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2015 Fall Issue

Table of Contents 4




8 10

Failing Condition of California’s Roads and the Political Struggle to Find a Solution

California Court Rejects Challenge to California Industrial Stormwater Permit by California Coastkeeper Alliance


environmental ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Final Rule Impacts on the Mining Industry

community CalCIMA Members Run at the Chance to Raise Awareness


legislative Update




Committee Corner

State Gives Returned Concrete a Green Light


On the cover:

Photos courtesy of California Alliance for Jobs.

The Conveyor is a publication of the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association. The views expressed herein are fixed expressions of the contributing writers and not of CalCIMA. All rights reserved. CalCIMA 1029 J Street, #420 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 554-1000



Published By Construction Marketing Services, LLC P.O. Box 892977 Temecula, CA 92589 909) 772-3121 Publisher Kerry Hoover Editor Brian Hoover

Design Aldo Myftari Editorial Contributors Tom Squeri President & CEO, Graniterock Katharine E. Wagner Co-counsel for Intervenors

The Conveyor is published quarterly each year by Construction Marketing Services, LLC All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Geoff Smick President, WRA Inc. Charley Rea Director of Communications & Policy, CalCIMA

The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue


The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue


focus Failing Condition of California’s Roads and the Political Struggle to Find a Solution


ike many of you, I navigate the highways of the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast regularly to visit construction sites, attend meetings and take care of other business needs, and the condition of our roadways is disheartening. Gridlock is everywhere, no matter the time of day, and I frequently find myself on stretches of major highways so rough it makes me thankful for good suspension and tires. Of course, the poor condition of California’s roads is no secret. We see the potholes, deteriorating asphalt and cracked concrete everywhere we look. In fact, a recent study by a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that researches surface transportation issues confirmed what we drivers already know: California has some of the worst roads in the nation. The worst of the worst are in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and Concord, according to the nonprofit TRIP. That report also estimated that 28 percent of the state’s bridges are in need of repair or replacement and 17 percent are obsolete. This disrepair is costing California motorists nearly $762 annually per driver on average, and even more in some areas. From Sacramento to Washington, our elected leaders are squabbling over how to fix the problem of infrastructure funding that has left state and local agencies without the budgets to fix roads or fill potholes. For several years running, there has not been nearly enough money funded to build 4

By Tom Squeri, President & CEO, Graniterock The poor condition of California’s roads is no secret. We see the potholes, deteriorating asphalt and cracked concrete everywhere we look.

what needs to be built or fix what needs to be fixed. What is frustrating about this funding crisis is that it’s not an engineering problem, social problem or even an economic problem. It is purely a political problem. Funding the nation’s highways and bridges has been the subject of a seemingly endless debate in Congress, and the only result is “band aids” put on the gash even as the public conversation more and more focuses on our deteriorating infrastructure. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which reimburses states for billions of dollars of work on roads, bridges and tunnels, is anything but trustworthy. The Highway Trust Fund has been limping along on short-term extensions and general fund transfers for the better part of a decade. The fund was intended to support highways by collecting taxes from those who use them the most—primarily through an 18 cent tax on gasoline, but also taxes on diesel, tires and some vehicles. But gasoline consumption is declining, and 18 cents today buys far fewer road

workers and less asphalt than it did in 1993, the last time the tax was adjusted. Portions of the trust fund are often diverted to other uses such as mass transit and the general fund. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the trust fund regularly owes states more money than it collects in gas tax receipts. Though California’s gas tax is much higher at nearly 50 cents a gallon, the funding dilemma here is compounded by the fact gasoline taxes are shrinking due to more efficient engines and popular electric vehicles. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked lawmakers in a special session to help devise a way to fill a $5.7 billion annual gap in California’s road-repair purse. The state needs $8 billion a year for repairs, though its gas tax is expected to generate only roughly $2.3 billion. That’s not counting the billions of dollars cities and counties need for road maintenance. “We’re in such a desperate need for funding,” said Assemblyman Jim Frazier, a The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

Politicians should realize vehicles are still the No. 1 way we get people from here to there. To put “transportation” funding toward mass transit systems or high speed rail still leaves us with potholes and bottlenecks that affect the vast majority of commuters in the state. Voters are growing tired of the budget gimmicks in

