Concrete Products

AUG 2015

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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 59

6 • August 2015 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS REGULATIONS Portland Cement Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and three other plaintiffs are mounting perhaps the most decisive chal- lenge yet to the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) final rule, imploring a federal court to vacate the measure in its entirety. In their U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma complaint, plaintiffs contend WOTUS a) exceeds EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers' authority under the Clean Water Act and Article I of the U.S. Constitution, and b) violates the Administrative Procedure and Regulatory Flexibility Acts, along with State sovereignty reserved under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. If the final rule takes effect, the complaint states, "Plaintiffs' members will suffer real economic harm to their businesses and prop- erty values because they will be forced to submit to expensive, vague, burdensome, and time-consuming federal regulations before they can perform the most mundane activities on their property. Numerous industries representing a broad swath of the U.S. economy will feel the brunt." "Through WOTUS, federal regulators are asserting unprecedented regulatory authority over large and small bodies of water throughout the U.S., exceeding the scope that was set by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court," affirms PCA CEO James Toscas. "This will create needless gridlock, delays, and cost for construction projects across the country, with little or no benefit to the environment. "Cement manufacturers take environmental responsibility very seriously. Every cement plant in the United States complies with PCA, Chamber take EPA, Corps of Engineers to court over Waters of U.S. rule every existing state and federal water quality standard. WOTUS, how- ever, includes an arbitrary, case-by-case determination as to what rules apply where, which would make compliance more difficult. We therefore stand with the [other plaintiffs] and call for a stop to this extraordinary and unnecessary expansion of federal authority." Joining PCA and U.S. Chamber in the suit are the National Federa- tion of Independent Business, State Chamber of Oklahoma and Tulsa Regional Chamber. In tandem with PCA, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and other allied groups are monitoring WOTUS closely due to its potential for disrupting plant operations and construction contracts. EPA REVISES REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is strengthening federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements to improve prevention and detection of petroleum releases, one of the leading sources of groundwater contamination. They improve the charter 1988 UST reg- ulation, agency officials contend, by closing regulatory gaps, adding new technologies, and focusing on proper operation and mainte- nance of existing vessels. The revisions add secondary containment measures for new and replaced tanks and piping; operator training, plus periodic opera- tion and maintenance requirements; and, new release prevention and detection technologies. Additionally, they remove past deferrals for emergency generator and field-constructed tanks, while updating codes of practice plus state approval requirements to incorporate new changes. "These changes will better protect people's health and benefit the environment in communities across the country by improving prevention and detection of underground storage tank releases," says EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus. "Extensive and meaningful collabo- ration with our underground storage tank partners and stakeholders was vital to the development of the new regulations. The revised requirements will also help ensure consistency in implementing the tanks program among states. States and territories primarily implement the UST program. Many already have some of the new requirements in place, EPA officials report; for others, the changes will set standards that are more pro- tective. In developing the final UST regu- lation, they reached out extensively to affected and inter- ested stakeholders, weighing environmen- tal benefits and bal- ancing them with the potential future costs of compliance for UST owners and operators. A revised, 36-page guideline is available at DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS After water, concrete is one of the most sustainable and widely used materials in the world. Fly ash plays an important role in increasing the sustainability of concrete. Headwaters Resources is the nation's leader in supplying quality fly ash. We can help you discover how to improve the performance of your concrete while simultaneously improving its environmental profile. Visit for answers to the most common questions about fly ash. You can also contact your expert Headwaters Resources technical support representative for advice on your specific sustainability opportunities.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Concrete Products - AUG 2015