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CSHub to Initiate Research Project with CODOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT) and the Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) at MIT recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to: 

1. Integrate Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) with the probabilistic life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) process

2. Analyze the drivers of cost variation in Colorado, collect any site-specific information regarding historical bids/projects that a typical database would not provide, and use that information to statistically characterize sources of variation.

3. Project future material prices in the state of Colorado

During the 14-week project the CSHub will work with CDOT to conduct LCCAs for three different projects that represent a range of scales.  The research will review operational context information such as traffic and design information, length of project, and expected user delays.

In addition, the CSHub will integrate the predicted distress data for the project via MEPDG for a given pavement design with an LCCA model.  Where available, historical asphalt, concrete, and constituent price indexes will be used to develop projections of future paving costs.
Contact Don Clem

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PCA, CAC Announce Separation

Effective October 31, 2013, the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) became an independent Association incorporated in Canada. Previously, CAC operated as a division of PCA. Canadian Association activities will continue to operate as the Cement Association of Canada.

“This agreement allows both organizations to focus on their respective national market promotion, technical standards and regulatory and legislative issues,” said PCA president/CEO Greg Scott. “We are now two separate organizations, but we will continue to work together for the best interests of the cement industry.”

“It’s time for Canadian cement companies to have a separate incorporated Association. We will be better able to tailor our marketing, branding, and government relations work to Canadian issues,” said Michael McSweeney, CAC president/CEO. “CAC and PCA have had a long and proud history of working together and will continue to share information and pursue common interests.”

Representing eight Canadian cement companies, CAC is headquartered in Ottawa with regional offices in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver.

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U.S. District Court Hears NESHAP Argument – On October 24, the portland cement NESHAP oral argument before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals took place. The case was argued before a three-judge panel that included Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Harry Edwards, and Sri Srinivasan. The key issues in the argument were the revised particulate matter standard, the reset of the compliance deadline, and the affirmative defense. Lawyers working on behalf of Earthjustice petitioned the case. The Department of Justice argued on behalf of EPA, and Sidley-Austin argued on behalf of PCA as an intervener. No timetable has been set for the Court’s final decision.
Contact Andrew O’Hare

Draft Bill Addressing Utility GHG Rules Circulated– On October 28, Rep. Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Manchin (D-WV) circulated discussion draft legislation that would impose parameters on final new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the utility sector. The bill also addresses guidance documents EPA is expected to draft in 2014 with respect to existing power plants. EPA released its proposed standards on September 20, and plans to issue a final rule by June 2014. While the proposed rule outlines different GHG standards for natural gas and coal fired power plants, the Whitfield-Manchin legislation would outline more subcategories for coal-fired generation, depending on the type of coal used by a particular facility. Staff lawyers with the House Energy and Commerce Committee reviewed aspects of the draft bill with PCA staff and other industry partners on October 2 to discuss a path forward for the legislation following formal introduction.
Contact Bryan Brendle or Mary Holland

EPA Grants PCA Request to Extend Comment Period on GHG Reporting – On October 31, EPA granted PCA’s request for an extension of the comment period on its latest round of revisions to the mandatory reporting rule (MRR) for GHG emissions, focusing on confidential business information determinations. EPA extended the comment period, previously set for November 12, to Tuesday, November 26. The October announcement was issued as a pre-publication notice by the agency. A formal notice of EPA’s decision will appear in an upcoming issue of the Federal Register. PCA, joined by industry cosignatories including the American Chemistry Council and the American Iron and Steel Institute, submitted the request on October 24.
Contact Bryan Brendle or Ty Wilson

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RCC Pavement Symposium Announced

RCCThe Cement Council of Texas will hold its third Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) Design and Construction Symposium on November 20-21, 2013, at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel in Irving, Texas.   

The Symposium will feature experts from throughout the United States highlighting how RCC pavements save considerable cost and time for road, industrial pavement, and parking lot construction.   This is the only comprehensive event of its type in the U.S. and is attended by a national audience of facility owners, engineers, and construction professionals.

Its compact, two-day format allows maximum learning and networking in the shortest possible time. There will be two tracks:  fundamentals and emerging developments. Symposium materials include state-of-the-art design and construction guides, specifications and all presentations.
Register at
Contact Matthew Singel

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2013 Yearbook Ready

The PCA North American Cement Industry 2013 Annual Yearbook is now available.  The Yearbook is the starting place for the historical perspective on the U.S. and Canadian construction and cement industries. It provides long-term historical data tables and graphs for indicators most relevant to the cement industry and shows the development of trends.

The publication contains detailed information covering U.S. and Canadian economic activity, cement consumption and supply, infrastructure, industry operating characteristics, and international economic trends.  In addition, the Yearbook includes an analysis of construction activity trends, company rankings, cement trade, and energy consumption.
Visit PCA’s bookstore to order

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FHWA ASR Development & Deployment Program Ends

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Alkali Silica Reactivity Technical Working Group (ASR TWG) met October 29-30 in Providence, R.I.

This group monitors and provides technical assistance for the FHWA Alkali Silica Reactivity (ASR) Development & Deployment Program. Members of the ASR TWG include representatives of FHWA, industry, academia, other federal agencies, and state departments of transportation. SAFETEA-LU legislation established funding for furthering the development and deployment of techniques to prevent and mitigate alkali silica reactivity.  This was the final meeting of the group as the program ends this year.

The group oversaw development of guidelines and training programs to help government agencies improve concrete durability by controlling ASR. Key documents produced by ASR TWG include: AASHTO PP65 Standard Practice for Determining the Reactivity of Concrete Aggregates and Selecting Appropriate Measures for Preventing Deleterious Expansion in New Concrete Construction and the Alkali-Aggregate Reactivity (AAR) Facts Book.
Contact Steven Kosmatka

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PCA Fall Board Meeting
November 17-19, 2013
Las Colinas, Texas
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World of Concrete
January 20-24, 2014
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PCA Spring Committee Meeting
March 17-19, 2014
Rosemont, Illinois
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April 13-17, 2014
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April 27-29, 2014
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August 24-26, 2014
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November 16-18, 2014
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