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Brick makers confront EPA emissions rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) rule covering portland cement is driving significant capital investment toward a September 2016 compliance target for U.S. mills. A tandem measure awaits another sector aligned with ready mixed concrete and concrete masonry.

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Regulators scale enforcement efficiencies

Employers have been advised of the prospects for ambitious, federal regulatory measures in this administration’s sunset year. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-proposed rulemaking and Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision support the projection. Both spell demonstrable government efficiency with no pretense of actual taxpayer savings.

 

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A year of tempered market expectations, bigger multinationals, taller wood buildings

Three developments tracked since January stand out at year’s end: 1) overall concrete shipments did not pace projected level; 2) among global operators, the annual revenue bar for cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete shipments is moving from the $10 billion–$15 billion to $15 billion–$20 billion range, with the top players deriving about 20–25 percent of sales in North America; and, 3) U.S. and Canadian wood interests’ multi-story building market pursuits are reverberating among ready mixed and manufactured-concrete producers.

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Cement Masons bargaining unit decision nets Baker Concrete unfinished business

A case rooted in one of the National Labor Relations Board’s most contentious decisions during the Obama administration could disrupt efficient work flows that help define one of the best known names in concrete structures and slabs, and alter longstanding recognition of craft units unique to construction.

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A little dirt on the Clean Power Plan

Environmental Protection Agency aggression fostered an unlikely contingent seeking federal court relief: The American Iron & Steel Institute and American Wood Council joined Portland Cement Association, Brick Industry Association, National Lime Association and 13 other business or industry groups late last month in a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) legal effort to stop implementation of the Clean Power Plan. Through it, the EPA seeks sharp reductions in carbon dioxide emissions—32 percent by 2030 against 2005 level baseline—from utilities and energy-intensive operations.

Read more: A little dirt on the Clean Power Plan