Cement Industry Environmental Awards 2002

Cement Industry Environmental Awards 2002

To recognize the efforts of cement producers’ innovative practices, programs, and projects throughout North America, Cement Americas, the Portland Cement Association (PCA), and the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2002 Cement Industry Environmental Awards. The Awards also reward companies for their ability to communicate their ideas to others in the industry, raising the profile and priority of environmental programs in all industries.

To be eligible for the 2002 contest, environmental programs and projects must have been completed between October 2001 and September 2002. Submitting more than one project from the same firm or plant was permissible. All North American facilities were eligible.

Judges selected first place winners and runners-up in each of the contest’s six categories: Environmental Performance; Land Stewardship; Outreach; Innovation; Energy Efficiency; and Overall Environmental Award, incorporating all entries in the first five categories.

Serving as judges for the 2002 Cement Industry Environmental Awards were: Tom Carter, Director of Environmental Affairs, PCA; Elizabeth Dutrow, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Director, Industrial Sector Partnerships, Energy Star Program; Richard Kashmanian, EPA – Senior Economist, National Environmental Performance Track Program; Garth Hawkins, Program Manager – Environment, Heath & Safety, Regulatory Affairs, PCA; Vincent Camobreco, EPA – Office of Air Radiation, Energy Supply and Industry Branch; and Steve Prokopy, Editor, Cement Americas.


Winner St. Lawrence Cement Mississauga Plant, Ontario


Runner Up Lafarge North America Alpena, Mich. Plant

Other Finalists: Lehigh Cement Co., Edmonton, Alberta Plant; Lafarge Sugar Creek, Mo. Plant

Environmental Performance

Winner St. Lawrence Cement Mississauga Plant, Ontario

Since 1990, the Mississauga plant has voluntarily reduced its NOx emissions 30% and its SO2 emissions almost 50%. This was achieved while increasing the plant’s output of cementitious product 20% over the same period. The plant has an emission limit of 25 mg/Nm [subscript]3 for the main kiln stack. Source testing data has demonstrated that the plant is significantly below this limit. In 2002, the emissions from the main kiln stack were 5 mg/Nm [subscript]3 .

In 2002, stack testing demonstrated that for all measured substances, plant emissions were below regulatory limits. For all substances, with the exception of particulate and hydrogen chloride, the emissions were less than 1% of regulatory limit. For particulate emissions, including all fugitive dust sources, the reading was 74% of the regulatory limit, and hydrogen chloride was 11% of the limit.

In addition to source testing requirements, the Mississauga plant is required to have in place continuous emission monitors in the main kiln stacks and the clinker cooler stack for opacity. The plant has gone beyond this requirement and implemented a CEM program in 2002, which includes monitoring for NOx, SO2, CO, CO2, H2O, THC, NH3, HCl, and O2 in both the main stack and the alkali bypass stack. The CEM data are available in the control room on a real-time basis.

In February 2002, the Mississauga plant received ISO 14001 registration, the first cement plant in Canada to receive this distinction. One objective of the ISO 14001 system in place at the plant is to reduce fugitive dust emissions. To quantify this, the plant installed four dust fall jars at various locations inside the plant, which is not required by the government. The filters from the jars are collected every 15 days, weighed, and measurement recorded. This project provides the company with a baseline of typical dust fall concentrations within the plant. The progress of various dust control initiatives can be tracked against these onsite measurements.

The plant has in place a total suspended solids (TSS) monitor in the primary storm water discharge location. In 2002, the expansion of the storm water collection ponds, combined with routine maintenance activities, has resulted in not exceeding the regulatory TSS limit. The plant has gone beyond the regulatory requirements by setting a more stringent internal target than required. In 2002, the internal target was met 98% of the time and regulatory target met 100% of the time.

In 2002, the plant installed a system to reuse CKD from the old wet kilns as a raw meal component into the existing precalciner kiln. The system has been operational since July 2002 at an annual recycling rate of 30,000 metric tons. In addition, the plant marketed about 6,000 mt of CKD for use as a soil stabilization agent.

