New group counters regulatory action hovering over fly ash

Prompted by increased environmentalist attacks on coal ash and signals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it may regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, a new advocacy group—Citizens for Recycling First—will counter moves threatening the material’s use in construction. Although the failure of a coal ash disposal impoundment in December 2008 triggered an outcry among environmentalists, EPA remains supportive of recycling coal ash in a variety of applications ranging from concrete to wallboard. Nonetheless, Citizens for Recycling First notes that labeling the material “hazardous” in disposal settings may jeopardize its constructive use.

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FLS, Aalborg Portland deploy nanotechnology for reduced-carbon powder process

A Danish effort to develop process technology for the production of high-quality, environmentally friendly cement has been launched through a DKK15 million [US$2.5 million] National Advanced Technology Foundation grant. The four-year effort targets formulation, through nanotechnology methods, of new types of reactive supplementary cementitious materials, plus development of process technology needed for large-scale SCM production based on locally available raw materials.

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EPA Weighs Fly Ash Concrete Stigma Vs. Broader Coal Ash Hazardous Waste Label

In its proposed regulation of power plants’ coal combustion residuals (CCR) under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA acknowledges potential backlash a hazardous waste designation might have on beneficial uses of concrete. The agency’s Federal Register posting (above item) cites a letter from December 2009—then a working deadline for proposed rule publication--wherein ASTM Committee C09 officers “indicated that ASTM would remove fly ash from project specifications in its concrete standard if EPA determined CCRs were a hazardous waste when disposed.” It is unclear if the Society, known for its consensus process, would adopt that position, EPA staff counters, especially as other (non-C) committees provide specifications for reuse of solvents that are classified hazardous wastes.

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Feds Place Three Cemex Plants in 2010 Energy Star Ranks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy have awarded the 2010 Energy Star to Cemex USA cement plants in Clinchfield, Ga.; Louisville, Ky.; and Demopolis, Ala. Over the last year, the plants conducted compressed air system surveys to identify leaks; installed more efficient motors; completed staff energy-training programs; upgraded lighting systems with motion sensors; increased the use of permitted and authorized alternative fuels; reduced equipment idle times; and, performed process inspections and conducted audits to reduce unnecessary power usage. All three plants implemented measures to optimize energy consumption.

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