FIRST PLACE – AGGREGATE INDUSTRIES-MID-ATLANTIC REGION, BELTSVILLE RMC PLANT, GREENBELT, MD.
Facility operates under a comprehensive Environmental Management System and has held ISO 14001 certification for more than a decade. The EMS is organized and managed through a computer database called Envoy, containing all environmental records: site profile, permits, staff lists, training documents, site procedures, incidents and non-conformances, audits, corrective action plans, plus communications with regulatory agencies and citizens.
Annual EMS and Compliance/Permitting audits are used to document performance levels, measure improvements from the previous year, and establish targeted improvements. The root cause of findings is documented in the Envoy Non-Conformances section and, when appropriate, linked to Action Plans that assign responsibility and due dates to ensure timely corrective actions. The system automatically sends weekly email reminders to responsible individuals for Action Plans coming due.
The Beltsville RMC follows the Aggregate Industries Environmental Policy, stating that the company and each site will:
- Seek to reduce negative impacts and aim to enhance the positive aspects of its operations, products and services on the natural and social environment;
- Comply with all legislation, regulations and other requirements relevant to business activities;
- Establish systems to prevent pollution, encourage recycling, and reduce waste and energy use;
- Manage landholdings ensuring biodiversity is protected and enhanced, where practicable;
- Respond to the needs of local communities;
- Promote the use of more sustainable construction methods; and,
- Raise environmental awareness and the importance of being a good corporate citizen through the training and development of employees, suppliers and subcontractors.
With an eye to environmental benefits and sustainability measures, the Beltsville plant targets water conservation through capture of rainfall and recycling of collected rain. Approximately 40 percent of ready mixed is produced with rain water.
A bio-retention wetland provides stormwater treatment to further enhance water quality beyond regulatory requirements. It traps suspended solids and neutralizes pH as would a standard water treatment unit, while also affording biological treatment that breaks down trace carbon-containing chemicals transferred through soap or admixtures.
SECOND PLACE – DOLESE BROS. CO. MOORE BATCH PLANT, MOORE, OKLA.
Located in a light industrial zone with a residential neighborhood to the west, the operation has provided many of the materials for growth the City of Moore has experienced over the past four decades. Employees consider their facility to be an intrinsic part of the community, and make efforts to harmonize its operation with the surroundings. Their dedication to good housekeeping and pollution prevention is a positive contribution to the neighborhood, while trees, landscaping, and partial wooden fencing help provide visual screening and noise abatement.
Dolese Bros. management supports employee efforts to maintain the highest standards of environmental compliance, and promotes use of company-wide resources—staff, equipment, and materials—necessary to the Moore Batch Plant’s environmental integrity.
The central mixed plant, precast control house, concrete stave aggregate storage silos, and a concrete block secondary containment structure for admixtures are situated in the center of the property, and project an attractive and orderly appearance. East of the plant is a well-kept utility building to house supplies and tools. Adjacent to the structure is a 550-gal. tank for used oil, protected with a concrete block secondary containment structure. West of the batch plant is an 8,000-gal. diesel tank fueling station, also protected with secondary containment, plus a transfer load ramp just to its south.
The Moore plant’s large, bermed, returned-mix scatter area includes a block-making station and spray oil equipment hut. Across the yard from the scatter area is the truck wash rack clear well system with three settling bays. A high-pressure washing station on the pad uses well water, a source for batching as well. Drivers align their mixer trucks in designated parking spaces, providing a stationary parade that fittingly displays the Moore fleet.
THIRD PLACE – DOLESE BROS. CO. MIDWEST CITY BATCH PLANT, MIDWEST CITY, OKLA.
Situated in a rural suburban location, the plant serves the Oklahoma City metro area’s growing east side. A 1987 overhaul brought a new batch plant and concrete stave silos for bulk aggregate storage. About half of the acreage at the site remains grassy pasture with shade trees, about 40 of them planted over the last few years to replace ones lost to severe weather.
