October 2008 – AggBeat
Carbon capture and storage has been identified as crucial in addressing climate change. Constantz says his patent-pending process will capture the CO2 created by power plants and permanently store it in the cement. Calera employs spray dryers that use the heat in the flue gas to dry the slurry that results from mixing water and pollution. The resulting cement is white and, once dried, can be used as a replacement for portland cement.
Calera has set up a pilot plant at the Moss Landing power plant in Calif. where some flue gas is already running through the process. “We are using emissions from gas-fired generation as our CO2 source at the pilot plant where we are making up to 10 tons a day,” he said. “That material will be used for evaluations.”
The California Department of Transportation has expressed interest in testing the cement, and Dynegy, owner of the Moss Landing power plant, is intrigued by the possibilities.
Constantz plans to make the case for the new green cement at the World of Concrete in February.
Pilot program allows self-reporting of violations
On Aug. 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a pilot program that allows regulated facility owners to self-disclose environmental reporting violations electronically, according to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. The Audit Policy Self-Disclosure system, or eDisclosure, will allow companies to disclose violation of all environmental laws electronically, reducing transaction costs for the companies that report the violations. Under the system, the EPA created a series of incentives for facility owners who voluntarily report a violation, such as reduced or waived fines and penalties.
According to the EPA, the program uses its Central Data Exchange, the system for submitting environmental data to the agency. When an electronic self-disclosure is submitted, the information is saved in a secure database and routed to the appropriate agency contact. It is then evaluated against the Audit Policy conditions and the appropriate enforcement response will be determined.
Highway Trust Fund update
On Sept. 5, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced a reversal of policy to support an immediate fix of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The HTF, which is funded by the 18.3-cent federal gas tax, was projected to run out of money by the end of September. Prior to this announcement, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) had rejected Congressional plans to make the HTF solvent. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6532 in July, which would replenish the HTF’s balance and prevent insolvency. At Aggregates Manager press time, AGC was urging the Senate to heed the DOT’s call to enact the legislation by Sept. 12 and send it to the President’s desk for approval.
Contractors push Congress to act
Contractors are pushing Congress to take action on six areas that they consider to be critical economic issues, according to a release from the Associated General Contractors of America. With the Highway Trust Fund being number one on the list, AGC has asked members of Congress to address five additional areas:
* Extend the authorization for the Airport Improvement Program into the 111th Congress; give Federal Aviation Administration programs the authorization they need to modernize and improve safety at America’s congested airports and air space;
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