Oldcastle parent sheds long-held Glen-Gery, sister clay brick brands

Sources: CRH Plc, Dublin; Bain Capital LLC, Boston; CP staff

CRH will sell its Ibstock and Glen-Gery businesses in the United Kingdom and United States, respectively, in a $640 million deal with funds managed by Bain Capital Europe LLP. Projected to close during the first half of 2015, the transaction includes assumption of certain debt and pension liabilities resulting in net cash value to CRH of approximately $457 million.

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ASTM publishes Product Category Rules for Concrete Masonry Products

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

An NCMA-led team of producers and allied interests has finalized “Product Category Rules for Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Manufactured Concrete and Concrete Masonry Products.” The 21-page document presents baseline data for life cycle assessments producers detail in Environmental Product Declarations.

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Private equity deal preempts Hanson Building Products initial public offering

Sources: Heidelberg Cement AG, Germany; CP staff

Germany’s HeidelbergCement projects a first quarter 2015 closing on the $1.4 billion sale of Hanson Building Products operations in the U.S., Eastern Canada and United Kingdom to an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a real estate investment-centered private equity firm with Dallas, New York and Frankfurt offices. A definitive agreement on the transaction, announced just before Christmas, supersedes a Hanson Building Products Ltd. public offering HeidelbergCement had outlined three months prior in a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filing.

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With NESHAP for portland cement settled, EPA turns to brick kiln emissions

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

In its latest round of national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP), EPA proposes lower limits for mercury and non-mercury metals, plus hydrogen and chlorine gases from clay brick tunnel (continuous curing) kilns, coupled with target startup and shutdown periods. The agency also envisions work practice standards for more specialized periodic kilns, which are heated up to 2,000° F, then left to cool for several days. Tunnel kilns are typically fired by natural gas or sawdust; periodic kilns, coal.

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Languishing 2009-13 coal ash recycling rates reflect regulatory uncertainty

Sources: American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), Farmington Hills, Mich.; CP staff

According to ACAA’s “Production and Use Survey,” 51.4 million tons of coal combustion products (CCP) were beneficially used in 2013 —down from 51.9 million tons in 2012 and well below the 2008 peak of 60.6 million tons. In the closely watched category of fly ash consumed in concrete mixes, utilization increased only slightly to 12.3 million tons, up by 577,705 tons over 2012, but still below 12.6 million tons in 2008.

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Fly ash marketers, users spared ‘hazardous material’ stigma in EPA rule

Sources: American Coal Ash Association (ACAA), Farmington Hills, Mich.; Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

After five and a half years of proposals, reworking and review of 450,000-plus comments, the EPA issued a final rule on coal combustion residuals (CCR) from utility power plants, strengthening management guidelines for impoundment- or landfill-bound material while supporting responsible recycling practices best exemplified in ASTM C618-grade fly ash processing and marketing.

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