Employment of good housekeeping procedures is a keystone of Dolese Bros. operations. The producer’s Environmental Training Topic that focuses on housekeeping notes as standard routine: keep the entire yard clean of debris and trash and storage areas orderly; recycle or dispose of batteries, oil filters, and other items properly; place drip pans under vehicles, as needed, to prevent storm water exposure; clean up oil drips/spills promptly and properly dispose of rags, absorbent, oil dry and other materials; and, drain accumulated storm water from secondary containment structures.
The entire Midwest City plant area has been paved with returned concrete to control dust and erosion and keep the site clean. Areas around and under the plant are swept daily; company policy prohibits using water wash under the structure, as dry clean-up is among compliance items in the NPDES permit for a total retention facility.
Employee attendance is mandatory at monthly training sessions that focus on relevant environmental concerns. Regular discussions address appropriate emergency responses to specific accidents, spills, overfills, or other incidents. Many Midwest City plant employees hold certificates from the Oklahoma City Storm Water Quality Management Division for attendance at semi-annual Storm Water Quality Workshops, presented to contractors, developers, businesses, and industrial participants.
Staff involvement is apparent and appropriate at Dolese Bros., an employee-owned, profit-sharing company. An attitude of continuous improvement behind operational, safety, and environmental procedures prevails throughout the workforce and chain of command.
HONORABLE MENTION – AGGREGATE INDUSTRIES SWR, INC., SLOAN READY MIX PLANT, LAS VEGAS, NEV.
Aggregate Industries is ISO 14001-certified and has an environmental management system supported from the “top down.” Corporate and regional management teams reinforce all facets of the program and ensure resources are provided to meet and exceed environmental requirements. As an indication of backing for the Sloan Ready Mix plant’s environmental program, the following systems prevail:
- Company environmental policy is written and supported by the CEO;
- Aggregate Industries has written procedure on “site level operational management reviews” and “regional management reviews,” which require attendance of regional operations staff, general managers and presidents;
- Environmental audits are uploaded to the shared Envoy database, accessible to all members of management; monthly reports are presented to the executive committee by the corporate environmental manager; and,
- Aggregate Industries has further enhanced executive involvement and participation by implementing a monthly Environmental Behavioral Audit program for managers from across business and product lines.
The Sloan Ready Mix plant has implemented variety of sustainable practices to minimize its environmental footprint and more effectively promote sustainable/green building practices in the local community, among them:
Three LEED-credentialed Green Associates guide more effective business measures;
- Participation in local green building chapters in promotion of sustainable concrete products;
- Educating ready mixed customers and project principals on products and services that provide the maximum sustainable benefits and/or LEED points;
- Availability of a full line of sustainable products including pervious concrete, materials manufactured with higher recycled contents, and supplemental cementitious materials;
- Promotion of life cycle performance and thermal benefits of concrete, especially to customers involved in LEED certification-geared projects;
- Fuel savings and reduced carbon emissions are accomplished through the use of Trimble GPS tracking, capable of flagging mixers for idling outside of specified parameters.
The Sloan site has developed a number of systems to manage process and storm water, and solid waste including returned concrete. The site does not discharge process, slump rack water or mixer washout offsite. All such process waters are drained to one of two concrete lined weirs, where water evaporates and sediment is collected. Storm water sheet flow is diverted via perimeter berms to a rocked high pipe drain, which filters all runoff prior to site exit. To further mitigate water usage and potential discharges, the site has installed a Shumaker Load and Go truck wash system that significantly reduces water usage and ensures that all wash water is collected in the pond. The system saves an estimated 5 gallons per wash. Finally, Aggregate Industries has implemented a recycling program for all returned mix and washout. The former is used to cast retaining block, while washout material is collected onsite and crushed for recycled Type II base.
HONORABLE MENTION – CEMEX LEESBURG PLANT, OKAHUMPKA, FLA.
With just over 10 acres, mostly paved, and primarily surrounded by other industrial businesses, the Leesburg operation follows policies and procedures to achieve Cemex-wide goals through solid waste recycling, water conservation, and promoting practices to conserve energy.
