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Association & Industry News

NRMCA is seeking submissions for two Associate Division-sponsored awards that will be presented at the NRMCA Annual Convention in March at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas. The first, the Shydlowski-Turner Materials Leadership Award, was established by the Materials Division to honor and recognize an individual, who as a materials supplier, exemplifies leadership, commitment and support for the ready mixed concrete industry and the initiatives and activities of NRMCA. Candidates for the award must be a current or former employee of an NRMCA Materials Division member company. Click here for the submission guidelines and nomination form. The deadline for submittal is Tuesday, December 31.

The other award, the Concrete Cares Award, was established by the Manufacturers, Products & Services (MPS) Division to recognize outstanding contributions in community service by an NRMCA producer member company. Ready mixed concrete producers that are members of NRMCA are eligible for nomination. Click here for the submission guidelines. The deadline for submittal is Friday, January 17, 2020.

Award nominations should be forwarded to Brett Ruffing, senior vice president, membership, by e-mail at bruffing@nrmca.org or mail to 66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 250, Alexandria, VA 22314. He can be reached at 703-706-4838. Click here to learn more about all NRMCA-sponsored awards and their deadlines.

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Government Affairs

This past weekend, NRMCA participated in a policy and political briefing from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), including a 2020 election presentation. Tracking with election forecasts presented by NRMCA’s Government Affairs team at NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks 2019 in Kissimmee, FL, the NRCC is targeting the 31 districts that President Trump won in 2016 but were lost in the 2018 midterms. Many of these lost seats were held by ready mix champions, including Reps. Steve Knight (R-CA), David Young (R-IA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME). In many of these districts, impeachment is unpopular – jeopardizing Democratic members running their first reelection campaigns.

NRMCA’s government affairs and political programs are non-partisan and work with and support pro-business, pro-ready mix Members of Congress and candidates, both Republican and Democratic, and NRMCA will continue to support candidates who are friends of the ready mixed concrete industry. NRMCA encourages all its members to be active in their state, local and federal elections, supporting pro-business and pro-ready mix candidates to build relationships with representatives in state capitals and in Washington.

For more information on how to get involved, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org or 321-229-1785.

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House and Senate negotiators reached agreement Monday night on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual bill to authorize and set funding levels for America’s defense programs. The agreement included a program that NRMCA has supported, the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP). The DCIP will provide grants and funding to support local infrastructure projects near military installations. According to the joint summary, the DCIP will provide grants and supplemental funds to “assist states and local governments in addressing deficiencies in community infrastructure projects of facilities that are located outside of military installations but that support military installations.”

The DCIP was first included in the 2019 NDAA but was not funded. NRMCA advocated for the program to be renewed and funded, and the 2020 NDAA agreement includes $75 million in authorized funding. This is significant because it is infrastructure funding for concrete-intensive projects and is not reliant on the Highway Trust Fund or the Department of Transportation.

You can read the 2020 NDAA here and a summary here.

Buildings

The Los Angeles City Council has moved toward passing an ordinance that would enact safer building practices, reports Build With Strength (BWS). A number of BWS coalition members in Los Angeles testified in support of the ordinance at hearings held earlier this year, including The Los Angeles Urban League, The Los Angeles Building Trades Council, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, The California Conference of Carpenters, Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

“It was an honor to stand alongside members of Build With Strength and the local Los Angeles
community at today’s meeting with the Council,” said Michael Lawson, CEO of the Los Angeles Urban
League, after one such hearing. “The communities that we represent are at risk for fire and disaster, so passing this ordinance would have a tremendously positive impact on their well-being and safety. I trust and hope that the City Council will do what is right and see this ordinance to its passage.”

There are already measures in the city of Los Angeles that address increased fire risk in densely
populated communities through the city’s building code and Fire District 1. This code dictates that
developers and construction crews use enhanced fire protections and fire-resistant materials during the
building process. However, Fire District 1 only covers a small percentage of the City. A motion before officials calls for expanding Fire District 1 to include all areas within the city covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Very High Fire Severity Zone and City’s High Wind Velocity Zone as well as high density population centers with a population density of at least 5,000 residents per square mile. Other provisions include:

• Update Fire District 1 to reflect population growth based on the U.S. Census;
• Present an ordinance to require a Fire Protection Plan, as allowed under Chapter 33 of the Los
Angeles Fire Code, for all new and significantly altered projects over 150,000 square feet and/or
100,000 square feet if the building is over 30’ in height; and
• Make recommendations to ensure proper enforcement.

