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House approves Concrete Masonry Products Promotion Act

Source: National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.

On the opening day of the 114th Congress lame duck session, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 985, the Concrete Masonry Products, Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 by a 355–38 vote. The legislation authorizes the concrete masonry industry to pursue the creation of an industry-wide check-off program. Such programs have positioned other industries to pool resources to support commodity product market development efforts.

“The attributes of concrete masonry are well suited to constructing modern, high-performing buildings. A concrete masonry check-off program will simply enable our industry to better organize to promote those values to the marketplace,” says NCMA Chairman Patrick Sauter (Kings Material LLC). “This is an important step in achieving the necessary authorization for the program before we can present the program for final approval by the concrete masonry manufacturing companies operating in America.”

Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) sponsored the bill and were successful in compiling an impressive co-sponsor list of 247 colleagues, balanced with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The list is indicative of active grassroots efforts on behalf of the concrete masonry industry, which has small manufacturing plants in every state in the country and in most congressional districts. — www.cmucheckoff.com

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Martin Marietta inaugurates NRMCA system level Environmental Product Declaration

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

Martin Marietta Materials is the first producer member to use NRMCA’s new system level Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) verification program, oriented to transparency credits in LEED v4 and other green building standards. The program meets strict international standards, but streamlines EPD verification: Rather than a fixed set of product-specific EPD, it verifies the software used to generate a concrete mix’s environmental impacts. Hence, producers can tender new product-specific EPD as needed for each project.

Read more: Martin Marietta inaugurates NRMCA system level Environmental Product Declaration

Trump’s prime-time endorsement of concrete building attributes endures

Source: CP staff

President-elect Donald Trump exhibited a seasoned appreciation for concrete long before his White House quest. During an October 2001 exchange with ABC 20/20 host Barbara Walters, the then-celebrity developer assessed post-September 11 construction methods in New York City, its skyline absent the Twin Towers.

Read more: Trump’s prime-time endorsement of concrete building attributes endures

Industry measures infrastructure prospects, regulatory relief under Trump

Source: Rock Products

Late in his successful White House campaign, GOP candidate Donald Trump introduced what he called "a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports and waterways, and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system." Construction interests take those observations to heart, along with the effect of a Trump Administration on federal agencies driving employment, environmental and land management policy.

Read more: Industry measures infrastructure prospects, regulatory relief under Trump

500K-tpy ash contract feeds Charah, VHSC Cement joint venture

Sources: Charah Inc., Louisville, Ky.; CP staff

Charah, the largest privately-held coal combustion products management operator in the U.S., and VSHC Holdings LLC, The Woodlands, Texas-based cementitious materials processor, will market fly ash from NRG Limestone, a generating station with upwards of 500,000 tons per year output. Fuel and related changes at the Jewett, Texas, facility will see a switch from Class F to Class C fly ash production in early 2017.

Read more: 500K-tpy ash contract feeds Charah, VHSC Cement joint venture