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

Member News

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.


Senate Passes DRIVE Act

Greenroads_ERBy 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

Association News

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

Industry News

Cohrs Elected FC&PA Board of Directors Chairman

Cary_Cohrs_cropped_ERFormer 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

craddock-copy_cropped_ERFrank 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

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