Washington

PCA Joins Chamber, NFIB, in WOTUS Complaint

On Friday, PCA joined a coalition that included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to file a legal challenge to EPA’s new rule expanding regulatory definitions of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). Consistent with many PCA and Waters Advocacy Coalition comments submitted on the 2014 proposal, the petition outlines violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the commerce clause on the part of federal regulators.

The CWA and other federal statutes outline expedited timeframes for filing a lawsuit at the district (i.e., trial) court level both to establish “standing” for purposes of injunctive relief, and to safeguard specific federal circuit appellate courts to hear a potential appeal from the district court level. Because of this, the U.S. Chamber-led coalition, as well as groups led by state attorneys general and other business organizations, have filed petitions within 14 days of publication of the final WOTUS rule in the Federal Register (June 29). 

Contact Bryan Brendle

Member News

CEMEX USA Relocates Headquarters

CEMEX USA headquarters will move to a new LEED-certified office building in the Memorial City area of Houston next fall.

Although it has been located in Memorial City since 2005, CEMEX will now anchor a new six-story office building in the “city within a city.” CEMEX will occupy the new building’s second and third levels. The building’s first floor will include retail space and the top three floors will be leased.

“We look forward to creating an inspiring, state-of-the art space to better serve our customers and our employees,” said Karl Watson, Jr., president, CEMEX USA.

Located in West Houston, Memorial City contains 265 acres of developed real estate. A blend of office space and retail, the area includes the 1.7 million square foot Memorial City Mall; garden and high-rise residential living; upscale hotel accommodations, including The Westin Memorial City; and the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, the second largest medical campus in the Houston metropolitan area. 

Codes & Standards

PCA Presents Need for Enhanced Resiliency at PROTECT 2015

PCA’s presentation, The Need for Enhanced Resiliency in Building Design and Construction, fostered support for applying enhanced resiliency to more than just critical elements of infrastructure at the Fifth International Workshop on Performance, Protection and Strengthening of Structures under Extreme Loading (PROTECT 2015) conference, June 28-30 at Michigan State University, East Lansing.

It stressed that more needs to be done at the community level.  Residents and businesses are interdependent and all rely on water, energy, food, transportation, and other necessities following a disaster. The current emphasis on critical infrastructure and temporary housing for emergency responders, medical professionals, and service providers is deficient with regard to community resiliency, said Steve Szoke, PCA senior director, codes and standards.

Enhanced resiliency needs to address the construction of buildings that are more resistant to damage due to structure fires, wildland fires, floods, and the effects of other disasters such as extreme heat and cold. Improving our built environment can only occur through awareness of the need to implement combinations of societal, organizational, and technological resilience concepts based on risk evaluation techniques, according to the PCA presentation.

Attendees from the United States and other nations responded positively to the presentation. Individuals from IMPROVER, a joint effort of seven European countries focused on improved risk evaluation and implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure, said they plan to integrate some of the concepts in their project.

Contact Steve Szoke

Association News

Call for Nominations: 2015 Gleason Awards

John P. 'Jay' Gleason

The John P. Gleason, Jr., Leadership Awards recognize PCA members who have exhibited industry leadership by advancing key Association programs and initiatives. 

The awards honor John P. “Jay” Gleason, Jr., who served as PCA president from 1986 until his retirement in 2007. Gleason was known for his consensus building among both members and allies and for his strong leadership skills. During his tenure, PCA membership rose from 57 percent to 98 percent of the U.S. cement industry.

Awards are presented in three categories:

Business Continuity: The nominee positively impacts issues and factors affecting PCA member companies' ability to continue viable operations. These include regulatory advocacy, federal advocacy, research, standards, safety and health, and other initiatives related to manufacturing and operations. 

Market Development: The nominee is actively involved with factors that influence increasing the size of the market for cement and cement-based products. These include national and regional marketing and promotion, imaging and branding, federal and local advocacy, codes and standards, and the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub.

Young Leaders: Recognizes up-and-coming member company employees who will lead the cement industry into the future – individuals that demonstrate high potential for success in leadership roles and exhibit a strong commitment to PCA and the cement industry. 

More information, including the nomination form and eligibility, is available on PCA’s website.

Nominations are due by Tuesday, July 21. Winners will be announced at PCA’s Fall Meeting, August 31, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois.

Contact Jan Farnsworth

Education & Training

Register Today for the Professors’ Workshop

SLIDER-PROF15Concrete materials properties, engineering and economics of concrete structures, 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

Technology

15th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete

Next July, the engineering faculty of Ilha Solteira of UNESP, Sao Paolo, Brazil, will host the 15th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete July 3-7, 2016.

Held every four years, the main themes for the 2016 conference include mechanisms of alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) testing for potential AAR, preventative measures and diagnosis and assessment.

The last ICAAR, in Austin, Texas, drew 200 international attendees. About 130 technical presentations and five keynotes were included.

For more information on the conference, see the Brazil Institute of Concrete (IBRACON) website

Education & Training

PCA Offers Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures Course

PCA’s publication Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures is the foundation for a concrete industry course offered October 5-8, 2015 on the PCA campus.

The course reflects the latest advances in concrete technology. Covered will be materials, properties of concrete, mix design, placement, and testing. It is especially useful for concrete industry personnel who need fundamental yet practical concrete knowledge and combines classroom instruction, lab demonstrations, and hands-on training to help employees meet customer needs.

For more information, go to the PCA website.

Contact Michelle Wilson

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