PCA Announces Organizational Changes in D.C. Office


PCA today announced the addition of Rachel Derby to its Washington, D.C. staff.  Derby will serve as vice president of government affairs, focusing on legislative relationships and advocacy. 

PCA also announced that effective November 1, Todd Johnston has been promoted to executive vice president of government affairs and that Collin Long has been promoted to senior director of government affairs.

Derby comes to PCA from the Toy Industry Association (TIA), where she was senior director of federal government affairs.  In that role, she managed outreach with the White House, Congress, and other regulatory agencies. She also led the organization’s strategies on environmental sustainability, chemical regulations, and social responsibility. 

Prior to her work at TIA, Derby was director of government affairs with the National Association of Police Organizations, and served on the staffs of former Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) and former Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL).  She holds a bachelor of science in marketing from Florida State University. 

Johnston, who joined the PCA team in January 2015, will oversee all of the association's government affairs operations, including activities at both the federal and state levels. 

Long, who has been with PCA for three years, will continue his work of fostering relationships and representing industry interests, primarily in the legislative arena.  

View a news release


Write Your Senator Today to Limit WOTUS

This week the U.S. Senate will take up legislation that would rescind the Administration’s new rule expanding regulatory powers under the Clean Water Act. The rule, known as Waters of The United States (WOTUS), was finalized in August. It imposes new regulatory burdens on the cement and concrete industries by increasing the amount of land and water subject to Federal permitting and thus raises the number of operating and pre-construction permits for the cement sector and broader construction economy. 

This week the Senate is expected to consider the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) which would mitigate the impacts of the WOTUS rule. Sponsored by Senators Barrasso (R-WY) and Donnelly (D-IN), S. 1140 would rescind the Administration’s rule expanding the Clean Water Act jurisdiction by redefining WOTUS, and initiate a process that would lead to a balanced approach to implement key provisions of the Clean Water Act. 

According to a PCA study published in late 2014, the WOTUS rule would increase permitting costs by more than 60 percent. Additionally, it may cause further delays, or in some cases completely prevent construction of major commercial and infrastructure projects. 

Send a letter to your Senators urging support of legislation that will correct this burdensome action.

Contact Rachel Derby


PCA to Help Rebuild Storm-Strong Home after Superstorm Sandy

As the area reflects on the three-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, many New York homeowners are still trying to return to some kind of normal life.

A coalition formed through PCA and FLASH partners met in Breezy Point, New York, last week to assist homeowner Diane Hellriegel in rebuilding. Hellriegel and her sisters grew up in her Breezy Point home, and inherited the property from their father. She was living in the home when Superstorm Sandy struck, flooding the home and forcing her to flee for safety. During the post-storm inspection, her home was red-tagged and deemed unlivable.

PCA will take the lead on the build, incorporating concrete for the foundation, ICF construction for the wall system and cement fiber siding for the exterior. The 1300 square foot home will be elevated 15 feet above sea level to meet FEMA requirements for coastal construction and ICC code, providing safety for the home in the event of flood.

In a community that suffered from both devastating flood and fire, residents are looking for a way to build back better. The town and its community of fire fighters and law enforcement can rest easy knowing that Diane’s home will be made of noncombustible concrete.

See more on the PCA website.

Contact Donn Thompson

Member News

Three Buzzi Unicem USA Plants Receive ENERGY STAR

Buzzi Unicem USA recently announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded three of its U.S. cement manufacturing plants ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance. Buzzi’s plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Festus, Missouri; and Maryneal, Texas received the honor.

This marks the seventh consecutive year these plants have received the certification.

In order to qualify for ENERGY STAR recognition, cement plants must score at least 75 on the Energy Performance Indicator, used by the EPA to measure energy efficiency. In addition, the plant must have a three-year history of environmental compliance.

The ENERGY STAR program is a joint initiative of the EPA and DOE that focuses on strategic energy management, and emphasizes the importance of demonstrating environmental leadership for future generations.

Market Intelligence

Oman Share Data Illustrate Need for Federal Infrastructure Funding


According to PCA’s Oman report, concrete’s 1st quarter share of DOT paving volume was 14.7 percent, in line with year-end 2014 levels. The 2nd quarter volume share is down to 10.6 percent, bringing the year-to-date 2015 share to 12.7 percent. 

The lack of adequate federal funds for highways remains an obstacle for higher concrete shares. While a number of states are looking at ways to increase their own funding for transportation improvements, national concrete shares are expected to remain weighed down until a legitimate long-term federal transportation bill is implemented.

