RM producer provides lawmakers sharp critique of FMCSA Hours proposal

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations; CP staff

In Capitol Hill testimony on behalf of NRMCA, Pennsylvania producer Rusty Rader detailed industry concerns over increased costs, fuel consumption and paperwork surrounding six changes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes in Hours of Service regulations: requiring off-duty time immediately following the end of the driving window; possibly reducing driving time from 11 to 10 hours; mandating a 30-minute break every seven hours; limiting restarts of the 60/70 hour clock to once in seven days; including at least two periods between 6 a.m. and midnight within a 34-hour restart period; and, limiting on-duty time to 13 hours in a driving window.

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Cementos Argos becomes second major stakeholder in Class C ash formulator Ceratech

Sources: Ceratech Inc., Alexandria, Va.; CP staff

Only three months after announcing that third-largest coal producer Alpha Natural Resources had acquired a 10.3 percent interest in its business (with an option to increase the stake to 28.3 under certain future terms), Ceratech has accepted another strategic equity investment from Colombian cement giant Cementos Argos, the fourth-largest U.S. concrete producer. The buy-in follows Argos’ recent expansion of its U.S. presence through a $760 million purchase of Lafarge North America’s Southeastern assets. The two companies will cooperate to develop and distribute Ceratech binder products through Argos’ Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest markets.

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Minerals group gauges per capita cement and aggregate consumption

Source: Mineral Information Institute, Foundation for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc., Englewood, Colo.

The Mineral Information Institute’s latest “Minerals Baby” notes that 38,052 lb. of new minerals must be provided for every person in the United States to make the items used daily. This includes 8,509 lb. of stone for roads, buildings, bridges, landscaping, and numerous chemical and construction uses; 5,599 lb. of sand and gravel for concrete, asphalt, roads, blocks and bricks; and 496 lb. of cement for roads, sidewalks, bridges, buildings, schools and houses.

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Evansville hosts 2011 National Concrete Canoe Competition

Source: American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, Va.

University of Evansville civil engineering students and faculty will welcome peers from 23 schools to southern Indiana for the National Concrete Canoe Competition. The June 16-18 event will see student teams compete in four categories: canoe aesthetics and structural integrity; technical design paper highlighting their planning, development, testing and construction; academic presentation covering their canoe’s design, construction, racing ability and other innovative features; and, canoe and paddlers’ performance in men’s and women’s slalom/endurance and sprint races, plus co-ed sprints.

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