concerns are addressed in the land use planning, maintenance of the NAAQS cannot be assured by the long-range plan.
The short-range transportation improvement program (SRTIP) is inconsistent because it does not provide for attainment of the NAAQS. The SRTIP does provide for increased transit funding due to the metro construction. However, a firm commitment toward continued increased transit funding is lacking. Furthermore, the SRTIP does not directly provide a funding level such that timely implementation of the TCP measures will occur. The implementation dates have not been met and although the MPO gives assurance of accelerated implementation, the SRTIP does not clearly include funding for the efforts required to implement the measures.
I would like to meet with you in person immediately to discuss your instructions to the MPO. Transportation Systems Management planning is an excellent mechanism for insuring attainment of the NAAQS. Year 2000 planning, 208 planning and air quality maintenance studies now underway can provide a sound basis for insuring maintenance of the standards.
We appreciate the opportunity to review your determination of consistency and look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely,
DANIEL J. SNYDER III,
METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON GROUP,
THE SIERRA CLUB,
March 4, 1976. STATEMENT OF RIIEA L. COHEN
Chairman Mathias and members of the committee : Of the many urban problems with which Washington area residents and their elected representatives must deal daily, the funding of the Metro rapid rail system has been made the most urgent by the recent release of the Faucett report by the Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs of the House Committee on the District of Columbia.
On November 7, 1965, Subcommittee Chairman Romano L. Mazzoli requested the Library of Congress to undertake a study of the proposed Metro rail system, that it be a "preliminary assessment ... of the desirability of a shift to some short-term funding approach for Metro to allow time for a thorough re-study before proceeding with the longer-term completion of the system.” The report was to contain three elements in particular:
1. A concise cost-benefit appraisal of one or more possible alternatives to the presently planned 98-mile system, supported by as much detailed data analysis as is feasible;
2. Documentation of changes in metropolitan area economy, structure and function which may render invalid some original planning assumptions and forecasts supporting the 98-mile adopted regional plan for the rail transit system, and
3. Some assessment of the costs and impacts of the alternatives considered on present system financing agreements between Federal, state and
local governments." The Library of Congress engaged Jack Faucett Associates, Inc., of Chevy Chase, Maryland, on a contract for a study lasting six weeks and costing $4000. Released by the Subcommittee in early February, the study calls for a halt in Metro construction for six to nine months until after a "thorough alternatives analysis" has been conducted. The alternative which the consultants apparently prefer is truncating the Metro to a 68-mile system.
The Faucett report shows a stunning disdain for all of those human and environmental values relating to transportation alternatives which defy easy quantification in terms of dollars and cents, such as air quality, convenience and comfort, access to new job markets and access to public facilities and serv. ices. With regard to air quality, truncation of Metro rail service would lead to pressure for more highway construction to accommodate those commuters who would otherwise have become rail patrons. Even with the Metro rail system in the region's transportation plan as a basic element, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week has declared the highway portion of that plan inconsistent with air quality standards.
In a letter to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, EPA Region III Administrator Daniel J. Snyder pointed out, “We must emphasize that clean air is not an optional goal, but rather a requirement of the Clean Air Act." According to the attached Washington Post newspaper article, Snyder has recommended that the Federal Highway Administrator withhold highway construction funds "until air pollution control measures are strengthened.” Clearly, cutting back on mass transit for the region would exacerbate air pollution.
Two erroneous assumptions are central to the Faucett report : 1) that Metro's operating costs must be met by the farebox, and 2) that only population growth can greatly increase ridership. Then, pointing to the recent downward adjustments in population forecasts for the region, the report concludes that it is