NRMCA Commitment to Environmental Excellence Awards

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Commitment to Environmental Excellence Awards salute sound operating practices ensuring resource conservation, water or air pollution prevention, plus enlightened plant and fleet team members. Now in its 24th year, the program honors producer members that have surpassed federal, state or local agency compliance requirements and demonstrated environmental commitment by investing in plant and human capital.

Sample certificate 2018

 

The NRMCA Safety, Environmental and Operations Committee recognizes plants in Eastern, Central and Western U.S. regions. It assembles a panel of judges to review entry image galleries and written narratives covering site aesthetics, environmental documentation, training, air quality and water management, returned concrete plan, community relations, ready mixed delivery, and plant sustainability practices. NRMCA honored 2019 Commitment to Environmental Excellence Award recipients last month during the ConcreteWorks Conference in Kissimmee, Fla. As a program co-sponsor, Concrete Products salutes the nine plants and their owners.

 

EASTERN REGION FIRST PLACE
PREFERRED MATERIALS, INC.
LAKELAND READY MIX PLANT • LAKELAND, FLORIDA
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Process water and storm water are contained on site and recycled. The effectiveness of treatment measures and sediment control results in a stormwater retention pond friendly to wildlife. A resident osprey feeds on fish in the pond and shares the water with ducks, turtles, herons and snakes.
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One of the producer’s newest locations, Lakeland runs a 1989 Vince Hagan plant refurbished in 2016 with a new loader hopper, three rebuilt conveyors, plus a fifth material conveyor for special orders. The operation is kept in impeccable condition thanks to sound housekeeping practices, employee engagement and teamwork. Those principles are embodied in Preferred Materials’ 5S program, compelling Sort, Simplify, Sweep, Standardize and Self-Discipline actions or measures.

The Lakeland operating footprint is fully paved for ease of cleaning and to reduce yard material track-out to the surrounding residential neighborhood. Water moves slowly from plant to sediment pits in the back and through the hauler exit route area to curtail dust. Slump racks are located near the exit to ensure trucks are clean right before leaving property.

New hires at Lakeland and sister plants review the Preferred Materials Environmental Stewardship and Social Responsibility Guidance document, and are reminded of related policies and procedures in Green Alert email messages plus regular meetings with management and colleagues. The producer has entered its second decade on the Intelex environmental management system, programmed to track permit expiration, relay plant equipment and yard maintenance assignments, and float reminders of environmental compliance duties.

An Inspections and Audit program tasks qualified Preferred Materials personnel with monthly review of adherence to best management practices plus spill control and containment and related pollution prevention strategies. Augmenting BMP and 5S goals is the quarterly Star Program, which was launched in 2015 to recognize team members demonstrating the qualities of Good People; Smart, Proactive Partners; and, Community-Minded.

 

EASTERN REGION SECOND PLACE
MASCHMEYER CONCRETE COMPANY OF FLORIDA
SILVER STAR PLANT • ORLANDO, FLORIDA
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If site outflow is the ultimate test of environmental management, a dry swale and absence of process powder support a high grade for the Silver Star plant.
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Maschmeyer Concrete demonstrates the importance of keeping up plant and field appearances through tidy stationary and rolling stock.
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Management addressed the challenge of acquiring an old ready mixed operation, short on full compliance measures, by making the outlays needed for a model of efficiency, environmental excellence and aesthetics. The latter caught the eye of no less than the marketing staff of Ford Motor Co., which used the Silver Star iron as a backdrop for a frame in the Commercial Vehicle Division Eastern U.S. 2019 calendar.

To bring the site up to internal standards and post-recession Orlando market potential, Maschmeyer Concrete upgraded existing transit mixed production and added a second alley for new central mixed equipment. Batch plant and yard overhaul measures ushered the equivalent of a filter farm, with dust collection through eight jet pulse cleaning silo top models and two batcher units, along with aggregate watering method. The dust control equipment, coupled with central mixed production, curtail emissions and enable Silver Star to exceed Florida Department of Environmental Protection air quality targets.

