Tag Archive for 'Portland Cement Association'

PCA Urges: Congressional Action Needed for Proper Water Safeguards

PCALast week, Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) introduced Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078). This bipartisan legislation establishes safeguards that preserve important federal-state partnerships in protecting our nation’s waterways.

The bill is scheduled for full mark-up by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Wednesday, July 16 at 10 a.m.

A proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers would redefine “waters of the United States” and expand the scope of federal jurisdiction. Cement plants in the United States currently comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits that require strict adherence to water quality guidelines. However, the proposed rule is confusing and ambiguous, and will likely add requirements to water permits. For example, an added provision in the proposed rule is that “waters of the United States” may be defined “on a case-specific basis,” and consequently, infrastructure projects and construction site developments could be delayed due to increased hydrological and geological surveys to determine jurisdictional questions.

“As proposed, the rule could undermine cement manufacturing’s long-term investment by preventing full access to limestone deposits,” Cary Cohrs, chairman of the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Board of Directors said. “Cement is vital to maintaining and building our nation’s infrastructure. The EPA and the Corps must fully consider the potential economic impacts that the proposed rule may place on the regulated community and on state and local governments as well as the construction and building sectors.”

The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act will provide the proper safeguards against regulatory overreach while allowing industry the certainty necessary to improve our nation’s economy.

About PCA

Based in Washington, DC, with offices in Skokie, Illinois, and nine regions throughout the nation, the Portland Cement Association represents cement manufacturing companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

 

Portland Cement Association’s Spring Cement Outlook

Spring Cement Outlook Spring Cement Outlook2

MIT Research Points to Importance of Road Design in Fuel Consumption

PCA LogopRecently President Barak Obama announced plans to introduce a rule for higher fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks by 2016. At an appearance at a grocery distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., President Obama charged Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to “develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks that will take us well into the next decade.”

According to the White House, heavy-duty trucks account for just four percent of highway vehicles, but are responsible for 20 percent of carbon pollution from the transportation sector. Current fuel-economy standards are aimed at reducing truck fuel use by as much as 20 percent.

Gregory M. Scott, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, said it is time to not only look at the efficiency of cars and trucks on the road, but to look at the actual road for fuel economy and emission reductions.

“We should expand the debate beyond making more efficient cars and trucks to making more efficient infrastructure. Stiffer pavements – such as pavements made from concrete — produce less rolling resistance and better fuel economy,” Scott said.

Researchers at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub recently found that how the road is constructed could have a significant impact on the fuel economy of cars and trucks. Research models predict the use of stiffer pavements, for example, could reduce fuel use by as much as three percent, a savings that would add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year.

Florida International University tested MIT’s research models in real-world conditions with similar results. They studied vehicles traveling on I-95 and found that riding on rigid pavements consumes 3.2 percent less fuel than riding on flexible pavements for passenger vehicles and 4.5 percent less fuel for loaded tractor-trailers. If all Florida pavements were rigid, it could amount to an annual fuel savings of more than $2 billion for highway users.

About PC

Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement manufacturing companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

Mark Anderson Named Group Vice President of Public Affairs of Portland Cement Association

PCA

“Mark will take the lead in shepherding the association’s legislative and regulatory efforts and in developing key policies and strategies,” Gregory M. Scott, PCA president and CEO said. “With more than 20 years experience on the Hill as a lobbyist and congressional staffer, his leadership and strategic experience is unparalleled.”

Anderson brings with him extensive experience with advocacy activities, especially in the areas of trade, manufacturing and energy, and communicating those messages to members of Congress and the Executive Branch.  Most recently, he served as chief of staff for Representative Lee Terry (R-NE), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade (CMT).

In this role, Anderson developed and executed a strategy to elevate Terry to chairman of the CMT’s Subcommittee. He worked closely with the full committee staff to develop a dynamic agenda for the subcommittee that raised it to a new level of importance in areas not originally covered by the subcommittee.

Prior to joining Terry’s staff, Anderson served as a senior advisor for Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, in Washington, DC, managing client relationships with energy, telecom, environment, agriculture and consumer product clients.

As manager for federal affairs for the Southern California Edison’s Washington DC office, Anderson created and executed several successful lobbying strategies on transmission line permitting, energy production and climate change issues.

From 1999-2006 Anderson served in a variety of legislative leadership roles, including senior policy advisor to then Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), legislative director for Congressman Terry and legislative director to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Dayton, Ohio, and is a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America

PCA Reports: Rebuilding Right Saves Lives, Resources

PCAHigher Building Standards Aligned with Goals of Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Hurricane Sandy batters the Jersey shore; a tornado rips through Oklahoma; wildfires destroy forest in Arizona. All these major disasters have happened within the last year and caused billions in damages. In 2012 alone, 47 states received federal major disaster declarations, triggering a use of federal funds for relief efforts.

When a federal disaster is declared following an extreme event, taxpayers’ dollars are often used to help rebuild communities and cities around the country. An initiative is underway nationwide asking communities to not just rebuild, but to build back better.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and others in the concrete industry are urging the enactment of H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013. The bill provides a tax credit to business or home owners who rebuild in local regions that were declared federal disaster areas.

These efforts are also aligned with President Obamas recently announced

“Climate Action Plan.” The plan calls for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to convene a panel on disaster-resilience standards to develop a comprehensive, community-based resilience framework and provide guidelines for consistently safe buildings and infrastructure – products that can inform the development of private-sector standards and codes.

“By enacting higher building standards, cities and towns can successfully weather any challenge and keep friends and family safe,” Greg Scott, PCA president and CEO, said. “The nation spends billions of dollars each year for relief packages, and in this challenging economic climate, communities cannot afford to completely rebuild each time a disaster strikes. By utilizing resilient construction techniques, the built environment is protected from the increasing number and severity of natural or man-made disasters.”

Additional benefits to homeowners can also apply as, in many cases, a resilient home will also be an energy efficient one.

PCA also is supporting research at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub to help designers and builders quantify the physical resilience of residential structures as a portion of the overall systems concept of resilience. Comparing this performance against costs will facilitate communication of the cost and performance trade-offs of alternative designs.

The public can write their Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2241, the

Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013 by visiting

http://www.bipac.net/issue_alert.asp?g=PCA&issue=Resiliency&parent=PCA.

About PCA

Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs.