Lafarge Edmonton plants recognized for health & safety leadership

More than 400,000 hours of safe operation are being celebrated this week at Lafarge Canada aggregate sites in the Edmonton area (Andrew, Fort Saskatchewan, Onoway, Ponoka, Tommahawk) and at its precast concrete operation. These hours include work with industrial equipment such as conveyors, cranes, crushers, high-stressed cable and 50-ton loaders, all of which require trained staff to maneuver safely.

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CalPortland agrees to pay $1.4 million to settle Clean Air Act violations

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in mid-December that CalPortland Company (CPC) has agreed to pay a $1.425 million penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its cement plant in Mojave, Calif. In addition to the penalty, CPC will spend an estimated $1.3 million on pollution controls that will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The $1.425 million penalty is one of the largest settlements for a single cement facility.

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Canadian cement consumption to decline

According to a recent report by Portland Cement Association Market Intelligence, the typical economic growth supporters of employment and energy sector investment have not translated into Canadian cement demand this year, and a 0.8% decline in consumption is forecast for 2011, followed by a moderate rebound of a 1.2% in 2012.

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ASTM raises bar to generous threshold for C595's ground limestone content

In a move that will provide the opportunity for the cement and concrete industries to reduce products' carbon footprint, a proposal was approved to permit up to 15% ground limestone in blended cements under ASTM C595 (Blended Hydraulic Cements), with the resulting product characterized as limestone blended cements. Similar revisions are being made to the equivalent AASHTO standard by the AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials. Under C595, there was previously no specifically stated limit on ground limestone content.

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