CalPortland agrees to pay $1.4 million to settle Clean Air Act violations

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in mid-December that CalPortland Company (CPC) has agreed to pay a $1.425 million penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its cement plant in Mojave, Calif. In addition to the penalty, CPC will spend an estimated $1.3 million on pollution controls that will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The $1.425 million penalty is one of the largest settlements for a single cement facility.

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ASTM raises bar to generous threshold for C595's ground limestone content

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; Staff reports

In a move that will provide the opportunity for the cement and concrete industries to reduce products' carbon footprint, a proposal was approved to permit up to 15 percent ground limestone in blended cements under ASTM C595 (Blended Hydraulic Cements), with the resulting product characterized as limestone blended cements. Similar revisions are being made to the equivalent AASHTO standard by the AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials. Under C595, there was previously no specifically stated limit on ground limestone content.

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Ash Grove becomes first U.S. cement maker ISO certify all plants

Source: Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan.

Ash Grove Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Curtis Lesslie, PE, announced that the company is currently the only domestic cement manufacturer to have its entire fleet of eight operating clinker manufacturing facilities earn the prestigious ISO 14001 certification. In 2010, seven of the company’s facilities earned the designation; its reconstructed Foreman, Ark., plant earned it in December 2011, according to Lesslie.

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Cemex finalizes Davenport Redwood Forest property to conservation group

Source: Cemex USA, Houston

Cemex USA recently finalized the $30 million sale of its approximately 8,500-acre Redwood Forest property near the Cemex Davenport cement plant to a consortium of local land trusts. The land trusts comprise the Living Landscape Initiative, a major conservation project in the Silicon Valley area. The deal follows the plant’s closure in January 2010 and guarantees the continued protection of the property’s significant expanse of redwood trees and wildlife habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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