Fly ash, chemical interests hold their ground in highway bill, LEED debates

Leading up to the MAP-21 legislation that will stabilize federal highway and bridge funding through fall 2014 (note page 8), Capitol Hill saw another sound challenge to the languishing coal ash rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed two years ago. As concrete producers and allies know all too well, the agency’s “Identification and Listing of Special Wastes: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) from Electric Utilities” includes an option that would classify impoundment- or landfill-bound coal ash as hazardous waste. Opponents correctly point to the highly negative effect that would have on market prospects for recyclable coal ash products, especially fly ash.

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ASTM C595 acknowledges 15% limestone threshold

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.

The ASTM C595-12 Standard Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements defines requirements for a new powder: Type IL, portland-limestone blended cement, which includes 5–15 percent limestone as an ingredient. Adoption of Type IL product has the potential to reduce environmental impact of cement production by about 10 percent, while maintaining performance characteristics concrete producers require for specified mixes. The requirements for Type IL cement are the most significant change to C595 in 2012.

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Chemical, insulation, vinyl groups cite dearth of consensus underpinning LEED

Sources: American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

ACC leads 25 building- and construction industry-linked groups, plus the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, behind the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition (AHPBC). Geared to promoting and supporting development of sustainable building standards based on consensus and scientific performance data, the Coalition was announced shortly after ACC challenged the U.S. Green Building Council over an “Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern” section and other proposals for the forthcoming LEED v4 rating system.

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