Sacramento and Washington. We have a simple message for our leaders: Fix the funding that fixes our roads and bridges. Let us finally get headed in the right direction on building a healthy transportation infrastructure. For more information and ideas on solutions, visit the website


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Democrat and chairman of the Assembly’s transportation committee. “We’ve just come through the worst recession any of us have been able to see, and there wasn’t any funding. That’s costing us, because for every dollar we didn’t spend, now it’s costing us $9 to fix.” According to Caltrans, more than three-quarters of California’s $3.8 billion annual budget for highway construction projects contains federal funding. It’s imperative that our state’s highway fund continues to receive federal reimbursements. Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said, if federal funding dries up, California’s highway fund could become insolvent in as little as two months. Work on more than 680 major projects worth nearly $10.7 billion could come to a halt and thousands of Californians could be out of work, he said. That’s not a scenario any of us want to see. There are many good ideas on ways to raise the funds needed to repair and improve our transportation infrastructure - from gas tax reform to vehicle miles traveled fees and tolls – but there doesn’t seem to be political courage to implement any of them. Waiting any longer to address an ever-growing backlog of roadway repairs will put drivers at risk and cost more in the end. “This is an urgent crisis that we have to deal with now,” said Sen. Jim Beall, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “If we don’t, we’re leaving the next generation an astoundingly expensive problem.” Or, as Matt Cate, executive director of the California State Association of Counties succinctly put it recently, “we can’t kick the can down the road anymore because it will land in a pothole.”

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Legal California Court Rejects Challenge to California Industrial Stormwater Permit by California Coastkeeper Alliance


By Katharine E. Wagner, co-counsel for Intervenors and CalCIMA member.

alifornia’s new industrial stormwater NPDES general permit, which became effective July 1, 2015, has survived court challenge by California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA). California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA) was one of four associations joining together to intervened in opposition to CCKA’s Petition for Writ of Mandate filed in Alameda County Superior Court (Case No. RG14-724505) seeking more stringent terms in the new permit, State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) Order No. 2014-0057. CCKA complained that the permit’s monitoring program was inadequate in that it could not demonstrate compliance with receiving water limits. The group objected to permit findings that end-of-pipe sampling may not, in itself, prove a discharge “causes or contributes” to exceedance of water quality standards in streams and rivers. CCKA urged that the 9th Circuit’s 2013 decision, NRDC v. County of LA, dictated that whatever monitoring is in place must be sufficient to prove compliance with receiving water limits (NRDC v. County of LA, 725 F. 3d 1194 (involving the Los Angeles area municipal stormwater permit)). CCKA also claimed that the permit unlawfully delayed imposing limits to implement Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for specific impaired (303(d) listed) waters around the State.


On July 10, 2015, Judge George Hernandez issued a 34-page opinion rejecting CCKA’s petition. The Court agreed with the Water Board and intervenors CalCIMA, California Metals Coalition, California League of Food Processors and California Manufacturers and Technology Association that monitoring was sufficient under the federal Clean Water Act. The Court refused to require the Water Board to add costly receiving water monitoring or other measures, finding the agency had designed requirements for inspection, reporting and discharge sampling appropriately to support the best management practice approach in the permit. The Court rejected CCKA’s assertion that monitoring must demonstrate strict compliance with each specific permit requirement. Instead, conditions must be designed and implemented to monitor compliance effectively in the context of available information and agency judgment. The Court disagreed with CCKA’s interpretation of NRDC v. LA County. On the issue of TMDL implementation, the Court found the Water Board satisfied NPDES regulations by including a process for adding specific limitations after the effective date of the permit. The Court was persuaded by similarities in the approach used in USEPA’s Multisector Industrial Stormwater General Permit, as well as analysis in a Maryland case on nutrient TMDL implementation. USEPA’s

California’s new industrial stormwater NPDES general permit has survived a court challenge from California Coastkeeper Alliance.

