Ozone Bill Passes House with PCA Support

Last week, the House of Representatives voted (234 in support and 177 opposed) to pass the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775). This legislation extends the implementation timeframe of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and makes other needed revisions to the broader NAAQS program, including lengthening the review cycle from five to 10 years.

Portland Cement Association (PCA) applauds the House of Representatives for passing this important bill. The Senate has a companion bill, S. 2882, which is now under consideration in the Environment and Public Works Committee. While the White House has threatened to veto the legislation should it reach the President’s desk, Congressional action helps bring national attention to a regulatory framework that threatens jobs and the economy.

Prior to passage, the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued a press release praising PCA for supporting the legislation. More than 275 organizations pledged their support of H.R. 4775 but PCA, along with other major trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, was specifically mentioned in the release.

PCA would like to thank our members who sent letters to their Representatives in the House urging them to support H.R. 4775 and advocated in favor of this issue during PCA’s Washington, DC Fly-In.

PCA will continue to keep members up-to-date on this and other priority issues for the cement industry.

Please contact Seth Waugh, PCA director of Government Affairs, or Rachel Derby, PCA vice president of Government Affairs, if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Market Intelligence

PCA: Inclement Weather May Reduce June Cement Consumption

June Cement Consumpton-FramedHeavy rains in Texas and Tropical Storm Colin in Florida may have a detrimental effect on national cement consumption levels in June, according to the PCA Marketing Intelligence team. Elevated precipitation levels and flooding can delay construction projects, which subsequently impacts cement usage.

Since the year 2000, Texas and Florida have combined to consume roughly 20 percent of annual cement in the U.S. While the proportion of these two states’ consumption to the U.S. total is smaller in the summer months, it is consistently over 15 percent and has increased in recent years. 

For information contact: PCA Senior Analyst Joe Chiappe.


Survey Finds Most Commonly Produced Cement

Type II cement is the most common portland cement type produced in the U.S. and Type IL is the most common blended cement produced, according to a recent PCA report.

Although Type II cements have been the most widely produced cement for some time, Type IL cements have only been defined in US specifications since 2012. The environmental benefits of portland-limestone cements have lead to a relatively rapid acceptance of these cements in the marketplace.

In Chemical and Physical Characteristics of U.S. Hydraulic Cements: 2014,  the results of a survey PCA’s Product Standard and Technology Committee conducted in 2015 are presented. The survey compiled yearly average data on physical and chemical characteristics of commercially available cements manufactured in the U.S. in 2014, focusing on characteristics referenced in specifications.

Included is a summary of 134 portland cements manufactured under ASTM C150/AASHTO M 85, 28 blended cements produced under ASTM C595/AASHTO M 240, 11 hydraulic cements produced under ASTM C1157, 66 ASTM C91 masonry cements, eight ASTM C1328 plastic (stucco) cements, and four ASTM C1329 mortar cements.

The report is available for download at PCA R&D Serial No. 3284.

For information contact: Paul Tennis, PCA Director, Product Standards & Technology.

Market Development

ACI, TMS Lead Effort to Offer Masonry Technician Programs (VIDEO)

The American Concrete Institute (ACI), in cooperation with The Masonry Society (TMS) and other industry organizations, have announced the availability of two certification programs to improve the quality of masonry testing and recognize qualified technicians.

The certification programs – one for masonry laboratory testing technicians and one for masonry field testing technicians – will be offered for a second year this fall at locations throughout the U.S. Technicians who successfully complete either exam, which includes a written and performance portion, will receive a 5-year certification from ACI for field or lab testing.

Individuals taking the exams are urged to prepare through TMS review sessions that combine classroom instruction, lab demonstrations, and lab practice time. To learn more about the new certifications, see information at The Masonry Society or the American Concrete Institute. A video presentation is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ggfq5FfeBk&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1.

For more information, contact PCA Director of Building Marketing Jamie Farny.


PCA’s Reh Retires After 28 Years

Gilma Reh-cropped-framedAfter 28 years of dedicated service, PCA Washington, D.C., Office Manager Gilma Reh retires this week. Reh has seen many changes in the association from office locations to staff, all while maintaining constant outstanding support for PCA advocacy efforts. In her retirement, she plans to spend time relaxing with family and looks forward to a schedule which will permit volunteer efforts. It is certain that any organization fortunate enough to earn her assistance will be better off for her efforts. The association, members and staff, wish her the best.

Market Development

PCA Urging Support for Pearl Harbor Mooring Quay Restoration

PCA is urging members to vote online through July 5 to help restore a portion of Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row and assist veterans seeking work in concrete construction. Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row is one of 20 national parks competing for funding from a $2 million preservation grant from Partners in Preservation, a partnership between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Its concrete mooring quays are rapidly deteriorating, and are the last structures that remain after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The non-profit Concrete Preservation Institute (CPI) estimates restoration of one quay will cost $250,000 and take five years.

If the quay project is awarded the funding, CPI would hire military personnel making the transition to the civilian workforce, providing them with hands-on opportunities in concrete repair. Grant recipients will be determined based on online balloting. Support the CPI project at voteyourpark.org.

For more information, contact PCA Director of Marketing Infrastructure, Alpa Swinger


Iowa Concrete Wind Turbine Becomes Tallest in the U.S.  (VIDEO)

MidAmerican Energy recently completed construction of the tallest wind turbine in the U.S. Located in in Adams County, Iowa, the tower was an experiment in modular construction, formed and poured on site. Measuring 379 feet tall, or 557 feet from the ground to blade tip, the structure required more than 80 miles of reinforcing steel. The turbine has an energy capacity of 2,415 kW.

See the video for a time-lapse look at its construction.