2016 D.C. Fly-In Speakers, Program Announced

Speakers for the 2016 PCA D.C. Fly-In have been announced which include Janet McCabe, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting assistant administrator for the office of air and radiation.

McCabe is responsible for all EPA policies related to air emissions and climate change and oversees several regulatory programs of critical importance to the cement industry, including EPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for cement kilns and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

During the Fly-In, PCA will host a political event for Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) and a reception featuring Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The lunch program on May 25, will feature Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), who is poised to be the incoming Chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. 

We strongly encourage early registration for the Fly-In by clicking here.  

Contact Rachel Derby

Market Intelligence

New Data Calls Government's Oil Forecast into Question

MI5216Oil prices have been especially volatile over the past couple of years, but recent data suggests possible elevation in the level from the government’s forecast.  

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) oil projections reflect subdued West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices; however, if recent trends hold it is possible that an upward revision to the forecast is forthcoming. Oil prices serve as the signal on which companies base their decision to commence or resume drilling activity. An increase in drilling activity increases the amount of oil well cement consumed, but also has a multiplier effect on overall economic and construction activity, raising cement consumption even further.

Since mid-April, the WTI oil price has surpassed the EIA’s expectation by an average of $5 per barrel, which translates into a roughly 15 percent increase above the forecast. While it is unclear if this trend will continue, the escalation presents an increasing upside risk to PCA’s cement forecast.

Contact Ed Sullivan

Member News

St. Marys Cement Engages Community in Step with Charlevoix Plant Modernization

PCA member St. Marys Cement, which operates as part of international building material supplier, Votorantim Cimentos, is in the process of modernizing its Charlevoix, Michigan cement plant. As it makes modifications to the operation with an eye on productivity, efficiency and lower emissions, it is also maintaining a sharp focus on transparency and maintaining strong ties with the surrounding community.

Recently, St. Marys Cement hosted an open house where it invited local residents and businesses to see and discuss the modernization plans. This month, St. Marys Cement is donating a propeller from the decommissioned St. Marys Challenger to the Charlevoix City Council. The large propeller will be displayed in a nearby public area, serving as a reminder of how industry and the community can co-exist — both experiencing the benefits of industry and maritime commerce in the Great Lakes region.

For more information, visit stmaryscement.com.

Market Development

Register for Friday's "Building Stronger Communities" Promotion Call

The next “Building Stronger Communities” Promotion Call takes place on Friday, May 6 at 11 am ET. The calls offer national and local promoters a communication network to deliver industry market development messages, and the opportunity to share best practices for more resilient concrete building advocacy and promotion. 

Centering around the pillars of sustainability, the calls highlight environmental, economic, and social issues as they relate to the housing and building markets. Sustainable construction includes resilience, green building, and advocacy for more robust codes and standards. 

This month's call will feature: 

• A preliminary report from PCA Market Intelligence that gives us a glimpse of future growth among the building sectors – Ed Sullivan, PCA senior vice president and chief economist
• The motivation for mitigation, in terms of insurance and other pressures – T. Reed Miller, research specialist at MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
• Information on the latest PCA Buildings Committee initiative, the Breezy Point rebuild home for #HurricaneStrong – Donn Thompson, PCA senior director, market development

Registration is required to participate. Please use the call-in information that is provided. 

Contact Alpa Swinger

Regional News

Southeast Cement Promotion Association Begins Operations

The Southeast Cement Promotion Association, Inc. officially began operating on May 1, 2016. Formerly known as the PCA Southeast Region, the group will operate as an affiliate of the Portland Cement Association. The Southeast Cement Promotion Association, Inc. represents the manufacturers and distributors of portland and masonry cement in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia/DC, and West Virginia.

For more information on the new group and contact information visit www.secement.org.

Codes and Standards

PCA Codes and Standards featured in Life Safety Digest

The spring edition of Life Safety Digest recently featured a cover story by PCA Codes and Standards Manager William “Jay” Hall, titled High Rise Combustible Construction. The article focuses on the allowable heights of combustible construction permitted by the International Building Code (IBC) and the rationale for increased fire testing on these structures.

In the article Hall notes that, “as new products and methods of construction are studied and developed, such as the use of Cross Laminated Timber, fire safety cannot be compromised or reduced on any level. These products should be subject to the same fire testing as non-combustible materials if they are to be considered for use.” 

Click here to read the full article. 

Contact Jay Hall

Research and Technology

PCA Joins Bellefontaine Celebration

IMG_1180PCA recently joined the American Concrete Pavement Association in celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first concrete street.

PCA president and CEO Jim Toscas, along with industry and local leaders celebrated the occasion in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Many give credit to the road as the start of our nation's current infrastructure. 

Click to read more

Contact Steve Kosmatka

Industry News

Farny and Wilson Named ACI Committee Chairs

Following the Spring 2016 Convention and meetings of the American Concrete Institute, new committee chairs were appointed. Jamie Farny, PCA’s director, building marketing, was selected as chair of ACI 332, Residential Concrete Work. Michelle Wilson, PCA's director, concrete technology, was named chair of ACI 301, Specifications for Structural Concrete.

Farny takes over from James Baty, technical director of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, who served two consecutive three-year terms as chair. He completed an update of the code in 2014 and is currently finalizing a new guide for 2016. Work has begun on a revision of the code to produce a 2017 version and to continue development of a third document,
Report on Disaster Resistant Concrete Houses.

Wilson has served as a member of ACI 301 since 2000. She served as secretary in the update of the ACI 301-16 Specifications for Structural Concrete. ACI 301 produces the specification on a schedule to match the ACI 318 building code cycle. The chair appoints or confirms the committee membership for a 5-year term.

Contact Michelle Wilson or Jamie Farny

Research and Technology

Conference Offers Inaugural Fatality and Serious Injury Prevention Symposium

PCA’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee offers its first “Fatality and Serious Injury Prevention (FSI) Symposium” on May 16 at the 58th annual IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference. The comprehensive seminar focuses exclusively on safety at the cement plant. Topics include an overview of fatalities and serious injuries at cement plants; FSI prevention; recent changes to confined space regulations, engineering evaluations of structural integrity; insights into leadership and behaviors that impact safety and fall prevention. The conference is May 15-19 in Dallas, Texas.

Find more information.

Contact Rick Bohan