Multisector Permit applies in states and tribal areas which do not administer NPDES permitting themselves; in California, it does not apply except in tribal areas. However, the Multisector Permit illustrates USEPA’s interpretation of its own regulations. Interestingly, after CCKA’s defeat in the California action, multiple NGOs have now filed suit to appeal USEPA’s newly adopted 2015 version of its NPDES Multisector Permit. These appeals are consolidated before the 2nd Circuit, and will take shape after the permit appeal deadline of Oct. 20. They may cover similar subjects to the California action, and may also seek numeric effluent limits and greater agency and public scrutiny of individual applications before applicants are granted permit coverage. California trade groups will follow these appeals given the permit’s influence on the views of State regulators and the courts.

The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

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environmental ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Final Rule Impacts on the Mining Industry


he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly issued a revised definition of “Waters of the U.S.”: The Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (the “Final Rule”) in June 2015. Controversy has since ensued, resulting in a range of actions from passive disagreements in response to the findings to a number of court cases and challenges. Therefore, the future status of the environmental regulation is uncertain, leaving those of us on the sidelines feeling confused at best. In this article, we aim to provide clarity on what the new law may mean for your projects and the mining industry as a whole. Legal Status On Oct. 6, 2015, the Sixth Court of Appeals issued a nationwide temporary stay of the Final Rule. The courts determined there was merit in the motion filed by 18 states that the Final Rule expands federal jurisdiction over Waters of the U.S. in an unconstitutional manner. While the Final Rule went into effect Aug. 28, 2015, the stay reverses this and returns the determination of extent of Waters of the U.S. to the preFinal Rule status quo. However, if the Final Rule does go into effect, it is important for you to understand its implications. The Good News: Some of the best news for the industry is that the “mining pit” exemption that was in the 1986 Preamble is still in the Final Rule, and worded more favorably to the industry. In the Final Rule, 8

By Geoff Smick, President of WRA, Inc. Left: “Water-filled depressions” within open pits dug in uplands for material extraction that fill with rainwater or groundwater are exempt from Section 404 jurisdiction under the Final Rule.

the exemption was tweaked slightly but not insignificantly to read: “Water-filled depressions created in dry land incidental to mining or construction activity, including pits excavated for obtaining fill, sand or gravel that fill with water.” The key difference is that the “unless the…excavation has been abandoned” clause that was in the Preamble has been omitted. This is good news because the term “abandoned” was never defined which in itself led to confusion, but more importantly, the lack of a specific timeframe for which the mining pits may be left unattended increases the likelihood that they will be considered exempt if they otherwise meet the definition of Waters of the U.S. The Not-So-Good News: Many of the other changes to the definition of Waters of the U.S. create confusion and/ or expand jurisdiction. In the Final Rule, two new categories of waters are always considered jurisdictional: Tributaries and Adjacent Waters. This is a major shift since any tributary, no matter how far from a Traditional Navigable Water (TNW) it may be, how infrequently

it flows, or how little volume it contributes to a TNW, is now always jurisdictional, period. This has major implications for the mining industry since nearly every piece of property has some sort of tributary on it that is now considered a jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. The other new category of always-jurisdictional waters, adjacent waters, include waters that are within 100 feet of a TNW or tributary and waters that are located both within in the 100-year floodplain and within 1,500 feet of a TNW or tributary. This is also an expansion of jurisdiction since previously, some of these waters may have been considered isolated. This also has implications for the mining industry since numerous operations are adjacent to rivers to harvest historic bed gravels. In addition, there are additional categories of waters that may be jurisdictional on a case-by-case basis based on a ‘significant nexus’ determination. Recall the significant nexus determination established under the Rapanos court case means that if the waters (including wetlands) in question have any potential chemical, physical, or biological effect on the The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

downstream TNW, then it is jurisdictional. Criteria considered include: sediment trapping, retention of floodwaters, runoff storage, contribution of flow, etc. Included in this new category are “any waters within 4,000 feet of a TNW or tributary.” This new category includes an extensive swath of California given that there are few pieces of land that are not within 4,000 feet of a tributary. How Might This Affect Your Project? If more wetlands and waters are jurisdictional, then that could translate to more dollars spent for avoidance measure or more time working with the regulatory agencies permitting the impacts. Since more features will be impacted that could mean more mitigation. With wetland credits ranging from $250,000-$900,000+ per acre in mitigation banks in California, impacting wetlands does not come without a price. And while the Corps hasn’t issued new guidance for how to assess significant nexus under the Final Rule, additional studies