Build With Strength is a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes resilient concrete construction through communcations, project promotion, education and advocacy efforts such as this. For more information, contact John Loyer at jloyer@nrmca.org.

With support and encouragement from industry members, NRMCA has updated its industry average environmental produce declaration (EPD) for concrete to comply with standards and the recently-published Product Category Rule (PCR). The third version of the EPD discloses the environmental impacts of concrete manufacturing for a wide range of concrete products. Like the previous versions, the new EPD reports impacts for a range of compressive strengths utilizing various percentages of SCMs and serves as a national proxy for the majority of concrete that is used in residential, commercial and public construction.

Accompanying the EPD is a Regional Benchmark Report that derives from the same life-cycle assessment (LCA) study that developed the EPD, and presents the impacts for average concrete mixtures at the national level and in eight different regions of the country. This report is the go-to reference when establishing an environmental baseline of concrete impacts, specifically pertaining to local codes or legislation. The report can also be used by concrete producers that have developed product-specific EPDs and want to compare the environmental impacts of their products with an industry baseline. However, only those who participated in the IW-EPD can utilize the report.

The reports were developed in collaboration with the industry under the consultation of the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (ASMI). A total of 155 companies and subsidiaries with 1,954 plants covering national production helped this report to be published. The EPD and the Regional Benchmark Report were reviewed and third-party verified by NSF Certification, LLC. This effort is another example where the ready mixed concrete industry continues its leadership position when responding to product transparency within green rating systems, state and local legislation or other environmental initiatives.

The IW-EPD and Benchmark Report can be found here. As part of the Build With Strength campaign, NRMCA promotes member and industry competitiveness in marketplaces where product and company transparency is trending. For more information, contact James Bogdan at jbogdan@nrmca.org or 412-420-4138.


The Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) recently hosted an Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) installation training event, reports NRMCA Project Manager, Concrete Construction, Derek Torres. ICFs are quickly becoming the method of choice for all forms of construction due to ICF attributes such as speed and safe construction, operation maintenance and energy savings, resilience, sound control and building insurance discounts. These benefits are creating ICF project demand and this training delivers a knowledgeable contractor workforce that can augment a portfolio of construction services. Architects, engineers, concrete contractors and ready mixed concrete producers were in attendance. (Seen here are Sam Johnson at right and Kent Yonker of ICF-MA/Logix addressing the audience and demonstrating the benefits and advantages of ICF construction.)

Build With Strength (BWS) has recently partnered with ICFMA and launched ICF contractor training. The training is driven locally by NRMCA state affiliates and is targeting concrete contractors, framers, masons and other tradepersons who will learn the techniques to expand their construction services portfolio and be more competitive in today’s construction environment.

As part of the BWS campaign, NRMCA promotes sustainable concrete solutions for buildings. For more information, contact Derek Torres at dtorres@nrmca.org or 973-876-0938.

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SEO

Starting January 6, 2020, commercial motor vehicle carriers are required to be registered with the new, secure Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Once registered, carriers are then required to input their CDL-holders’ positive drug and alcohol tests, refused tests and return-to-duty testing elements. Carriers are also mandated to query the Clearinghouse for prospective drivers that may have drug and alcohol program violations and annually query for all drivers to check for any positive tests before a driver is allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roadways.

Furthermore, carriers are required to have content from their drivers before conducting a driver query of the Clearinghouse. Those drivers wishing to continue to drive for the carrier, will need to register with the Clearinghouse to grant consent and to review their own information. Driver and carrier registration is completed online through FMCSA’s Website.