At the plant, virgin fossil fuels were used to meet 78% of the thermal heat requirements of the plant. This represents an equivalent alternative fuel thermal substitution rate of 22%. In addition, the plant substituted 5% of its quarried raw materials with alternative materials.

In 2002, two main procedural changes were implemented that helped reduce bulk truck loading times: dual direction scaling of trucks and night rail loading. The plant has two scales available for taring trucks, one inbound and one outbound. During peak periods, trucks would have to line up to get into or out of the plant with idling engines. This new taring procedure moves traffic in and out of the plant in a more timely fashion.

The loading of rail cars was originally done during the day. The in-plant-transport resources required for loading rail cars (conveyors and elevators) were the same required for loading trucks. When rail cars were being loaded, resources were removed from truck loading, thus reducing the loading capacity for trucks. Day time rail car loading resulted in truck backups with idling engines. In 2002, rail car loading was changed to occur at night only, which resulted in improved truck loading times.

Environmental Performance

Runner Up Lafarge North America Alpena, Mich. Plant

The Alpena Plant reduced its air emissions in 2002 from 2001 levels while cement production remained virtually the same. SO2 emissions went from 80% of permit limit in 2001 to 65% in 2002; NOx went from 88% to 78% of limit in 2002; and CO from 40% of permit limit to 35% in 2002.

Mainly through waste recycling, the plant was able to downgrade its legal classification from a Large Quantity Generator to a Small Quantity Generator in 2001 and remain so in 2002.

Lafarge constructed stone filter berms around all storm water drains and cleaned and relined two settling ponds with stone in an effort to improve the quality of stormwater being discharged to Lake Huron. These improvements were not required by any permit or regulations.

The plant began construction on a new stormwater pond system and pump house to be used for quarry water discharge. This will further improve the quality of water discharged. No permit requirements were exceeded in 2002.

Continuous display of emissions for SO2, NOx, CO, and HCl are used in the control room so kiln operators are aware of these parameters; limits are also displayed.

The Alpena Plant received the 2002 O.B. Eustis Award for excellence in managing environmental issues in Northeast Michigan.

Other Finalists: Texas Lehigh Cement Co., Buda, Texas Plant; Lafarge North America, Sugar Creek, Mo. Plant

Land Stewardship

Winner Lehigh Cement Co. Edmonton, Alberta Plant

The City of Edmonton has one of the first municipal composting facilities in the world and generates compost from garbage to be landfilled. Lehigh’s plant arranged to utilize this material as a nutrient median for the reclamation activities around the plant’s clay pit. Utilizing this material saved Lehigh the cost of purchasing or mining suitable topsoil for the reclamation. Also by using this material, less garbage is entering the landfill. Lehigh saved money in its overall estimated budget for reclamation as the compost was less costly than topsoil and had great nutrient value. Lehigh has already made arrangements to continue using this material for future landscaping and reclamation activities.

The plant also has been working with Ducks Unlimited to preserve Kinokamau Lake in perpetuity. The lake is designated as the most significant wetland in Edmonton and is home to more than 120 species of waterfowl and various mammals. Lehigh had originally purchased the land to mine the clay. Once the environmental significance was brought to the company’s attention, the decision was made to preserve the lake rather than drain it. The value of the clay has been estimated at $1 million.

The plant has been undergoing an “eco-scaping” project for the past five years. During this period, the project has resulted in more than 7,000 sq meters of “green spaces.” Landscaping of the plant site results in greater intrinsic value for employees and contractors on site. The vegetation also helps reduce the amount of the fugitive dust leaving the plant and the overall appearance of the plant. Lehigh now has its own nursery and plans to plant the majority of the remaining trees. Plant personnel made an aggressive push in 2002 to more than double its landscaped areas. Last year, the plant added 7,200 sq meters of landscaped areas.

The plant has housed a breeding pair of Peregrine falcons since 1993. A breeding pair that was on site for the past five years has had a successful brooding, which has helped to more the falcons off the endangered speicies list.