Above: Off-channel gravel mining operations that intersect groundwater are exempt from the Corps’ jurisdiction under the Final Rule.

will likely be necessary when wetlands are impacted to demonstrate if they do or do not have a significant downstream effect on a TNW. What Can You Do? Now more than ever, early site planning is essential to understanding the regulatory constraints on a property. This may include assessing the significance of features that may have previously been isolated to determine their jurisdiction. Ideally, any regulated areas can be avoided during the

project design phase, but if not, permitting and suitable compensatory mitigation will be necessary. Geoff Smick is President of WRA, Inc., an environmental consulting company with over three decades of regulatory experience that relies on their unbiased, science-based approach to help navigate through the complex and changing regulations. WRA’s ecologists and regulatory experts are respected by lead jurisdictional agencies and regulators while their habitat mitigation experts can help identify the best mitigation approach for your project. Contact Geoff at 415-524-7535 or

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Community CalCIMA Members Run at the Chance to Raise Awareness


ining Awareness Week helps bring recognition to the vital role rocks and minerals have on our society. Imagine our lives without the natural resources used to build our roads and bridges. These resources also provide pipes and filtration systems for clean drinking water, and are used in everyday items such as tooth paste and ceramic and glass products. Minerals are all-around us and having them readily available locally is paramount to the growth and success of our communities. Last month, several construction materials producers decided to create 5k/10k run/walk events throughout the state to bring more attention to the responsible and sustainable practices in mining. Mining Awareness Week event coordinator and vice chair of CalCIMA’s Public Education and Outreach Committee, Susan Patane of SLP Communications, assisted CalCIMA and its members, CEMEX and Vulcan Materials Company to help coordinate their run/walk events. “These running events are a great vehicle for reaching out to a broad base of community members that may want to know more about their local mining and quarry operations. We were able to team up with a variety of resources and companies, like Fleet Feet, local schools, social media and several running sites, to educate tens of thousands of individuals about the importance of minerals and their impact on the infrastructure of their communities,” says Patane. “CalCIMA is our lead association sponsoring Mining Awareness Week, helping to build relationships between local 10

communities and the mining industry. I want to thank everyone for contributing so much to these events, and a special thank you to CEMEX for donating commemorative tee shirts for the runners at both the Rialto and Fresno runs.” The runners/walkers at each site were able to see, firsthand mining and processing facilities and huge earth moving equipment as they meandered through quarries and reclaimed sites providing a landscape backdrop of an environmentally responsible industry. Graniterock Holds Rock & Run Open House at A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas Graniterock has provided the construction industry with quality aggregates and construction materials for 115 years. 2015 marks the ninth year Graniterock has held an open house and 5k/10k run at their A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas, for the benefit of Aromas School. Marketing manager Keith Severson believes in engaging Graniterock’s community with education, fun activities, and events that provide benefits to local schools and nonprofit organizations. “We like to take the time to eliminate the mystery behind our operations. We’re proud to “pull back the curtain” and show our local community members just what goes on behind the scenes at our rock quarry,” says Severson. “We allow the students of Aromas School to run for free, in the hope that their parents, friends, teachers and others in the community will come on out and support our event through the $25 registration fee.”

Above: Graniterock Rock & Run race at A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas.

According to Severson, this year’s Rock and Run drew more than 225 runners and raised $4,250 through registration fees and generous donations from corporate sponsors and local sponsor Marshals Grocery Store. Each year Graniterock matches the amount collected and they were pleased to present Aromas School with a check for $8,500. Bronson Lobue, the principal of Aromas School, was thrilled to receive Graniterock’s giant ceremonial check. She said the money will be used to improve the school’s athletic programs. An educational open house followed the run, at which visitors hopped on buses for 20-minute tours throughout the quarry. Graniterock environmental specialist Alex Simons helped coordinate the open house, which included a “Distance Matters” information booth, as well as a reclamation station where children could place soil in small pots, and plant California poppies for restoring and reclaiming the quarry. Vulcan Materials Company Western Division Holds First Running Event During Working Land Recognition Week in Fresno Vulcan Materials Company (VMC) held a 5k/10k run/walk, Sunday, Oct. 4 at their Fresno The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

Above: Vulcan Materials Company at River Rock sand and gravel facility in Fresno.

