Six cement plants received special recognition for their commitment to improving the environment and their communities at the 14th Annual Cement Industry Environment and Energy Awards, presented by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine at PCA's recent Fall Meeting in Chicago.
The awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants went beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes and policies contributed to making their communities better places to live and work.
“Although it is one of the most highly regulated industry sectors in the North America, cement companies are consistently challenging manufacturing policies and procedures and are on the forefront of new technologies to make their plants more energy efficient and to become better stewards of the land and resources,” said Cary Cohrs, chairman of the PCA Board of Directors. “Making a quality product is not enough. These and other cement companies take extra steps to ensure their communities are excellent places to work, live and learn.”
Six categories recognized plants throughout the United States (listed by category, company and plant location):
- Overall Environmental Excellence: Titan America LLC, Roanoke Cement Co., Troutville, Va.
- Outreach: Mitsubishi Cement Corp., Lucerne Valley, Calif.
- Environmental Performance: : Lehigh Hanson Inc., Union Bridge, Md.
- Land Stewardship: St Marys Cement, a Votorantim Cimentos Co., Charlevoix, Mich.
- Innovation: Lafarge North America Inc., Paulding, Ohio.
- Energy Efficiency: CalPortland Co., Rillito, Ariz.
- Twenty one cement plants in North America were nominated for the awards.
Overall Environmental Excellence
Titan America LLC, Roanoke Cement Co., Troutville, Va.
Titan America LLC, Roanoke Cement Co. (RCC) had several accomplishments throughout the year that resulted in positive changes to the land on and around the plant. In June, the plant announced that it had received EPA ENERGY STAR certification. Programs initiated in 2013 by RCC included beneficial use of alternative fuels, achievements in habitat improvement and promoting environmentally friendly concrete to all receptive outlets.
Mitsubishi Cement Corp., Lucerne Valley, Calif.
Throughout 2013 employees were key participants in many activities that improved the company’s government relations presence. Special outreach activities included a Lucerne Valley Chamber of Commerce fundraising event that earned an employee “Lucerne Valley Honorary Mayor” status, and involvement with several charitable donation efforts that supported local projects including the United Way, parks, hospital foundations and handicap assistance.
Environmental Performance Award
Lehigh Hanson Inc., Union Bridge, Md.
Lehigh Hanson’s Union Bridge plant achieved a major milestone in mercury standard compliance. As part of a voluntary initiative developed with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the plant developed an accelerated plan mercury emission compliance plant that would protect and enhance the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In addition, the plant participated in a worldwide initiative to increase its use of biomass fuels.
St Marys Cement, A Votorantim Cimentos Co., Charlevoix, Mich.
In 2013, St Marys Cement began the process of proposing a land swap between the plant and neighboring Fisherman’s Island State park. The land swap will allow Fisherman’s Island State Park to gain approximately 30 acres of land and more than 4,000 ft. of the McGeach Creek trout stream. In addition, the plan initiated the US-31 Corridor Enhancement Project that installs landscape treatments along the highway, which includes the entrance to the cement plant.
Lafarge North America Inc., Paulding, Ohio
The Lafarge NA Paulding facility fully captured small grain cement kiln dust (CKD) to return back to the kiln feed bed by briquetting the CKD powder prior to reintroduction to the feed bed. While this process has been around for many years, this was the first time the process was used to improve CKD recycling rates. This project allowed the plant to reduce the amount of CKD going to the landfill as well as the number of haul truck hours.
CalPortland Co., Rillito, Ariz.
CalPortland competed is 10th year of a formal energy management program based on ENERGY STAR guidelines. The plants energy efficiency improved by 5.78 percent in 2013, which resulted in savings of more than $1 million. Most of the electrical efficiency gins came from improvements made in the finish grinding area.
History of the Awards
The awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association as part of its environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. The awards honor activities conducted during the previous calendar year, and the program is open to any cement manufacturing plant in North America. Judges for the 2013 awards Program included representatives from U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR, Wildlife Habitat Council, U.S. Geological Survey, World Wildlife Fund, and Cement Americas.