Consequential deals cap a year that couldn’t end fast enough

As we closed our 2020 work schedule producing this issue, a slew of post-Thanksgiving developments quickly sealed December as the most consequential month of a year we are pleased to see in the rearview mirror. While absent CRH, HeidelbergCement, LafargeHolcim, Martin Marietta, Summit Materials, Vulcan Materials and other deal catalysts or newsmakers of the past decade, the developments warrant cement,…

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CalPortland moves CNG power upstream, from mixers to bulk tankers

Eyeing deliveries throughout southern California, CalPortland Co. is deploying compressed natural gas-powered bulk tankers as part of strategy to capture fuel economy and lower the net greenhouse gas emissions associated with cement production at its Oro Grande plant. The producer has staged 24 CNG-fueled tractors with double bulk trailers along a slow-fill island station and related fueling infrastructure at the…

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Pacific Steel v. CMC reveals rebar market disruption and greening

Cement and cementitious materials producers are helping concrete customers improve carbon dioxide emissions reduction track records and or embodied carbon metrics. Additional improvements are in the offing for structural concrete as reinforcing steel top guns log CO2 cuts on trend lines sharper than their portland cement counterparts. Since the percentage of rebar in a column cross section can approach that…

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Market forces best regulators for aligning cement and concrete with Paris Accord

Associated Builders & Contractors officials emphasize regulatory reform in their endorsement of President Trump for a second term. Nowhere is their praise more warranted—and substance of their observations better validated—than in his June 2017 withdrawal from the Paris Accord. Recall how that faux treaty, finalized in December 2015 under the United Nations Conference of Parties, held signatories to voluntary greenhouse…

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Pipe, box culvert producers extend long tradition of value and integrity

Our 2020 association chairman’s report series concludes this month with Bill Waushabaugh Jr., who leads one of the best family owned and operated businesses in concrete production. He credits the success of Northern Concrete Pipe Inc., now in its seventh decade, to a loyal group of team members, both family and nearly so. Membership in the American Concrete Pipe Association,…

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Court shows do’s, don’ts, dares of union-organizing resistance

A legal petition involving the United Steel Workers (USW), National Labor Relations Board and an equipment manufacturer provides employers an instructive take on permissible language and tactics for confronting union representation campaigns. A U.S. Court of Appeals opinion honored an employer’s challenge of NLRB decisions surrounding a 2015 USW organizing campaign. Union-friendly decisions went hand in hand with National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) interpretations the Board made while answering to President Barack Obama.

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False Claims Act meets air entrainment

A case involving alleged False Claims Act violations and Pennsylvania precaster Universal Concrete Products Corp. is drawing to a close in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria. It unfolded over three years from claims of an ex-quality control technician-turned-whistleblower who is now on track to share in “recoveries” from his former employer and colleagues.

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Safety incentives: Legal and logical

Up against this month’s deadline, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association logged a productive week in Washington, D.C., led by Chairman Rodney Grogan (MMC Materials), Vice Chairman Bill Sandbrook (U.S. Concrete) and Safety, Environmental and Operations Committee Chairman David Williams’ (Chaney Enterprises) participation in a Pledge to America’s Workers event at the White House.

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