Washington

Capitol_sliderPCA Supports Federal Water Quality Protection Act of 2015 – The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) approved S. 1140, the “Federal Water Quality Protection Act of 2015” on June 10. The bipartisan bill, offered by Sens. Barrasso (R-WY) and Donnelly (D-IN), would rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently finalized rule expanding its regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. It would then require the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to draft a new rule with clearly defined parameters regarding what may be regulated as “waters of the United States.” PCA joined 50 industry and agriculture partners on June 9 in a letter urging senators to support the legislation. Contact Bryan Brendle

House, Senate Lawmakers Take Action to Improve EPA’s Coal Ash Rule – Cement and concrete makers can help assure bipartisan passage of H.R. 1734, the “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015,” which House lawmakers are expected to consider this summer. The bill will codify EPA’s favorable treatment of coal ash under recently finalized solid waste regulations. Importantly for industry, it also relieves cement makers from burdensome rules associated with coal ash stored on-site. A strong, bipartisan vote will send a signal of support for companion legislation in the Senate. Send a letter (PCA Take Action) to House lawmakers urging a “yes” vote on H.R. 1734.  Contact Bryan Brendle

Senator Gary Peters Visits Lafarge Cement Plant – Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) toured Lafarge North America’s Alpena cement plant on May 29, where he discussed the manufacturing sector and Lafarge’s environmental investments. While visiting the plant, Peters was able to see Lafarge’s wet gas scrubber, which has been contributing to the protection of Michigan’s environmental and natural resources by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions released in the atmosphere. As an advocate of job security and preserving the environment, Peters was proud to see companies like Lafarge promoting the manufacturing industry, providing jobs for the local community, and taking a leadership role to protect the environment. Contact David J. Bell

Market Intelligence

Two New Member-Exclusive Reports Available

PCA has released exclusively to its members two apparent use reports broken down to a county level. The 2014 County & Market Apparent Use of Portland Cement report details cement usage for more than 3,000 counties, broken down into 13 categories.

Also available is the County & Market Apparent Use Trend report. Covering a five-year horizon, it incorporates the historical data derived by the PCA Apparent Use county-demand model between the years 2010-2014. It is useful for analyzing patterns and movement at the county level during a longer time-span.

For more information about county Apparent Use for all states contact Joe Chiappe.

Place individual orders with Karen Arneson.

Codes & Standards

NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide in Final Phase

This week, PCA is providing comments on the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute for Standards and Technology Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems. The Guide will allow communities to identify gaps in current standards, codes and include tools that can lead to enhanced resiliency.

The publication addresses design and construction of buildings and transportation, water, wastewater, energy, and communication systems. Many of the comments previously submitted by the PCA Codes and Standards department have been integrated into the final draft. The latest comments, focused primarily on general principles and buildings, have been submitted in this final opportunity. The comment period ends on June 26.

Contact Steve Szoke

Association News

Economic Research On the Money

ESullivan_300_2013The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has again honored Edward Sullivan, PCA chief economist, a Certificate in Forecasting Excellence. PCA received this recognition at the recent Economic Outlook Symposium, held in Detroit in May.  

The Symposium drew participants from manufacturing, banking, consulting and service firms, and academia. This year, 35 individuals provided forecasts for major components such as real gross domestic product (GDP) and other key statistics for the U.S. economy.

Contact Ed Sullivan

Education & Training

Register Today for the Professors’ Workshop

SLIDER-PROF15Concrete materials properties, engineering and economics of concrete structures, and design, construction, and performance of concrete pavements are the topics scheduled for the PCA Education Foundation Professors’ Workshop, July 20-24, 2015.

Held at the PCA office in Skokie, Illinois, the workshop provides faculty in engineering, architecture, and construction management the tools to teach the latest developments in concrete design, construction, and materials. Networking opportunities to exchange ideas with professors from many universities, demonstrations by software vendors, and more than $2,500 of free resource materials are also part of the week.

The workshop fee of $395 includes all handout materials, resource literature, shipping, lunches, receptions, and a dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Skokie.

See the PCA website for registration and the activities.

Contact Michelle Wilson

Concrete Technology

NRMCA Releases Revised Specifications Guide

To guide concrete producers and contractors on compliance with project specifications, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), recently released the NRMCA Guide to Improving Specifications for Ready Mixed Concrete.

The publication covers concrete ingredients and mixtures and emphasizes the fundamental concepts of specifications for ready mixed concrete addressed in industry standards published by American Concrete Institute (ACI) or ASTM International. Provisions of ACI 318-14, Building Code for Structural Concrete, as it relates to requirements for concrete ingredient materials and mixtures, production, and delivery are also incorporated.

The publication is available for download on the NRMCA website

Education & Training

Abstracts Now Accepted for Construction Materials Conference

To identify and discuss the “Grand Challenges” in construction materials, and potential solutions, organizers at the University of California – Los Angeles are launching the first International Conference on Grand Challenges in Construction Materials.

The March 17-18, 2016 conference addresses how to expand and remediate infrastructure within the context of sustainability and a reduction of CO2 emissions from the construction community. Focus is placed on identifying groupings of challenges, research directions for the academic community, and industry to undertake towards solution of such anticipated challenges.

The conference is accepting abstracts until August 1, 2015. Potential authors and speakers should identify a grand challenge with some level of specificity, and discuss how the outcomes of their research present a complete or partial solution to the challenge.

View details at www.igcmat.com

Allies

Call for Entries: ASA Outstanding Shotcrete Project Awards

American Shotcrete Association (ASA) is accepting submissions for its 2015 Outstanding Shotcrete Awards Program. Winners receive their award and present their project during the ASA Annual Awards Banquet held in conjunction with World of Concrete. Winning projects for each category are also published in Shotcrete magazine’s annual Awards Issue.

Awards are bestowed in six categories and multiple submissions are welcome. Projects must have been completed between January 1, 2013 and September 1, 2015. Entries are due October 1, 2015.

Visit http://shotcrete.org for additional details.

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