Concrete Products

NOV 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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40 • November 2018 FEATURE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS CENTRAL REGION SECOND PLACE PETE LIEN & SONS, INC. READY MIX WEST PLANT • RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA The plant lies along the foothills of the Black Hills, known for fishing, scenery and bustling seasonal tourism. A decorative block wall, greenscaping and office building minimize equipment and site visi- bility. The building color scheme blends with the rest of the environment; daily housekeeping of the plant facility and lot further improves aesthetics. Production area pavement is scraped and swept regularly, and a water truck passes unpaved areas. Aggregate stockpiles are placed to reduce Ready Mix West plant noise, while employees use hand-held radios rather than communicate through a yard loudspeaker. Backup alarms have been upgraded to reduce the decibels and limit sound direction, yet maintain their safety func- tion. Lighting is oriented for directional and downward dispersion to reduce light pollution. Pete Lien & Sons has assembled a cross func- tional team of management, site supervision, sales, purchasing, maintenance, human resources, engineering, environmental, quality control, and driver personnel to weigh progress and potential within an environmental review cycle framework. A corporate site inspection program entails visits to Ready Mix West and sister operations at least annually. Audits are documented, with action items and opportunities for improvement placed in an electronic workbook and evaluated for risk potential, training effectiveness, and frequency. Audits encompass air permit, SPCC, SWPPP perfor- mance, waste management, general housekeeping, sustainability practices, local ordinances, chemi- cal storage, and other environmentally pertinent programs and recordkeeping. Regulatory agencies, vendors, subject matter experts, manufacturers, and consultants are frequently enlisted to train and provide updates to technology or practices for all impacted employees. Pete Lien & Sons trains all delivery profession- als to return excess concrete for use in a) casting blocks that are stacked in aggregate stockpile areas or sold to outside parties; or b) plant and employee parking lot pavements. Drivers are also instructed to wash out either at the plant or on site in a con- tractor-designated containment vessel. The Ready Mix West plant diverts process water to a series of containment structures. Drivers recy- cle water from the final structure in truck wash down and makeup dosing. The plant operates on a closed loop system, so no process water is dis- charged into the city treatment works or natural waterways. Berms and dikes separate process and storm water; a pond containing the latter is tapped for dust control and maintaining green space sur- rounding the plant. Powered partly by wind-derived energy from Black Hills Power turbines, the batch plant is designed to sit below grade from one side and placed behind a larger office structure to further reduce surrounding area impact. Pete Lien & Sons team members plant upward of 1,000 trees annually in a nearby area.

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