September 2008 – AggBeat
“Our plan will make it easier to pay for and build roads and transit systems,” Peters said. “It will make our roads safer and give Americans new confidence that the money they invest in transportation will actually deliver results.”
Lafarge researching alternative fuels
As part of an ongoing public commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, Lafarge North America Inc. is teaming up with Performance Plants Inc. (PPI), a biotechnology company based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, to grow and develop clean energy biomass grasses and woods for use as fuel at the Lafarge Cement Plant in Bath, Ontario. “The future of the environment, our business, and the communities we serve depends on reducing the need for fossil fuels to run our operations,” said Robert Cumming, environmental and public affairs manager at the Lafarge Bath Cement Plant.
The companies are also working with the Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre at Queen’s University and the University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus, to evaluate the potential of non-food plant species as fuel.
PPI sees the four-year agreement as an opportunity to create a customized biomass fuel from enhanced non-food crops that can be grown on less-productive farmland. “This is where our technology will be instrumental to develop next-generation seeds that are customized for specific industrial users looking for alternative clean energy sources,” said Peter Matthewman, president of PPI.
John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and The Islands, commended the companies and universities for undertaking the research project, according to a press release from Lafarge. “This is exactly the kind of initiative that will contribute to achieving our greenhouse gas reduction objectives,” he said.
Knife River docks dredge
LTM Resource No. 1, a Medford-based company owned by Knife River Corp. of Bismarck, N.D., shut down its dredge at the Reedsport operation of Umpqua River Navigation Co. on May 9, citing several determining factors, including a sagging economy and new environmental restrictions. The huge barge is now docked near the company’s storage yard on the Umpqua River. The company originally planned to stop dredging operations in September 2009, but according to the company newsletter, a scarcity of good quality gravel and the surplus of gravel stockpiled at its Reedsport yard made it more feasible to shut down operations a year earlier.
“It just got to be impractical, economically, for us to continue operations there,” said Joel Frasieur, director of finance for the Southern Oregon region of Knife River Corp, according to a report in The Umpqua Post. He added that navigating the new federal permit application process, which ensures the protection of threatened or endangered animals under the Endangered Species Act, is time-consuming and costly.
Holcim promotes sustainability awareness
A new advertising campaign by Holcim is meant to raise the public’s awareness of the company’s sustainability initiatives and promote cement as a green building product. The campaign, Perfecting Progress, is designed to reach out to its customers, as well as its partners within the building and construction industry, to let them know about the solutions available through Holcim to meet their needs through technology and leadership in sustainability and green building.