A Pennsylvania coal mine was the backdrop for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s early-April announcement of an agency agenda true to Trump administration objectives. “Back-to-Basics means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth,” he affirmed.
|Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt holds court at the CNX Coal Resources Harvey Mine. PHOTO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
In conjunction with the gathering at CNX Coal Resources’ Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., EPA detailed recent or forthcoming agency actions supporting Back-to-Basics:
- Launch of the Regulatory Reform Task Force to undergo extensive reviews of misaligned regulatory actions;
- Four notices to review, revise or rescind major, economically significant, burdensome rules the last Administration issued—chief among them the so-called Clean Power Plan, which threatens 125,000-plus U.S. jobs;
- Restoring states’ important role in the regulation of local waters through “Waters of the U.S.” rule review;
- Helping states achieve high air quality targets, clean up toxic waste sites and improve America’s water infrastructure;
- Allocating funds for vital environmental projects that go directly to the health of citizens, such as providing $100 million to upgrade the Flint, Mich., drinking water system; and,
- Rescinding an evaluation of greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for model year 2022-2025 passenger vehicles plus tandem efforts with the Department of Transportation to conduct a collaborative and robust review of the standards.
CALPORTLAND NEARS $100M IN ENERGY STAR-ROOTED SAVINGS
A 1.1 percent energy intensity reduction across West Coast ready mixed concrete, cement and aggregate operations, totaling $682,000 in savings, has netted CalPortland Co. the 2017 EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. Efficiencies attained in 2016 bring the Glendora, Calif.-based producer to 15.6 percent energy intensity reduction and $96 million cumulative savings since 2003.
“CalPortland takes great pride in our partnership with Energy Star. Being named Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence is a tremendous honor,” says CEO Allen Hamblen. Earning Energy Star honors for a 13th consecutive year, unsurpassed by building materials peers, he adds, “is a tribute to the dedication of our employees who are proud to participate in programs that improve our energy efficiency, reduce emissions and contribute to protecting our environment.”
Projects behind the 2017 Partner Award include:
- $2 million ready mixed plant upgrade that saw light-emitting diode lighting, premium efficiency motor and shutdown control installations, plus improved truck idling management—combining for $50,000-plus in first-year savings.
- $25 million in capital upgrades for Rillito and Mojave cement plant preheater duct and clinker cooler equipment, plus a $14 million Anchorage terminal storage dome.
- Launch of the “CalPortland Energy Cup” competition to compare and quantify energy practices and performance of the company’s three cement plants.
The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award goes to a variety of companies or organizations for continual leadership throughout the Energy Star program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. CalPortland was recognized last month during an EPA- and U.S. Department of Energy-hosted gathering in Washington, D.C.