In compliance with Florida’s Generic Industrial Waste Water Permit, it has a written Waste Water Storm Water Management Plan, which includes a list of applicable Best Management Practices:
- Paving of the yard and installation of curbs and swales to control and channel storm water into the sediment traps before it enters the first pond, which acts as another filter before the water enters into a second pond with off-site discharge. Sediment traps and the first pond provide for a clean water discharge as allowed by the permit.
- A three-cell concrete weir system handles returned concrete and process water. When returned mixes cannot be re-used or placed in bin block forms, they are unloaded into the first weir cell. From there it settles; as the level rises, settled water flows to the second cell, for further settling, then pumping to a third cell.
- Clean water from the third cell is reused in mixer drums; all process water in weirs is contained and not discharged, excepting quantities tapped to sprinkle aggregate stockpiles;
- Admixture tanks are inside of a concrete containment area;
- Storage of 55-gal. drums and other oil products are inside the shop and isolated from storm water contact; and,
- Aggregate bin area is paved and appropriately located along the back of plant to direct runoff to designated areas and eventually to the detention pond.
A Health Safety and Environmental Policy posted at every Cemex operation cites such rules or targets: zero discharge of concrete waste and process water; reduction of fresh water usage by consuming recycled process water for batch mixes, truck washing and drum washout; secondary containment and/or drip containment on all liquid chemical products used or stored; regular dust collector baghouse inspection; truck idle time policy to reduce diesel fuel consumption; and, plant equipment preventive maintenance program.
In its corporate 2013 Sustainable Development Report, Cemex reflects on daily activities at Leesburg and throughout North American and global operations, culiminating in a) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change accreditation for six new initiatives as Clean Development Mechanisms, including projects in Miami, Mexico and Panama; and, b) progress toward a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per metric ton of cement product by 2015 from a 1990 baseline.
At Leesburg and other sites, Cemex is proactive in dealing with any potential impact to nearby communities or private persons. Prevention is the key to being a good neighbor and to fit within the community. The company eyes controls that go above and beyond the requirements on any local, state, or federal permit in order to become an environmentally conscious neighbor in the community.
Semiannual environmental inspections drive internal compliance. Sites where deficiencies are discovered are provided an action list and assigned a corrective time frame. Environmental inspection performance and regulatory compliance are part of all local and corporate management’s year-end performance reviews. The Leesburg plant has scored a 90 or above on every semiannual inspection since 2008.
HONORABLE MENTION – CEMEX CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS PACIFIC, TEMECULA PLANT, TEMECULA, CALIF.
Highly visible from a major freeway, the operation lies at one end of the access route to Old Town Temecula, a tourist draw, and is immediately adjacent to an environmentally sensitive creek plus a medical center. Given the neighboring facilities and site profile, the plant is exceptionally clean and staffed with professionals who take pride in its appearance.
The Temecula plant entrance is nicely landscaped and the entire yard is paved. One of the cement silos was recently repainted as was the southern retention wall. Among the operation’s most notable aesthetic features is the aggregate material storage bunker, constructed of four-sided, exposed-aggregate concrete walls to completely shield stockpiles.
Cemex keeps an internal auditing process called the Balance Score Card to identify key environmental aspects of a facility, determine environmental compliance, and prioritize any necessary actions/corrections. Unannounced, semi-annual audits are performed at Temecula and sister concrete operations by a member of the corporate Environmental Department. Plant personnel accompany the Environmental Manager during the audit. Qualitative descriptions and a quantitative score from the results are documented on an inspection form and sent to upper management.
Facilities can earn bonus points if regulatory agency inspections find no deficiencies. Any aspects that are found to be deficient either by an internal or external audit are communicated up the chain so they can be addressed in a timely manner. Deficiencies not addressed in a timely manner result in penalty point during the subsequent Balance Score Card audit. The Temecula plant consistently scores over 90 points, and averaged 99 over the past six years. It earned NRMCA Green-Star Certification in December 2013.