Maschmeyer Concrete strives to communicate a corporate culture of excellence on and off site. Managers especially stress the importance of plant and fleet appearance and team member training. A “Triangle of Safety/Environment” group, composed of the plant manager, delivery professional trainer and safety/environmental committee representative, meets daily. One group member is on hand prior to production start up to ensure all trucks and team members are prepared to uphold the company standards for production, delivery and customer service. Maschmeyer Concrete views staff input as key to maintaining a culture of excellence.

 

EASTERN REGION THIRD PLACE
R.W. SIDLEY INC.
NORTH CANTON PLANT • NORTH CANTON, OHIO
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The North Canton site runs a Con-E-Co Lo Pro transit mixed plant, built in 2011, and has 2019 models among its mixer fleet. R.W. Sidley maintains environmental management records on internal servers. Training related to environmental management starts on day one and continues throughout employees’ tenure.
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R.W. Sidley promotes environmental awareness and resource conservation in ready mixed concrete production, and provides employees, customers and the public with prompt, accurate information on health, safety and related operating matters. Like sister plants, North Canton illustrates a commitment to equipment and yard maintenance key to being a conscientious neighbor.

Environmental management training includes sessions for new team members on SWPPP and SPCC, and broader presentations during annual, staff-wide gatherings. The R.W. Sidley website encourages participation in pollution control measures and features a virtual tour showing how the North Canton plant follows best practices per the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and government agencies. A site-posted calculator assists customers in properly estimating a project’s concrete volume requirements. Otherwise, material returned to the plant is dried and crushed for base, or used to cast traffic barriers and pattern stamped blocks.

Mixer trucks are always cleaned before they leave the plant. Drivers are frequently updated on their responsibilities while on the road and at the jobsite; their training includes the NRMCA Concrete Truck Chute Rinse Off video.

 
 

CENTRAL REGION FIRST PLACE
CAMPBELL CONCRETE & MATERIALS, LLC
HARDY STREET PLANT 34 • HOUSTON, TEXAS
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Campbell Concrete aims to operate the Hardy Street Plant as a zero-discharge facility. Underpinning that goal is an advanced storm and process water storage and pH treatment system deploying conductive probes, submersible pump, holding tank, electronic control board and acid injection process to constantly neutralize higher alkalinity water. A natural water feature stemming from site preparation has evolved into a micro habitat for small vegetation, egrets and other wading birds, plus an occasional heron.
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The highly visible Hardy Street Plant is the producer’s newest operation and first one equipped for central mixed production. With close proximity to Interstate 610 loop and Hardy Toll Road, it is situated to serve a large segment of the Houston market.

Paving of the majority of the plant area reduces fugitive dust from mixer truck and wheel loader traffic, as does exclusive use of washed stone. Sand arriving on-site has an average moisture content of approximately 6 percent, which further augments dust control by curtailing particles associated with material storage and transfer.

Hardy site ramp up included installation of a five-way weir settling, storage and pH treatment system. Production and traffic areas are graded such that storm and process water are captured in the 72,000-gal. structure. A biodegradable flocculent is used as needed in the weir pits to remove suspended solids and produce cleaner water for ready mixed production. The plant also operates an advanced pH adjustment system in the event an overflow necessitates a discharge to the municipal sewer system.

The Hardy St. plant’s environmental management system encompasses Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure plans, internal audits, and Lehigh Hanson EnviroLIS program oversight. They function synergistically to assist plant personnel with achieving environmental compliance via regular inspections; maintenance of abatement equipment or devices; identifying potential permit compliance deficiencies; and, execution of corrective actions. Along with onboarding measures covering environmental matters, employees receive annual follow up training from a plant and area environmental manager team, while participating in more frequent Toolbox Talks covering such topics as pollution prevention, safety and operations.

