Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Brown, Brinton C.
Cement, pp. 247-287 ff. PDF (4.5 MB)
248 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 may acquire additional gas wells for its Longhorn plant in Texas. Lone Star Industries, Inc. was *undertaking a natural gas exploration and development program in New Mexico and Texas to assure gas supplies for manufacturing cement. Because of the shortage of low-sulfur coal more companies changed from coal to fuel oil. Nevertheless, an impending -fuel oil shortage had many -companies investigating the use of low-sulfur coal from western States for standby fuel. The cost of all fuels was increasing. Several plants completed air pollution control projects during the year to comply with present standards and regulations. Most of the plants in the country were modernizing and improving the efficiency of dust-collecting -facilities. Many -companies were financing pollution control facilities through tax-exempt -bonds and securities issued -by municipalities and local government agencies. Companies will repay under a lease arrangement with the local governments. These bond issues represented an effective means to raise capital at relatively low cost for essential, but nonproductive, equipment. In 1972 four new kilns started operation with a combined annual capacity of 1.5 million tons. But -by yearend 13 old kilns were permanently removed from service, so the production capacity of the industry remained virtually unchanged. Several new plants and many plant expansion and modernization programs were in various stages of planning and construction. In response to the Portland Cement Association's (PC*A) request for an industrywide price relief the Price Commission held a public hearing in Houston, Tex. on October 6. The Commission received information regarding price -controls and related problems of industry -capacity, supply shortages, costs, profitability, and capital investment in the cement industry. No decision had been made -by yearend. The year 1972 marked the first full one of experience with a newly developed system of reporting injuries and illnesses under the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Ideal Cement Co. plant at Portland, Cob., was the leader in the PCA safety honor awards for 1972, working 3,400 consecutive days without a lost-time or disabling injury. Universal Atlas Cement Div. of United States Steel Corp. plants at Leeds, Ala., and Waco, Tex., also completed more than 3,000 acci-dent-free days. Members of the PCA competition with more than 2,000 consecutive days without injuries were: Hawaiian Cement Corp. at Ewa Beach, Oahu; Louisville Cement Co. at Logansport, md.; Lone Star Industries at Demopolis, Ala.; and Universal Atlas Cement at Hannibal, Mo. The Manitowoc, Wisc., plant of Medusa Cement Co. received the PCA Twenty-fifth Safety Trophy Reaward for 26 accident-free years (not consecutive). Lone Star industries plants at Birmingham, Ala., and New Orleans, La., received the PCA Twenty-first Safety Trophy Reaward for 22 years without lost-time injuries. Legislation and Government Programs. —Two Federal laws -were enacted that directly affect environmental aspects of the cement industry. Pu-blic Law 92—500, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, effective October 18, extends Federal responsibility -from interstate waters to all U.S. waters; calls for States to retain primary responsibility but provides for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intervention if States fail to act; requires more stringent effluent limits; requires the EPA to establish guidelines and water quality standards; provides for a permit program to replace the 1899 Refuse Act permit program; provides -for penalties up to $50,000 a day and 2 years in prison for second offenses; and specifies dozens of other key provisions. The $24.5 billion authorizations -contained in the 98-page act represent the largest single -public works program authorization since the enactment of the Federal Interstate Highw-ay Program. Pollutant permit activity administered by the Corps of Engineers under the 1899 Refuse Act was superseded, but the Corps' authority to issue dredge and fill permits was continued. Public Law 92—574, Environmental Noise Control Act of 197-2, effective October 27, directs the EPA to set and enforce noise standards for certain equipment. Provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act were designed to eliminate the possibility of hearing loss in three ways: (1) by taking the initial step and making a sound survey; (2) engineering noise out; and (3) using protective devices to reduce noise levels. The Occupational Safety and
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