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September 16, 2020

PCA Announces 2020 Energy and Environment Award Winners

September 16, 2020, WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced the winners of the 2020 Energy and Environment (E&E) Awards, recognizing outstanding environmental and community relations efforts that go above and beyond what is required. Submissions from plants across the U.S. were evaluated and recognized for environmental efforts completed in 2019.

“America’s cement manufacturers continue to focus on researching and developing new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint,” said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. “The companies receiving these awards are great examples of our industry’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.”

Presented during the PCA Fall Virtual Committee meetings, the following plants were named 2020 E&E Award winners:

Energy Efficiency
Argos USA Corporation — Harleyville, South Carolina

The Argos Harleyville cement plant focused on improving overall energy management by reducing kiln specific heat consumption and increasing the utilization of the new vertical cement mill (VCM), which in turn lowered overall power consumption. The Harleyville plant achieved both goals, reducing the kiln specific heat capacity by 7.5% and producing all Type I cement in the VCM, lowering power consumption by 13%.

Environmental Performance
Ash Grove Cement Company Midlothian, Texas

The Ash Grove Midlothian plant received air permits and operated a whole tire burning system utilizing a first-in-the-U.S. “hot disk” system that is supplied with whole tires from a nearby tire recycling company. This system helps reduce tire disposal to landfills while also displacing fossil fuel consumption at the plant.

GCC of America, Inc. Odessa, Texas

GCC’s Odessa plant completed installation of a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) System for NOx emission reduction. An optimization protocol was executed to define the most efficient operational conditions, which both maximized NOx reduction and minimized ammonia slip. In order to make this determination, GCC developed a unique approach to the programming of the SNCR system control loop, resulting in a more stable emission control and lower ammonia emissions while maintaining the required NOx emission limit.

Land Stewardship
LafargeHolcim Holly Hill, South Carolina

In order to address safety, economic and environmental considerations, LafargeHolcim’s Holly Hill plant relocated a diversion canal, restoring it to an ecologically beneficial stream similar to its original path. The multi-year, multi-million-dollar project played a critical role in quarry water management by significantly reducing the groundwater infiltration, as well as minimizing the potential collapse hazard of the existing diversion canal. The stream also includes a hardwood woodland buffer along most of the new channel route, providing enhanced habitat for indigenous plant and animal species.

Roanoke Cement Company/Titan America Troutville, Virginia

Roanoke Cement Company’s broad and varied outreach was demonstrated in plant tours, campus events, off-site presentations, articles, newsletters, honors and the communication of major plant initiatives. Periodic publications brought the plant’s news on developments, like its Zero Waste initiatives, to customers and the community. Educational experiences on campus served to make both students and environmental professionals familiar with RCC’s work. Exciting developments on-site reached political leaders and “green” builders who scheduled visits and toured the operations and surroundings.

Overall Environmental Excellence
Lehigh Hanson, Inc.Union Bridge, Maryland

Lehigh Cement undertook a Haines Branch Stream mitigation project, which spanned 2.2 miles, and the company has been monitoring the area since project completion. After three years of monitoring and allowing ample time for the proper flourishing of flora and fauna, the results became highly visible with improved water quality while attracting numerous wildlife to the region. Lehigh Cement also discovered that the clay and shale overburden existing at the New Windsor site contains the desired amounts of alumina and silica necessary for the production process. The New Windsor Quarry team carefully blends over 150,000 tons of the clay and shale overburden materials annually with cement grade limestone through the crusher. This resulted in numerous beneficial impacts to the environment and reduced the overburden storage pile footprint.

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The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA members represent over 90% of U.S. cement production capacity and have facilities in all 50 states. The association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, and generally promotes economic growth and sound infrastructure investment. For more information, visit

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