 

CENTRAL REGION SECOND PLACE
CAMPBELL CONCRETE & MATERIALS, LLC
HOCKLEY PLANT 32 • HOCKLEY, TEXAS
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Campbell aims to operate the Hockley Plant as a zero-discharge facility through harvesting stormwater and recycling all truck wash down water for use in the plant. Dispatch signage fosters efficient operation of the site’s two concrete batch plants and helps minimize truck idling.

Campbell Concrete management understands that site aesthetics are an integral part of being a good neighbor and inform public opinion locally and for parent company Lehigh Hanson. Consequently, the Hockley Plant has paved entrance areas and exit roads, new signage, and a housekeeping regimen based on the company’s 6S Program: Standardize, Sustain, Safety, Sort, Store, Shine.

Plant personnel perform daily inspections in accordance with performance-based Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans. Diesel fuel is dispensed from a double-walled storage tank, while secondary containment structures accompany admixture tanks. Hockley Plant environmental permits and compliance measures are linked to the Lehigh Hanson EnviroLIS system.

Specific training measures inform Campbell Concrete team members on topics ranging from air and water pollution control to waste management and water conservation. The latter entails harvesting most, if not all, stormwater and reclaiming truck wash water for reuse in process streams and dust suppression. The Hockley property is graded such that all stormwater from the plant area is collected in a 50,000-gal. weir storage pit, with overflow conveyed to a 9-acre retention pond serving the adjacent Hanson Aggregates Hockley Rail Terminal. Co-locating with that facility allows for conveying of sand, gravel and stone to the batch plant instead of conventional trucking methods—eliminating common sources of ground and vehicle particulate matter.

 

CENTRAL REGION THIRD PLACE
CEMSTONE PRODUCTS COMPANY
ARLINGTON PLANT • ARLINGTON, MINNESOTA
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The Arlington Plant design follows a Cemstone Products template of using natural and architectural elements so ready mixed production sites harmonize with their surroundings.
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Team members at Arlington and sister concrete plants receive annual training on SWPP plan contents and implementation, plus truck fueling and spill response procedures.

A berm, spruce and maple trees screen the Arlington Plant from Circle Drive and neighboring properties. Architectural treatments suited to the surrounding area include a precast concrete sign plus office, lab and garage painted to match plant equipment.

Batching and truck wash down areas are kept in a tight triangle, allowing easy flow of process water to a weir pit settling system. Gray water is recycled for drum washout and concrete batching as specifications permit. Stormwater is directed to wildlife-friendly ponds at both ends of the Arlington plot.

All silos have individual baghouses while a fugitive-dust collector serves the entire plant. Visual inspection of all potential dust sources is performed each operating day; corrective action is taken if any emissions are noted. Most of the site is paved to minimize dusting and tracking, and paved areas are swept regularly. Monthly electricity, fuel and water usage, along with other environmental metrics are tracked electronically. Arlington team members demonstrate commitment to environmental excellence by continually seeking ways to reduce the operation’s impact.

 

WESTERN REGION FIRST PLACE
CENTRAL CONCRETE SUPPLY
MARTINEZ PLANT • MARTINEZ, CALIFORNIA
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Central Concrete presents a gallery of projects attesting to its leadership in San Francisco Bay Area ready mixed production.
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Investment in pollution control and site aesthetics at the Martinez Plant reflects a ready mixed plant design philosophy throughout Central parent company U.S. Concrete Inc.

Constructed in 2008, the Martinez Plant is the newest site in Central Concrete’s northern California production network. It was designed with the environment in mind, separating storm from process water through grade changes and drains, and channeling runoff towards one of two bio-filtration systems prior to discharge. Subsurface soil substrates support the filtration and clarifying capacity of the systems, which above ground harbor native plants as part of a 1.25-acre landscaping scheme spanning shrubs, seasonal flowers, grass and fruit trees. Agency inspectors credit Central Concrete for being the first San Francisco Bay Area ready mixed producer to use bio-filtration for stormwater runoff.