Specifically, the elements for the Clearinghouse carriers and drivers need to know are:

  1. This is NOT a proposal; this program was finalized in December 2016 and becomes effective January 6, 2020.
  2. Carriers are required to be registered with the Clearinghouse.
  3. Drivers are not required to be registered, but in order for a carrier to fulfill its responsibility it will need to query each employed driver, making it imperative for drivers to register should they wish to maintain employment.
  4. The Clearinghouse will contain only driver positive drug/alcohol tests, refused tests and the steps completed for the return-to-duty process after a positive test.
  5. Information gathered in the Clearinghouse will be nationwide, meaning drivers that move jobs frequently will have information in the Clearinghouse accessible to all current and future carriers from January 6, 2020 onward.
  6. There are two types of queries that can be performed: full and limited. A full query is required for pre-employment and if a positive test is shown in the Clearinghouse. A limited query is an annual query by carriers of their CDL-holders to determine if a positive test is shown in the Clearinghouse.
  7. Carriers can use third-party services to both report violations and query their drivers. However, third-party services must be made as the carrier’s designated service agent when the carrier registers and the third-party must be an authorized services registered through FMCSA.
  8. Querying the Clearinghouse does have a cost. While single queries cost $1.25 for limited and full queries, carriers can purchase “bundles” of queries based on the carriers' needs and number of drivers.
  9. Training for personnel with the carrier and drivers will be key for a smooth registration and for maintaining compliance.

Click here for more information on the Clearinghouse, including all requirements, factsheets, query pricing schedules, Frequently Asked Questions and more. You may also contact Gary Mullings at gmullings@nrmca.org or Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

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Engineering



The NRMCA Concrete Technologist Training and Certification (Short Course) held in November in Baltimore was attended by 57 industry personnel (seen here). The following were the number of certifications awarded:

  • NRMCA Field Technician Grade II – 25 (34 passed the exam but some did not have the pre-requisite ACI Grade I certification)
  • NRMCA Concrete Technologist Level 2 – 25
  • NRMCA Concrete Technologist Level 3 – 19

Congratulations to all who attended and to those who received certifications. The following are recognized for achieving highest scores in the relevant exams:

  • Andrew Merker, Irving Materials (IN) for NRMCA Field Grade II (100%)
  • Joshua Hart with Knife River (ND) for Concrete Technologist Level 2 (100%)
  • Luca Montanari with SES Group – contracted to FHWA labs (VA) for Concrete Technologist Level 3 (94%)

The next Short Course will be offered January 27-31 in Ontario, CA. Click here for registration, hotel, staff contact and other information.

News Links

Editor’s Note: NRMCA has reinstituted periodic summaries of concrete-related news to appear here. The first summary appeared in E-NEWS in early November. Look for more summaries in the coming weeks.

Alabama – The state’s recent six-cent gas tax increase earmarked for road work projects has prompted the question of whether to use concrete or asphalt to maintain Alabama’s roads. Television station WHNT 19 broadcast this report in late October.

Iowa – The Guide to Concrete Trails received some publicity from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine which included it in a recent news roundup. The publication is a report from the Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University. The guide was funded by the RMC Research & Education Foundation.

Indiana – The 2020 road program in Goshen will focus on roads paved with concrete rather than asphalt, said the local public works director. The Elkhart Truth wrote an October article on the development.

Concrete Sustainability Hub MIT – Last month, the trade magazine Concrete Products posted an article titled Concrete Sustainability Hub Looks to Economy, Environment in Decade Two to mark the Hub’s 10th anniversary. Read more here.

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Calendar

*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

December 17 – 19, Dallas
CCSP Module II: Understanding the Concrete Contractor’s Business
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

2020

January 14 – 16, Des Moines, IA *Sold Out
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

January 14 – 16, Nashville, TN
CCSP Module I: Introduction to Concrete Fundamentals—Concrete 101
Sponsored by the Tennessee Concrete Association
Email: Darla Sparkman, 615-360-7393

January 21 – 24, Cincinnati *Sold Out
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

January 27 – 31, Ontario, CA
Concrete Technologist Training and Certification Course “Short Course"
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

January 28 – 30, Orlando, FL
Dispatcher Training Forum
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

January 28 – 30, Dallas
CCSP Module III: Business for Profit: General Business Knowledge
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

February 25 – 28, Miami
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 7 – 9, Las Vegas
NRMCA 2020 Annual Convention
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 10 – 14, Las Vegas
CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 17 – 19, Dallas
CCSP Module IV: Sales Fundamentals for Sales and Non-Sales Staff
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 24 – 27, Boston
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

April 28 – May 1, New Orleans
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

September 27 – 29, Aurora, CO
NRMCA's ConcreteWorks
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

December 15 – 18, Phoenix
NRMCA Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

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