EPA Releases Power Plant CO2 Emission Regulations
Today, President Obama authorized new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants.
"These unprecedented regulations will have enormous impact," said James Toscas, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association (PCA). "Everybody, including EPA, agrees that they will boost the cost of electricity, which in turn will increase the cost of making and using nearly everything. Higher costs hurt every American's pocketbook, and mean fewer investments, fewer construction projects, and fewer jobs."
Unlike other emissions that have been regulated by EPA up to now, CO2 was not considered an air pollutant by Congress when it passed the Clean Air Act. However, because it has been associated with global warming, means have been sought to control industrial CO2 emissions, and the broad language contained in the Clean Air Act allows EPA to do so.
Industrial processes used to make electricity, cement, and other essential materials and commodities, and all forms of combustion, have always produced CO2. Industries have gradually reduced emissions during the past decade, primarily through improvements in energy efficiency and use of alternative fuels. To reduce CO2 emission intensity to the degree sought by the new EPA regulations, however, an industry must either remove CO2 as part of its existing process or shift to a different, less CO2-intensive process.
The new regulations are the first of an expected series of EPA rules regulating CO2 from core U.S. industries, including cement manufacturers.
The cement industry takes environmental protection very seriously, and has made significant progress in reducing energy use and associated CO2 emissions through refinements in plant operations and technology. Of the 70 manufacturing facilities that achieved EPA ENERGY STAR® certification in 2014, 27 were cement plants. A Duke University study for the period 1997 to 2008 noted a 13 percent improvement in US cement plant energy efficiency.
View news release
Contact Bryan Brendle
Essroc Acquires Holcim Facility in New Jersey
Essroc Italcementi Group recently closed on its acquisition of the Holcim slag cement grinding facility in Camden, New Jersey. The facility is now fully integrated into Essroc’s network.
“We are pleased to finalize the acquisition of the Camden slag cement grinding facility and look forward to serving the slag requirement of concrete producers in the northeast market,” said Francesco Carantani, Essroc’s president and chief executive officer. “With the focus on sustainability and durability, there is a projected growth in the demand and usage of slag cement.”
The Camden facility can produce 500,000 metric tons of slag cement annually. Combined with Essroc’s other slag cement operations in Picton, Ontario; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Middlebranch, Ohio, Essroc has a combined slag cement production capacity exceeding 750,000 metric tons of slag cement annually.
By a bipartisan vote of 65 to 34, the U.S. Senate last week passed a six-year surface transportation authorization. Passage of the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act” or the DRIVE Act, represents a major step toward completion of a robust highway bill this fall. Co-sponsored by Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Tom Carper (D-LA), the bill would provide more than $40 billion in revenues to cover shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund during the first three years of the legislation’s six-year authorization.
Averting the July 31 expiration of current surface transportation authority, the Senate also passed a three-month infrastructure extension that funds road and bridge projects through this year's construction season, and provides more time for Congress to finish work on a multi-year authorization in the coming months. The short-term extension, already approved by the House, now awaits the President’s signature.
PCA has long called for passage of a multi-year highway bill like the DRIVE Act. The DRIVE Act would finally break the pattern of repeated short-term patches, which have failed to provide the long-term investment needed to properly maintain and expand our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
View the PCA news release
Contact Collin Long
Register Today for the PCA Fall Meeting
The PCA Fall Committee Meetings will take place August 31-September 1, 2015 at the Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago.
Meeting highlights include:
> Economic Update by Edward Sullivan, PCA group vice president and chief economist at the Monday group lunch
> Presentation of the John P. Gleason, Jr., Leadership Awards at the lunch on Monday
> A meeting of the Manufacturing Technical Committee focusing on emerging issues and best practices
> Tuesday's group breakfast will be keynoted by Alex Herrgott, deputy staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Registration and hotel reservations may be found online at the Members Only section of the PCA’s website. Hotel reservations should be made by August 8.
Contact Kathryn DiProva
Cohrs Elected FC&PA Board of Directors Chairman
Former PCA Board of Directors Chairman Cary O. Cohrs was recently elected chairman of the Florida Concrete & Products Association (FC&PA) Board of Directors. An active member of FC&PA, he previously served as a member of its Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Cohrs is the current chairman of the CTLGroup LLC Board of Directors and president of American Cement Company, LLC, Sumterville, Florida, since 2005.
In addition to being a long-standing member of the PCA Board of Directors, Cohrs served as co-chair of the Manufacturing Technical Committee. He also was the local chairman for the 2002 IEEE/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference. Other professional experience includes positions as plant manager, construction manager, and vice president of operations for Florida Rock Industries and corporate project manager for Essroc Materials Inc.
Cohrs earned Bachelor Degrees in Industrial Engineering and Business Management from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.
Craddock Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Frank Craddock, CEMEX USA's executive vice president, cement commercial and public affairs, recently received the William B. Hicklin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Concrete & Products Association (FC&PA).
The Hicklin Award, named after the first FC&PA President, is given annually to an industry member who through the giving of his/her time, company resources, moral support, and leadership has significantly contributed to the goals of the association.
FC&PA Chairman Kim Duke and Karl Watson, Jr., president, CEMEX USA presented the award citing Craddock’s’ visionary leadership.
Watson praised Craddock for his efforts at CEMEX as well as being the founding Chairman of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub and Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the Concrete Industry Management Program.
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
The Executive Report is distributed free of charge to members of PCA and to individuals interested in PCA activities or the cement, concrete, and construction industries. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures
PCA's renowned reference on the fundamentals of concrete technology and construction has been fully revised with the latest industry standards/specs.
Meetings and Events
PCA Paving Committee Webinar
August 14, 2015
PCA Fall Meeting
August 31-September 1, 2015
European Cement Research Academy: Emissions Abatement
September 1-2, 2015
14th Annual American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) Conference
September 24-27, 2015
PCA Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures Course
October 5-8, 2015
Energy & Environmental Building Alliance: Excellence in Building Conference & Expo
October 6-8, 2015
European Cement Research Academy: Cements and Admixtures
October 22, 2015
European Cement Research Academy: Cements and Admixtures
November 4-5, 2015
PCA Fall Board Meeting
November 16-17, 2015
Laguna Niguel, California
1st International Conference On "Grand Challenges in Construction Materials"
March 17-18, 2016
Los Angeles, California
2016 Self-Consolidating Concrete Conference (SCC) and 11th annual International Concrete Sustainability Conference (ISCC)
May 15-18, 2016
15th International Conference on Alkali Aggregate Reaction in Concrete (ICAAR)
July 3-7, 2016
Sao Paulo, Brazil
4th International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials & Technology
August 7-11, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
11th International Conference on Concrete Pavements
August 28-31, 2016
San Antonio, Texas
For More Information
The Portland Cement Association conducts market development, research, education, and government affairs work on behalf of its members -- cement companies in the United States.
Portland Cement Association
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