Land Stewardship

Runner Up Lafarge North America Alpena, Mich. Plant

The Alpena Plant received certifications in 2000 from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its efforts on returning an inactive shale quarry to its natural condition. Dewatering of the quarry was stopped, allowing the formation of a new lake. Much effort, including demolition of buildings and equipment, tree planting to enhance wildlife habitat, and fish stocking in the lake, continued in 2002. Some of this work was done in coordination with the National Wild Turkey Federation and a local high school forestry class. Work continues on this and recertifications with WHC in 2003.

Lafarge has spent more than $6 million on demolition since taking over the Alpena Plant in 1987, and numerous old buildings and equipment have been removed in an effort to enhance appearances. More than $100,000 was spend on demolition work in 2002. Since 1998, the plant has spent more than $1.4 million on landscaping, which includes the use of dredgings from the boat slips and placing topsoil in many areas to allow grass seeding. As a result, fawn have been seen near heavy equipment in the quarry, and employees have roped off the areas where they were seen to prevent injury to the animals.

Other Finalists: Lafarge North America, Sugar Creek, Mo. Plant; Cemex Inc., Charlevoix, Mich. Plant


Winner Lafarge North America Sugar Creek, Mo. Plant

The Sugar Creek Plant created and maintains a plant-specific Public Affairs Plan which incorporates media, government, and community relations. Plant personnel routinely meet with a Community Liaison Panel to communicate plant activities, new projects, safety, and environmental issues. The plant hosted a meeting and tour for the local Environmental Excellence Business Network, which consists of representatives from local manufacturers, businesses, consultants, and regulators from the great Kansas City metro area.

The plant held a well-publicized dedication ceremony for the new Sugar Creek facility. More than 300 customers, community members, government officials, and Lafarge personnel attended.

Sugar Creek, in conjunction with the new plant dedication, highlighted the company’s national partnership with Habitat for the Humanity. The plant built an “All Lafarge House” for a local Habitat affiliate with as many Lafarge products as possible, including cement, concrete, wallboard, stucco, and roofing tiles. Personnel from the plant, local Lafarge ready-mix operations, and two regional offices donated their time for the project. The home was completed in three months. Due to the energy-saving design, the home qualified for the EPA’s Energy Star rating.

Sugar Creek is working with the National Park Service, Wildlife Habitat Council, local historical societies, and local businesses to renovate and improve a historic interpretive site located on Lafarge property. The location overlooks the former Wayne City Landing, a former riverboat landing on the Missouri River. The renovation will include a new monument, interpretive displays, walkways, and a wildflower garden.


Runner Up St. Lawrence Cement Mississauga Plant, Ontario

The Mississauga Plant holds an annual open house for the public. In 2002, about 600 people visited the plant, including officials from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Members of the plant’s management team attend various ratepayer association meetings in an effort to keep local residents informed on the plant’s activities.

The company is a corporate sponsor of the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Partners in Air Program, through which resources are provided to high school students to work on projects related to air quality. The program gives students an opportunity to conduct air quality studies and to discuss their findings with students and scientists.

The plant participates annually in the Clean Air Commute Week organized by Pollution Probe. Employees are educated on the impact that individuals can have on the environment, especially through transportation choices. During the week, employees are encouraged to use alternate methods of transport, such as bikes, public transit, and car pooling, when commuting to work. Each employee is given a score card to calculate the quantity of emissions reduced, and in 2002, St. Lawrence employees’ total smog savings was 237 kg.

St. Lawrence has implemented new environmental reporting guidelines, which call for much broader disclosure of company performance, including specific information on emissions, consumption of non-renewable resources, efforts to reduce the impact of operations, and improvements in environmental policies and practices.