River Rock sand and gravel facility. The race was part of the sponsored Working Lands Recognition Week (AKA Mining Awareness Week). Barbara Goodrich-Welk is the Manager of Projects and External Affairs for VMC’s Western Division and she helped spearhead the event. “River Rock is one of VMC’s standout facilities here in California and it has been certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council,” says Goodrich-Welk. “All proceeds from the run went to The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.” VMC solicited help from local McLane High School’s crosscountry team who provided race day volunteers. “They were really wonderful and immediately agreed to help out. They showed up at 5:30 a.m. in a torrential downpour with smiles on their faces, ready to go and with more students than they had promised,” said Goodrich-Welk. “This was a blessing for us and we were so moved by their eagerness and willing attitude that we decided to donate $5,000 to their cross-country program.” McLane Cross-Country Coach, Will Haskins, was very touched by the generous donation, noting that their school was located in an area of great need and that the money would go a long way. “McLane is not a school that we have worked with in the past, but we are now committed to adding them as a long-term Partner in Education.” The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

CEMEX Lytle Creek Quarry hosts Second Annual Run Around the Rocks in Rialto On Sunday, Oct. 11, CEMEX’s Lytle Creek Quarry hosted the Second Annual Mayor Robertson’s Run Around the Rocks as part of Mining Awareness Week. More than 150 runners, ranging in ages 5 to 68, participated in the 5/10k run/walk event. Seven teams from the Rialto School District competed for classroom cash prizes. CEMEX employees gave up their Sunday morning to man watering stations and registration and information booths to ensure a safe and successful event. Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson walked the 5K route, cheered on the runners and congratulated and awarded all the winners with medals. “The run is a fantastic opportunity for the Rialto community to enjoy, and understand the benefits that the mining industry plays in ensuring economic development and a better quality of life for all,” said Mayor Robertson. Everything came together the morning of the event and even the weather cooperated, providing a sunny Southern California backdrop. All entry proceeds were generously donated to Healthy Rialto. Christine Jones, Resources Manager for CEMEX, was on-site to ensure a successful and educational event. “We had a Women in Mining sponsored booth that offered displays and information about minerals in your everyday life,” says Jones. “We also had a career opportunities booth with postings of job openings and applications available.” A successful event would not be possible without the financial and in kind support of others such as Johnson Machinery, and the City of Rialto Fire Department and their Cadets in Training. “This annual event not only allows CEMEX to be more

Above: CEMEX Run Around The Rocks held at Lytle Creek Quarry in San Bernardino County.

involved with the community and promote the idea of youth health, but also provides an opportunity to educate the public about the mining industry. CEMEX looks forward to hosting it again next year!” said Jones.

Sponsors • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

CalCIMA CEMEX Vulcan Materials Western Division Granite Construction CalPortland Madera Quarry Mitchell Chadwick LLP Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden Holliday Rock Benchmark Resources Buada Associates Builders Concrete/Viking Ready Mix Elementis Specialties Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP Robertson’s Ready Mix Sespe Consulting H.M. Holloway Inc. Burrtec Waste Geo-Logic Associates Mitsubishi Cement Newcastle Gold 11

Legislative Update Committee Corner Governmental & legislative affairs During the 2015 legislative session, the Governmental & Legislative Affairs Committee was principally focused and actively engaged in two legislative initiatives; the passage of AB 1142 (Gray) a measure that would modernize SMARA, and the defeat of AB 219 (Daly) which increases construction costs by expanding California’s prevailing wage laws to the hauling and delivery of ready mixed concrete to a public works jobsite.

Reclamation Act-from top to bottom”.

