February 2008 – State & Province News
Qualico has proposed building a gravel pit on a 43-hectare site along the North Saskatchewan River in southwest Edmonton, Alberta, and says it will eventually donate the reclaimed land for a park. However, the Edmonton Journal reports that neighbors are voicing concerns about the operation. The plan for the mine would divert truck traffic from residential areas by using a road through property Qualico owns. Qualico’s manager of land development told the newspaper that a draft agreement would stipulate donation of the land within a decade, but the transfer could happen sooner, depending on production rates.
‘Green’ Deal Challenges Dallas Cement Producers
At Aggregates Manager press time, a resolution believed to be the first of its kind in the nation was scheduled to take effect in Dallas. However, Ash Grove Cement Co. initiated talks with Dallas officials in an attempt to ease the resolution. According to the Dallas Business Journal, the company says its Midlothian plant wouldn’t qualify as a preferred green provider for the city of Dallas cement purchases. Two Dallas cement plants, owned by Texas Industries Inc. (TXI) and Holcim U.S. Inc., would qualify. Ash Grove Cement Co. President Charles Wiedenhoft proposed cutting its smog-producing pollution by 1 ton a day if the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth — which drafted a similar proposal — would use language that would qualify cement from Ash Grove’s wet kilns. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert told the newspaper that the city wants the pollution reduction, noting that the next stage of the resolution must “improve the quality of the air and treat everyone fairly.” City staff members are developing options that would permit Ash Grove preferred status, but maintain additional emission reductions for dry kilns. Ash Grove’s proposal also calls for pollution cuts from kilns at TXI and Holcim, which drew mixed reactions from those companies. They have spent millions on emission-reduction technologies for their respective kilns, the Dallas Business Journal reports. “I don’t understand why Ash Grove needed to do that,” Randy Jones, spokesman for TXI, told the newspaper. He said that the company’s emissions would be well below the level Ash Grove is proposing by 2010, and questioned if the city were buckling on its resolve to force cleaner air. Jim Addams, regional senior vice president with Holcim, told the Dallas Business Journal that excluding Ash Grove from city work would give Holcim a competitive edge, but it wouldn’t improve the region’s air quality and indicated that the city should accept Ash Grove’s offer.
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