Other Finalists: Lafarge North America, Whitehall, Pa. Plant; Cemex, Knoxville, Tenn. Plant; Texas Industries, Hunter Plant, New Braunfels, Texas


Winner Lafarge North America Alpena, Mich. Plant

The Alpena Plant installed a piping system to direct leachate from the CKS landfill to the pugmill. The pugmill uses this water to condition CKD before it is placed in the landfill, eliminating any discharge of this leachate water.

The plant has finished construction on its clinker storage building, the largest of its kind in the world. The building can store as much as 400,000 tons of clinker. One of the most notable features of the building is its air-handling system, featuring a 50,000-cfm dust collector. The system ensures that the building is constantly under negative pressure, thereby minimizing emissions to the environment.


Runner Up St. Lawrence Cement Mississauga Plant, Ontario

Over the last seven years, the Mississauga Plant has made continuous progress in reducing secondary plume formation at the main kiln stack. In 2000, the plant invested $2 million to implement a number of process modifications that eliminated secondary plume formation during warm weather conditions. In 2002, the plant invested an additional $8 million on three key projects to address secondary plume formation in cold weather. These included installation of a slurry injection system to inject lime or other scrubbing agents into the existing kiln conditioning tower; replacing the electrostatic precipitator to the aerofall mill with a new baghouse; and reactivating the aerofall mill stack to discharge gases from the new aerofall mill baghouse. With these projects, the plant has completely eliminated the secondary plume under all conditions.

Other Finalists: Lafarge North America Sugar Creek, Mo. Plant; Lafarge North America, Whitehall, Pa. Plant

Energy Efficiency

Winner St. Lawrence Cement Mississauga, Ontario Plant

Large gains in energy efficiency were obtained by the Mississauga Plant when it shifted production from wet manufacturing process to dry process kilns. Between 1991 and 1998, St. Lawrence invested more than $16 million in major projects to phase out the wet kilns and increase the capacity of the precalciner/preheater kiln. Between 1990 and 2002, the plant increased production 7% while the total yearly thermal energy used by the kiln decreased 18%. During the same period, the average specific heat consumption of clinker production was reduced to 3.6 GJ/metric ton from 4.2 GJ/mt (1990 level), and improvement rate of 14%.

Also in 2002, the plant achieved an additional 0.5% savings in the specific heat consumption of the kiln due to a continued focus on energy planning, training of staff on energy issues, and routine maintenance procedures to ensure efficient operation of equipment.

Substituting clinker and cement with less energy intensive mineral components such as granulated blast furnace slag, flyash, silica fume, and other pozzolanic materials allows the plant to maintain output while reducing its specific CO2 emissions. In 2002, the plant introduced the production of high silica fume cement. The use of silica fume replaces a portion of the clinker in the cement, thus reducing the energy input of the final product.

The Mississauga plant has adopted the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions from cement manufacturing. The plant reduced its Specific Net CO2 emissions to 639 kg CO2/mt of cementitious product. This is a 21.5% reduction from 1990 and a 1.1% reduction from 2001.

At St. Lawrence, the use of alternative fuels is governed by strict compliance with applicable government regulations and internal guidelines. At the Mississauga Plant, 22% of the heat requirements was provided by alternative fossil fuel waste products. The use of alternative fuels at the plant prevented the release of 94,854 mt of CO2 in 2002.

Energy Efficiency

Runner Up Mitsubishi Cement Corp. Lucerne Valley (Cushenbury), Calif. Plant

The Mitsubishi plant installed a high-efficiency fan runner on the raw mill circuit, which improves the fan’s efficiency more than 10%.

Replacing of the preheater tower exhaust gas ducts with new larger ducts reduced in leakage and increased flow thereby reducing total plant power consumption 3% and fuel efficiency 1%. With all of the plant’s energy efficiency planning, the facility has reduced its energy use 8% in the last year.

The plant also has reduced greenhouse gas emissions through energy reductions. The Cushenbury Plant has conducted a CO2 emissions inventory to track the production of CO2. Mitsubishi has been a member of Energy Star since August 2002, and the company has participated in the California Large Energy Users Association.

Other Finalist: Lafarge North America, Alpena, Mich. Plant

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