The Martinez Plant carries NRMCA Green-Star Certification on the strength of an environmental management system that guides compliance with rules and operating guidelines from all regulatory agencies in the region. An environmental manager schedules monthly audits of all Central Concrete plants and conducts unannounced site inspections to ensure rigorous EMS adherence. The producer uses new hire trainings, daily tailgate topic presentations, and a calendar with monthly spotlights whereby team members are adequately trained on all aspects of their jobs and the regulations they must abide.

Central Concrete has a goal of zero waste, a challenge given customers’ tendency to over estimate their ready mixed volume requirements. A Same Day Stabilization program enables staff to use set retarders such that limited quantities of returned concrete can be included in forthcoming batches. The producer’s Concrete Waste Cost Reduction Team, comprised of plant and sales managers, is constantly looking for new ways to sustainably handle returned concrete.

 

WESTERN REGION SECOND PLACE
CALPORTLAND CO.
KENMORE READY MIX • KENMORE, WASHINGTON
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Water pollution control officials helped the Kenmore team mark a decade of exemplary performance.
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Key environmental management components at the Kenmore Plant include a filter press yielding batch-grade water, plus secondary containment for admixture vessels. While barge-based material delivery relieves the Kenmore yard of significant truck traffic, team members nevertheless deploy a sweeper to control fugitive dust emissions from mixer or tank routing and normal production activities. Drivers also abide strictly enforced yard speed limits.
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Facility borders Lake Washington to the south, enabling barge delivery of raw materials, and residential neighborhoods to the north, from which production and fleet activities are highly visible to residents and recreation-minded visitors approaching the shore. Management views site appearance and proactive environmental measures as critical to maintaining a positive image.

CalPortland involves all employees in environmental management, a point recently driven home when a water quality agency recognized the Kenmore team for 10 years of perfect permit compliance. Behind that milestone are plant routines such as the recycling of settled process water—clarified in an advanced filter press—into new concrete mixes. Additionally, all chemicals are stored with secondary containment provisions. Most importantly, admixtures are housed in a shipping container modified to hold up to 110 percent of the largest tank’s volume. Containment measures are essential for a facility that discharges non-process water to a municipal sewer under tight permit terms.

 

WESTERN REGION THIRD PLACE
EVANS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
JACKSON PLANT • JACKSON, WYOMING
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A “Rocks Build Our World” program informs second grade students, teachers and parents about construction materials production and downstream activities.
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The Jackson headquarters is home to road building and materials businesses. Ready mixed plant employees (above) must be able to locate all SWPP and SPCC plans if needed for an inspection. Six Environmental Response Units serve Evans Construction concrete and paving activities beyond the gate.

Ready mixed concrete is part of an integrated production facility under the Evans Construction banner. Entry signage steers visitors along routes where vehicles and workers or pedestrians are kept separate. Ready mixed plant signage indicates a traffic pattern engineered to maintain the safety of all.

Using the 5S program—Sorting, Simplifying, Sweeping, Standardizing and Self-Discipline—staff addresses the general care, cleanliness, orderliness and maintenance of plant and property. 5S provides a concise template for organizing and managing operations and operators. Evans Construction also has a driver-administered mixer truck cleanliness inspection regimen; it assigns a number value indicating degree of vehicle interior and exterior condition.

At the heart of the Jackson Plant Environmental Management System is the President’s Sustainability Award program, which subjects the site to an annual audit involving two or three Oldcastle Mountain West Division environmental professionals. They review compliance documentation and score housekeeping, sustainability and community perception performance. The Jackson ready mixed concrete facility has received the “Gold Standard Award” for three years in a row.

Evans team members bear environmental responsibilities and actively participate in compliance measures on a daily basis. Ongoing training covering SPCC, SWPPP, air quality, spill response, and hazardous materials management prepares them for the task.