FIRST PLACE – JACK B. PARSON COS. SMITHFIELD PLANT, SMITHFIELD, UTAH
Several measures ensure the Smithfield facility’s aesthetic appeal: Well kept trees and architectural treatments set the stage for the office area, offering neighbors and passers by a strong first impression. The fully paved yard area is swept and washed at least weekly to prevent the accumulation of trackout onto the city streets. Painted surfaces are in good condition and sloped areas above the plant are mulched.
The Jack B Parson Companies (JBP) mission statement commits: “To champion the safety, empowerment, and development of our employees. To be recognized as The Preferred Source of quality sand, rock, landscape products, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, paving and construction services. To succeed as a team by embracing integrity, mutual respect, innovation, service, sustainability, and financial strength.”
A four-component Environmental Management System (EMS) supports the statement’s sustainability portion:
- An impact assessment is conducted, and all required regulatory requirements are identified;
- Hard copies of required permits and recordkeeping are maintained in an individual folder, with backup copies stored on company intranet and available to the plant operators;
- A cloud-based inspection and recordkeeping system notifies operators via email when a required inspection or other data gathering activity is due. Employees can enter information directly into the system from a tablet or any other web portal device; and,
- As a backbone to the EMS, a President’s Environmental Sustainability Award Program scores Smithfield and sister sites. Beyond the award winner, sites that score 100 percent on the compliance portion and 90 percent or higher overall are considered Gold Standard.
SECOND PLACE – DOLESE BROS. CO. ADA BATCH PLANT, ADA, OKLA.
Operating in Oklahoma for more than a century, Dolese Bros. spells out commitments behind the Ada and sister operations in an Environmental Policy Statement: “Our company provides sound leadership by example and demonstrates environmental stewardship in all aspects of our operations. Our commitment to these principles integrates an even balance of conducting our operations and affairs in full compliance of all applicable laws and regulations; minimizing environmental impacts on the surrounding communities; training all employees to recognize and respond to environmental issues of concern; and, evaluating our environmental practices for continual improvements.”
Many Ada plant employees live in the community. They strive to run a clean operation and minimize impacts through such measures as sweeping the yard regularly, proper baghouse operation, wetting raw materials, and creating wind-breaks via a perimeter block wall. Best management practices steer staff efforts to properly and responsibly manage storm water runoff so that it is clean before entering an adjacent stream.
The site is located at the south end of the Ada Municipal Airport runway. Dolese Bros. staff realize that every plane taking off from or landing at the site has a birds-eye view of ready mixed production, delivery and plant upkeep; all members are held accountable for maintaining environmental compliance. Recognizing the value of community relations, especially as residential development approaches the site, Dolese Bros. established an interactive section on its corporate website, whereby Ada residents can weigh in with concerns.
Regular training for the plant manager addresses safety, production, and environmental issues, and often involves upper management or department chiefs. The Dolese Bros. Environmental Department and the Operations Division routinely visits the site and is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations and ordinances.
The Ada Batch Plant Manager participates in the Chinstrap Awards Program, incentivizing site upkeep and environmental improvements. Managers are scored on performance and ranked among peers. They are acknowledged for their initiative, ingenuity, and achievements for pollution prevention and related activities. Scores are compiled quarterly and reflect compliance, best management practices, and a timely paperwork submittal to the Dolese Environmental Department.
THIRD PLACE – EVANS CONSTRUCTION CO. JACKSON PLANT, JACKSON, WYO.
An environmentally sensitive, Intermountain region presents Evans Construction challenges from air and water quality concerns to plant equipment height and operating hours restrictions. The Jackson Plant is located next to the Snake River and Highway 89, the major route to Jackson Hole.
An entrance map indicates specific traffic patterns for concrete and other materials, and is color coded as part of a vehicle and pedestrian segregation program. The concrete plant pavement is segregated and painted to accommodate employee parking, mixer truck parking and wash area, bulk truck delivery, and pedestrian crosswalks. Landscaped areas to the south and west of the plant feature, respectively, a berm with trees and an automated sprinkler system plus natural vegetation—both providing noise deflection and line of site for the plant’s neighbors.
Two ponds retain all Jackson plant stormwater and allow it to naturally evaporate. Separate returned-concrete areas receive mainly wash water and limited material or returned mix. Material from both pits is hauled to a nearby Evans crusher for reprocessing. The bulk of returned concrete is used to make blocks and caps of various size.
Consistent with other Oldcastle Materials operations, Evans’ 5-S program (sorting, simplifying, sweeping, standardizing, and self-discipline) addresses the general care, cleanliness, orderliness and maintenance of the plant and property. The Jackson operation also has a formal Environmental Management System and participates in the President’s Sustainability Award Program, based on yearly audits from environmental managers and safety professionals covering the Oldcastle Mountain West Division’s nearly 270 operations. The Evans concrete facility has received the Gold Standard Award for three years in a row, indicating 100 percent compliance on all SPCC, SWPPP, Haz-Waste, Air Quality criteria.
The President’s Award was developed by Staker-Parsons Companies in 2007 and has expanded to include the Mountain West Division, of which Evans Construction is a part. The Sustainability program looks at air quality (permits, records, compliance), water quality (permits, records, compliance), hazardous waste (manifests, LDR, used oil, batteries, records), spill prevention (SPCC plan, records, requirements), housekeeping (trash, staining, metal management, labeling, entrances, tires, lumber), safety (pedestrian safety, confined space, lock out/tag out, personal protection equipment, health exposure), community perception (landscaping, reclamation, maintenance) and sustainability (overall impression, employee engagement, innovation).
HONORABLE MENTION – PETE LIEN & SONS, INC. RAPID CITY READY MIX EAST PLANT, RAPID CITY, S.D.
The producer demonstrates community commitment by keeping sites at or above regulators’ standards for environmental performance and safety. An Environmental Management System guides the Ready Mix Division to key objectives:
- Comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations as well as any industry partnership requirements;
- Assign management responsibility for the environment in all areas of the company and ensure that employees are aware of their responsibilities for acting in accordance with this policy;
- Practice effective pollution prevention in accordance with a hierarchy giving top priority to pollution prevention at the source; and,
- Periodically review and if necessary improve procedures to minimize the pollution potential.
In accordance with EMS requirements, division objectives and goals are reviewed periodically to assess progress toward continuous improvement. A cross functional team has been assembled consisting of, but not limited to, personnel from management, site supervision, sales, purchasing, maintenance, human resources, engineering, environmental, quality control and driver ranks. Aspects and impacts the team has developed are examined in the annual EMS Review Cycle.
Additionally, supervisors from all Pete Lien & Sons sites participate in a two-day “Winter Harvest” training session on permitting, emissions controls, SWPPP, SPCC, containment, waste streams, recycling and site inspections. Company sites or individuals recognized for environmental performance are acknowledged by their supervisor and/or corporate management and through press releases or newsletter items.
The Ready Mix East facility was audited and subsequently obtained NRMCA Green-Star certification in 2013. The operation sports well kept green space and plant operations. The employee parking lot has been strategically located behind the plant and surrounded by green space and decorative block wall. Shop and office buildings feature a color scheme to blend in with the rest of the plant. Principal equipment (conveyors, hoppers, fuel station) is placed behind the plant and office buildings to minimize visual impact.
A concrete wall separates the plant site from the street to reduce noise as much as possible. Additionally, storage piles are strategically placed to help absorb sound. The plant also has young trees along the road; once mature, they will further reduce noise beyond the property line. Plant employees use hand-held radios for communication rather than a plant loudspeaker.