Communicate Your Transportation Concerns to Congress

BANNER-RECTANGLE-HILL2015Spring signals the return of cement company employees and other industry members back to Washington, DC for the annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) legislative fly-in and Cement and Concrete Day on the Hill. Scheduled for April 14-15, the TCC Fly-In will address the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that is set to expire at the end of May. MAP-21 provided more than $105 billion for surface transportation funds for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. It transformed the framework for investments to guide infrastructure growth and development.

The TCC Fly-In and Cement and Concrete Day on the Hill allows participants to personally meet with congressional delegates to discuss the importance of robust, continued investment in transportation infrastructure to the nation's economy, investment that creates jobs while building the future.

On April 15, after Congressional visits, PCA will be hosting an evening reception with Members of Congress, staff and industry partners.

Learn more about the TCC Fly-In

Contact Collin Long


Tennis Named an ACI Fellow

Tennis, PaulPaul Tennis, PCA director of product standards and technology, is among 37 American Concrete Institute (ACI) members honored with the rank of Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (FACI).

The new fellows will be introduced during the ACI Concrete and Convention and Exposition Opening Session and Awards Program on April 12, 2015. As stated in the ACI bylaws, a Fellow is an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the production or use of concrete materials, products, and structures in the area of education, research, development, design, construction, or management.

He is a member of ACI Committees 201, Durability of Concrete; 225, Hydraulic Cements; 522, Pervious Concrete, and ACI Subcommittees 211-N, Proportioning with Ground Limestone and Mineral Fillers, and C601-H, Cement Testing. Further, he chairs ASTM Committee C01, Cement, and is a member of ASTM Committee C09, Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, as well as multiple C01 and C09 subcommittees.

Tennis received his B.S. degree in ceramic engineering from Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, and M.S. in materials science and engineering and PhD in civil engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

Contact Paul Tennis


Proposed EPA Ozone Regulations Would Slash Thousands of Construction Jobs

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to further tighten ozone standards could result in the loss of more than 45,000 construction jobs each year, slow the nation’s economy, and impede vital infrastructure investments.

A PCA report estimates that the cement industry alone would have compliance and plant closures that could lead to the loss of nearly 900 jobs. Most cement plants are located in small rural communities, so the impact would be felt disproportionately in those regions.

“A cement plant is vital to the economy of its community. When one is forced to close, the region loses jobs, it loses significant tax revenue for schools and public services, and it loses a strong supporter of local charities and civic activities,” said James Toscas, PCA president and CEO.

Most cement and concrete in the U.S is used for infrastructure.  Higher costs for construction projects would mean that governments could afford fewer projects each year. As a result, PCA estimates that costs associated with compliance to the proposed standards would lead to the loss of 45,000 construction jobs each year. 

Contact Bryan Brendle

Codes & Standards

PCA to Speak on 2018 Code Change Proposals

Proposed changes to the 2018 Edition of the International Building Code (IBC) are now posted. The changes will be reviewed at the International Code Council Committee Action Hearings on April 26-May 3, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee, where PCA Codes and Standards staff will present and testify on behalf of the concrete industry.

PCA staff and consultants will support proposals that strengthen the code and favor concrete and masonry solutions, and speak in opposition to those that weaken the code and favor alternative construction systems.

The 600 code change proposals for evaluation include items scheduled for the general building code and fire safety committees. The ICC will hear proposals related to structural design and construction criteria in 2016.

View more information on the code change proposals at www.iccsafe.org

Contact Steve Szoke     


Attend the 57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference

Make your plans today to attend the 57th IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 26-30, 2015, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

The largest conference in the industry, this meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest economic forecast, industry news, government regulations updates, and the latest technology that impacts its operations and business continuity.

The meeting will include presentations from the industry’s top technical people, addressing the diverse technical issues and proposing potential solutions to the many challenges facing the cement industry. In addition, St. Mary’s Bowmanville facility, Canada’s largest cement plant, will host tours.

The final day for the conference room block reservations at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel is April 3. Be sure to request the special “IEEE-IAS/PCA Conference” rate.

Register at www.CementConference.org.

Contact Rick Bohan

Market Intelligence

Proposed WOTUS Rules May Carry Large Pricetag

PCA estimates that proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules could add nearly $73 million in compliance costs during a five-year horizon.

Nearly 97 percent of all cement plants in the United States could become subject to WOTUS jurisdiction under a proposed rule change by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proposal introduces a new definition of “other waters” and allows for broad EPA powers, suggesting some jurisdictional determinations be evaluated on a “case-by-case basis” – adding uncertainty to compliance efforts.

According to a PCA report, the extent of federal jurisdiction over WOTUS could increase cement producer costs and impact decisions to expand and/or source locally. Other industries will be similarly impacted, to the detriment of economic growth and job creation. A recent study estimates that federal regulations reduced economic growth by two percent annually between 1949 and 2005.

View the 16-page report

Contact Ed Sullivan

Education and Training

One Week Left to Submit Abstracts for Cements 2015

Abstracts are due March 31 for the 6th Advances in Cement-based Materials conference, to be held July 20-22, at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Cements 2015 is organized by the Cements Division of The American Ceramic Society and the Center for Advanced Cement-based Materials.

Cement chemistry and nano/micro structure, alternative cemetitious materials, durability of lifecycle modeling and advances in material characterization techniques are among topics in the program.

There is no paper requirement, just oral or poster presentations. Abstracts are due March 31, 2015, and should be around 200 words.

To submit an abstract visit http://ceramics.org