In response, Assembly Member Adam Gray introduced AB 1142 that strengthened SMARA by promoting better communication between government agencies and mining operators. The bill ensures that mines are inspected by qualified professions and clarifies due dates for compliance requirements. CalCIMA worked closely with Assemblyman Gray’s office and the Administration on this bill to ensure that it would meet the objectives of AB 1142 was necessitated when the Governor’s office while the Governor signed CalCIMA also confirming that local lead sponsored SB 447 which included agencies would maintain their a call from the Governor “to authorities under SMARA. A reform the Surface Mining and working group of GAC members spent countless hours assisting CalCIMA staff in reviewing and commenting on language as the bill made it through the legislative process. Due to last-minute challenges in coordinating some of the provisions of the Gray bill with another SMARA bill, there was not The point of reference for land, minerals, enough time and environmental resource strategies. remaining in the session to have the Benchmark Land Use Group, Inc. bill clear the 2515 East Bidwell Street • Folsom, CA 95630 second house. 916.983.9193 • It is anticipated that the bill will reach the 12

Governor’s desk early in the next session. Despite overwhelming and broad based opposition, AB 219 passed through the Legislature largely on partisan lines and was signed into law by the Governor. CalCIMA organized a coalition that was led by CalCIMA and AGC of California. The coalition included material supplier groups (CA NC Cement Association, Precast Concrete Association, CA Asphalt Pavement Association), contractor groups (United Contractors, Southern California Contractors Association and many specialty contractor groups), state-wide business organizations (CA Chamber of Commerce, CA Manufacturers & Technology Association), local government (CA State Association of Counties and Rural County Representatives of California), schools (Association of California School Administrators), trucking (Western States Trucking Association), and an extensive list of individual suppliers, contractors water districts, schools, cities, counties, local elected officials, building exchanges, and local and regional chambers of commerce. CalCIMA along with AGC will now focus its efforts on trying to clarify and gain guidance on how some of the unprecedented requirements in the bill will be implemented. Transportation funding at both the state and federal level were and will continue to be a major focus for the GAC Committee. During this year’s session, the Governor called a special session of Transportation and Infrastructure to focus the Legislature’s attention on the The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

urgent need to come up with a financing plan that could generate the estimated $59 billion needed to repair the state’s aging transportation network while also addressing the additional billions of dollars needed by local government. With no resolution in sight during session, the Legislature has now established a conference committee which is tasked to evaluate various proposals, and enter into negotiations with the goal of issuing a conference report which could be voted out of the Legislature. On the federal level, efforts continue to finally agree upon a method to fund a long term Surface Transportation plan. After years of short term extensions, it appears both houses of congress are finally nearing agreement of a 6 year extension that would at least have 3 years of funding identified. Over the last several years, members of the CalCIMA GAC committee have made yearly trips to the nation’s capital to lobby members of the

California Congressional delegation and our Senators to reach a resolution to the transportation funding crisis. Environmental and Natural Resources Water has been a policy of dominant focus in recent times with the committee commenting on federal proposals regarding Waters of the US in support with NSSGA as well as providing training for CalCIMA members on implementing the Industrial Storm Water Permit. In addition the Air Districts and CARB have been discussing how to implement revised OEHHA risk management guidelines and members of the committee have provided CARB and CAPCOA feedback on these issues. Groundwater policy in the state is becoming a new area of focus with pre-regulatory activities by the Department of Water Resources being monitored. Those regulations will govern how the State Water Resources Control Board reviews sustainable groundwater management plans by local jurisdictions.

Technical Committee This year, the Technical Committee completed a guidance document to meet NSF 61 standards for concrete used in drinking water systems. The committee also worked with Caltrans on specification changes for shotcrete, beam testing, Type B aggregate, test turnaround time, and to develop a joint training and certification program with Caltrans. In 2016, the committee will work on improving engineers’ concrete specifications and on a concrete mix naming system. Safety & Health Committee The Safety & Health Committee’s major achievement this year was to complete a set of training materials on customer trucks. This includes a postcard, brochure, presentation, video, and 5 warning signs. In addition, the Committee hosted a meeting of western states with MSHA Director Joe Main. For 2016, the committee expects to produce training resources on contractor safety.