Congress has not passed a highway bill lasting longer than two years since 2005. On October 28, the thirtieth short-term extension of federal highway funds was passed, keeping the Highway Trust Fund afloat through November. The move was designed to provide Congress time to complete a new multi-year bill aimed at highways, transit systems, and safety improvements as the November 20 deadline approaches.  

Contact Andrew Moss

Member News

CEMEX USA to Present at Renewable Energy from Waste Conference

CEMEX USA, Dow, and MillerCoors will present on industrial waste conversion and applications for refuse-derived fuel at the Renewable Energy from Waste Conference, November 16-19, in Orlando, Florida.

The three companies will share how their waste conversion technologies power operations and reduce their environmental footprint. CEMEX USA uses many forms of waste-derived fuels as a coal alternative to power its kilns. Aaron Garcia, director of alternative fuels and support, CEMEX USA, Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, and Audrey Templeton, corporate environment manager, MillerCoors, join more than 24 speakers who will present at the conference.

Visit the conference website for more information.


Architects Make “Concrete Plans” for Resilience

On October 28, PCA teamed up with partner FLASH at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to bring together architects, engineers, and product manufacturers for the production of the Resilient Design Guide – Concrete Edition. The design guide will be used by architects and designers to leverage the inherent strength and durability of concrete in disaster resistant home building.

Industry subject matter experts provided the background information during the first half of the meeting. During the afternoon, the attendees broke into groups to specify connection, windows, and door and details as they applied to conventional formed, insulated concrete form, masonry, and precast concrete systems.

Deane Evans, executive director, stated “The NJIT Center for Resilient Design was excited and honored to host the recent Resilient Design Guide – Concrete Edition charrette on behalf of FLASH and the Portland Cement Association.  It was a pleasure to work directly with nationally recognized experts to explore commonsense methods for improving the performance of our nation’s homes when they are impacted by high winds or flooding.  We look forward to continuing our collaboration with FLASH, PCA and the other charrette participants as the guidelines are developed into their final form.”

Contact Donn Thompson

CPTech Center

Curing: The Devil is in the Details

curing-graph-framedCuring is a relatively low cost activity that provides benefits well beyond the effort. The fundamentals are simple – keep it wet and keep it warm. The details, however need to be worked out for every project depending on the weather, materials, and construction constraints.

In "Moving Advancements into Practice (MAP)," its October 2015 brief, CPTech Center looks at curing: its definition, importance, best practices, curing compounds, and internal curing.

The 4-page report highlights best practices and promising technologies that can be used to enhance concrete paving. Information is pulled from recent publications, including the January 2015, Impacts on Internal Curing on Concrete Properties by CP Tech Center’s Anthony Babcock and Peter Taylor.

Contact Steve Kosmatka


Federal Highway Administration Releases Reports on Precast Concrete Pavement

Precast concrete pavement (PCP) is gaining wider acceptance in the United States for rapid repair and rehabilitation of concrete pavement as well as reconstruction of heavily trafficked asphalt intersections, according to two reports by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The use of PCP technology can significantly reduce the traffic impacts of roadway repair and reconstruction projects, primarily on heavily traveled routes, and has advanced during the last decade due to a combination of work sponsored by FHWA, projects constructed by highway agencies, and innovations by the construction industry, according to the September 2015 "FHWA Tech Brief Precast Concrete Pavement Technology Resources."

Various states have taken actions to implement the use of precast concrete pavement for road rehabilitation and repair. Descriptions of PCP projects at various stages of implementation are included in the October 15 "FHWA Tech Brief Precast Concrete Implementation by U.S. Highway Agencies."

Education and Training

Review Worldwide Cement Performance at Cemtech Conference

Cemtech Americas Conference & Exhibition will be held December 7-10, in Orlando, Florida.

Organized by International Cement Review, the 3-day event will provide coverage of both markets and production expertise and site visit to American Cement Company’s Sumterville plant.

The expert speaker program will review the latest trends and market developments impacting the domestic cement sector. Worldwide cement industry performance and prospects will be covered in detail, as will regional profiles on Latin America and Caribbean markets.

Cary Cohrs, president, American Cement, and former PCA chairman of the board, will give the keynote address. Other speakers include Michael McSweeney, president and CEO, Cement Association of Canada; Rob Roy, ROI Consulting, and John Kline, Kline Consulting.

Early-bird registration is available until November 5.

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