‘Safety’ advocates prove unpersuasive in drivers’ hours exemption challenge

A late-July U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision denies a petition to review a final rule expanding a short-haul exemption and modifying a 30-minute break requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service regulation. The former action entailed a maximum duty period change from 12 to 14 hours, securing HOS compliance flexibility that National…

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Eco Material and Cemex define Green Bond-rated investments

Our cover story subject has hit the ground running since its official launch from an early-2022, $775 million deal uniting Boral Resources, North American fly ash top gun, and Green Cement Inc., Texas-centric developer of PozzoSlag supplementary cementitious material and PozzoCem primary binder.  We catch South Jordan, Utah-based Eco Material Technologies Inc. at an unfolding inflection point. In a span…

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Industry producers cruise ahead of CO2 emissions reporting rule

Examples of carbon dioxide emissions reporting by public cement, concrete and aggregate producers accompany an overview of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-proposed “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” rule (pages 12-13). Through guidance detailing environmental metrics, operators like Charah Solutions, Holcim Ltd., Summit Materials and Vulcan Materials rise to a familiar position: Ahead of the regulatory…

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Agency eclipses typical government pace with embodied carbon action

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration were set for center stage this year thanks to Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding and contract activity. Yet a sister agency with its $75 billion building and pavement contracting budget is stealing some of the thunder.  The General Services Administration is capturing attention with its Low Embodied Carbon Concrete Standards…

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Cement, concrete, and carbon conversation turns to intellectual honesty and plausibility

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) survey of cement and concrete production builds on U.S. General Services Administration measures, noted here last month, to guide federal construction procurement policy toward lower embodied carbon levels in finished structures. Along with the Departments of Defense and Transportation, General Services stands to favor material or product specifications backed by carbon data presented in…

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Federal agencies trigger a third flourish for Environmental Product Declarations

Our coverage of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for ready mixed and manufactured concrete dates to 2013. The record of producers and their national associations responding to market signals calling for such documents continues to be exemplary.  This past month saw a third turning point in EPDs’ evolution from a target of green building practitioners, to data files for the Embodied…

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Hemp fiber adds to FRP buzz

Carbon, glass and basalt fiber manufacturers are improving their concrete market prospects by pursuing certification for fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement. FRP bar and tendons offer compelling alternatives to traditional reinforcements for bridge decks, pavements, marine structures and other conditions whose chemical exposure invites steel corrosion. FRP is also attracting attention for its potential to lower embodied carbon in finished…

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Industry leaders ace climate audit

By Don Marsh Three of the top five global cement, aggregate and concrete producers made the 2021 Climate Disclosure Project A List, reflecting transparency in environmental impact, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management and water resource metrics. Cemex S.A.B. de C.V., HeidelbergCement AG and Holcim AG are among 200 A List/Climate category performers from a pool of 10,000-plus companies. London-based Climate…

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Asset gains and carbon cuts equal an extraordinary year

By Don Marsh The close of any other calendar might confine this column to revisiting a merger and acquisition wave across ready mixed and manufactured concrete, but 2021 could be remembered as much for carbon dioxide emissions action as cement, aggregate and concrete production investment. On the latter front, stock prices for public companies and high valuations for private peers…

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General Shale-Meridian order serves as latest case of antitrust law limits

By Don Marsh The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division ordered General Shale and Meridian Brick LLC to divest three plants, 14 showrooms and distribution yards, plus six mines in a proposed settlement of an antitrust lawsuit challenging the producers’ merger, consummated early last month. The agency filed the settlement and suit-triggering complaint in the U.S. District Court for the…

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