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Technical State Gives Returned Concrete a Green Light


By Charley Rea, Director of Communications & Policy, CalCIMA

ooking for the perfect way to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce waste, save embodied energy, conserve natural aggregates, save water, decrease transportation, decrease infrastructure costs, and supply quality concrete for construction projects? Well, Caltrans, the Division of Measurement Standards (DMS), and the ready mixed concrete industry have found a way. It is to allow the use of returned plastic concrete. As industry members know, returned plastic concrete is concrete left over in a mixer drum. It is concrete that is still fresh and liquid—termed plastic—and still useable. It happens when a project does not require as much concrete as originally expected. In all, 2-8% of all concrete goes unused. Until recently, it had to be dumped out, dried, and sorted, or sent to a landfill. This unused concrete has been a major concern of regulators. CalEPA estimates it results in 2.2 million pounds of excess carbon emissions per year. Caltrans, DMS, and industry recently found a solution by developing a specification that will allow re-use of the returned plastic concrete in certain applications. To our knowledge, Caltrans is the first Department of Transportation in the country to specifically allow returned plastic concrete. This specification came about from the two state agencies and industry working together. A work group was


formed in November 2012. Industry members included Mike Donovan (Central Concrete Supply), Don Vivant (Sully-Miller), Pat Imhoff (CalPortland), Mark Hill (Cemex), and Tarek Khan (BASF), among others. The team met monthly for 18 months before coming up with a final version in June of 2014. Caltrans published it as a non-standard special provision in June 2015. The work included extensive discussions on ready mixed concrete and plant operations, development of a report on the carbon impacts, a tour of a ready mixed concrete operation, and a review of weighing and measuring procedures. The final product is found in new Sections 90-7 to 90-9 of the Caltrans specifications. It says the following: • Returned plastic concrete can be used in curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and slurry applications. • Concrete may contain a maximum of 15% returned plastic concrete. • It may not exceed 100o F. • Must be proportioned within 4 hours after original batching if hydration stabilizing ad-mixture (HSA) is not used; if HSA is used, it must be added within 4 hours of original batching. In addition, procedures were worked out with the DMS to address weighing and measuring of the returned concrete. Batch plants will

need to have an endorsement complying with Caltrans Material Plant Quality Program (MPQP). So, now a specification is available that can help reduce by 15.% the carbon footprint and by 16.2% the embodied energy per yard of concrete, according to the carbon study completed for the project. “The development of the new Returned Plastic Concrete specification is a great example of engineering innovation, sound sustainable practice, and positive teamwork between Caltrans, its Industry partners, and the Division of Measurement Standards,” says Dan Speer, Chief of the Caltrans Office of Structural Materials. “The collaboration amongst the various stakeholders was extraordinary, and certainly embodied the Caltrans goal of making long-lasting, smart mobility decisions that improve the environment and support California’s economy.” Importantly, having the specification developed by Caltrans means that it is now available to all other entities, including local governments, in California. Ready mixed concrete producers now have an important tool available to demonstrate environmental benefits. Producers are encouraged to work with contractors and Caltrans districts, as well as local governments, to use it on projects.

The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue

National Cement Company of California, Inc. Bill Buckley Bill Buckley: (818) 728-5200 Cell Phone: 9949) 633-7060 Fax: (818) 788-0615 15821 Ventura Blvd., Suite 475 Encino, California 91436-2935

The Conveyor • 2015 Fall Issue


“Everything That’s Rubber”

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


BAKERSFIELD 661-392-1912 Fax 661-392-1874

19428 Colombo Street Bakersfield, CA 93308

ELKO 775-778-0822 Fax 775-778-0833

2580 Alta Vista Drive Elko, NV 89801

FRESNO 559-268-7321 Fax 559-268-2619

2539 South Cherry Avenue Fresno, CA 93706

MERCED 209-722-8844 Fax 209-383-4625

2280 Cooper Avenue Merced, CA 95348

SPARKS 775-356-0192 Fax 775-356-0595

305 East Glendale Avenue Sparks, NV 89431

TULARE 559-686-1677 Fax 559-686-0237

For All Your Conveyor Belt and Industrial Rubber & Plastic Needs, Including On-site Belt Splicing

4500 South “K” Street Tulare, CA 93274

YUBA CITY 530-674-2444 Fax 530-674-1645

1690 Sierra Avenue Yuba City, CA 95993

Profile for CMS

The Conveyor - Fall Issue 2015  

The California Construction & Industrial Materials Association's (CalCIMA) publication proudly serving the aggregate, ready mix concrete and...

The Conveyor - Fall Issue 2015  

The California Construction & Industrial Materials Association's (CalCIMA) publication proudly serving the aggregate, ready mix concrete and...